UPY 2016 Behaviour - Commended

Ralph Pace

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UPY 2016 Behaviour - Commended
'Battle at the Nine' - Ralph Pace

Nine miles off the coast of San Diego, CA is a high spot called the Nine Mile Bank. A great area to encounter pelagic animals in blue water. With much of the bait having moved north due to the warmer water El Nino regime, The Nine has been very different this year. As we were driving along we saw birds and a commotion at the surface. We quickly realized it was a sea lion eating a mola, not a sea lion's common fare. It was incredible scene. We watched for 45 minutes as the mola tried to evade the sea lion. The sea lion was able to finally penetrate the mola's tough skin and feed on the mola's caloric rich inners. Here, as they look eye to eye in all the chaos, the mola seems to plead for it’s life.

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