July 6, 2015
- as seen by -Claudio Campagna, B.J. Le Boeuf
What is this? A nursery for sea lion pups? A day care center? No, this is more like a “no-care center”.
The South American sea lion mothers give birth, nurse their pups for a few days, then go to sea to feed for a few days, and then return to nurse their pups. This pattern is repeated for a few months until the pups are weaned.
When the mothers go to sea, the pups gather together in groups like the one shown in this photo. When a sated mother returns to the rookery she calls for her pup and quickly identifies it from the rest of the hungry babies.
Then, she feeds her pup.