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Northern Fur Seal Photo Archive

Ground-Level Images

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ground-level photo Ground-level photographs were taken on-foot by researchers standing near or among the seals of the rookery (occasionally from catwalks elevated above the seals by about 2.5 meters). Since these photos were taken on-foot, they are less comprehensive and do not involve the relatively uniform scale that characterizes the aerial photographs. Instead, they show the seals close enough to distinguish between males, females and pups, when they are in the foreground of the photo. Adult males are distinguishable from females on the basis of their larger size and color; the pelage of males ranges from a reddish brown to black. Adult females have a more grey, or grey-brown coloration to their backs and lighter brown on their chests. Pups are born with a black coat and molt to a silver-grey appearance in the first autumn of their lives.

The 1895 ground-level series were scanned from a book published by the U.S. Government (Townsend 1896a). Starting in 1948, and again in 1960, 1988 and 2005/2006, images were taken to attempt replicating earlier photographs for comparative value. In each case, photographs were taken with the intention of comparing them across years. As a result, there are numerous spots represented by photographs that can be used to illustrate change in seal distribution and terrain over time, see Related Groups.

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