Into the Deep with Elephant Seals, an episode of KQED's QUEST TV program, features UCSC elephant seal experts Daniel Costa and Burney Le Boeuf, along with a crew of graduate students and others involved in Costa's ongoing research on these remarkable animals. The program will be broadcast on Wednesday, May 4, at 7:30 p.m. on KQED 9 and KQED HD (Comcast 709). The program can also be seen online at www.kqed.org/quest.
Thousands of northern elephant seals--some weighing up to 4,500 pounds--make an annual migration each winter to breed at Año Nuevo State Reserve, about 21 miles north of Santa Cruz. UCSC researchers led by Costa, a professor of ecology and evolutionary biology, are using high-tech tools to track the migrations of the elephant seals and understand what they do underwater, where they spend most of their lives.
"They just really are amazing animals," Costa says in the program. "Everything they do is to the extreme--they're extreme divers, they're extreme fasting animals, they're extreme in their ability to conserve water."