“Sunday Morning” takes us to the beach at San Simeon, Calif., a home for elephant seals. Videographer: Lance Milbrand.
The northern elephant seal (Mirounga angustirostris) is one of two species of elephant seal (the other is the southern elephant seal). It is a member of the family Phocidae (true seals). Elephant seals derive their name from their great size and from the male’s large proboscis, which is used in making extraordinarily loud roaring noises, especially during the mating competition. Sexual dimorphism in size is great. Correspondingly, the mating system is highly polygynous; a successful male is able to impregnate up to 50 females in one season.
San Simeon is a town and census-designated place on the Pacific coast of San Luis Obispo County, California, United States. Its position along State Route 1 is about halfway between Los Angeles and San Francisco, each of those cities being roughly 230 miles away.