Digital News Report- Biologists at UCSC have named two elephant seals at Año Nuevo State Natural Reserve after Comedy Central’s Stephen Colbert and Jon Stewert. The 14-foot elephant seals, Stelephant Colbert and Jon Sealwart, each have their own Facebook page, blog, and trading card.
One of Stelephant’s blog entries states, “As a patriotic Pinniped-American, it is my sworn duty to consume as much as possible whenever possible, and to horde women like real estate to broadcast my social status as brilliant and clear as the chrome on Kanye’s rims,” along with Jon Sealwart put-downs.
The seals popularity on Facebook is growing quickly. “Stelephant is getting 15 friends a day at least,” said Nicole Teutschel, a graduate student in the Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Department at UCSC who also coordinates education and outreach for social media for the seal component of Tagging of Pacific Predators (TOPP). As of Thursday, Stelephant had 262 friends.
The Facebook page contains such quotes as “You can be the Omega to my Alpha, baby” and “I was like GREEAAAAHHH and he was all like GREAAGH and then we were like WHAM and then I was like GREAHHH SNORT and he was like man…” along with references to his harem. His religious views are listed as, “Eat, sleep, brawl, repeat.”
The seals were named as part of “Elephant Seals Homecoming Days 2009,” a promotional event geared towards bringing awareness to both the seals’ migration patterns as well as the efforts of UCSC’s Long Marine lab. Many other seals are named after local elementary school students. Both seals were tagged with electronic tracking devices last year by researchers from ecology and evolutionary biology professor Dan Costa’s lab at Long Marine Lab.
Colbert, who has an eagle, a spider, an ice cream flavor, a turtle and a minor league hockey mascot already named after him, has not yet commented on the seal. Neither has Jon Stewart, who has significantly fewer things named after him.
Photo: Daniel Costa