Cambrian: Opinion

April 24, 2014 1:10 PM

Elephant seal births up, but pup mortality rate rises even more

About 5,300 elephant seal pups were born in the rookery at Piedras Blancas this year, up 2.5 percent from last year, but the survival rate was lower than last year. Brian Hatfield, the marine biologist who counts them, bases the number of pups born on the number of adult females on the beach, assuming that each one will have one pup. (No one has ever observed twins being born.)

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