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From the Stacks 

May 2, 2011

Into the Deep with Elephant Seals

Watch Into the Deep with Elephant Seals on Wednesday, May 4th at 7:30pm on KQED 9 & KQED HD on Comcast 709 or online at www.kqed.org/quest.

Thousands of northern elephant seals – some weighing up to 4,500 pounds – make an annual migration to breed each winter to Año Nuevo State Reserve, a jagged stretch of coastline in San Mateo County.  For decades, they’ve caught the eye of the marine biologists who are using high-tech tools to plumb the secrets of elephant seals, marine mammals that live mostly underwater.


Several months ago I was approached by a producer from KQED who was working on a QUEST episode about elephant seals. He was interested in historical images of elephant seals and we were able to supply images from the 1922 Guadalupe Island, Mexico expedition and the 1932 Templeton Crocker Galapagos expedition.

In 1922, the Academy partnered with the government of Mexico, the National Geographic society, and the San Diego Society of Natural History to study the elephant seal, the fur seal, and southern sea otter on Guadalupe Island, Mexico. The previous year the Committee on the Conservation of Marine Life of the Pacific, part of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, suggested we study these animals so they could issue recommendations for conservation efforts.

The KQED QUEST episode airs this week and we are all excited to see which photos were used in the show.

Male Elephant Seal from the 1922 Guadalupe Island Expedition collection.

Expedition member on beach from the 1922 Guadalupe Island Expedition collection.

1922 Guadalupe Island, Mexico Expedition members. (Left to right) – A.W. Anthony, G. Dallas Hanna, and Carlos Cuesta Terron. Ensenada, Baja California.

Group at Scripps Institution, La Jolla California

Group at Scripps Institution, La Jolla California. July 8, 1922. Top row: Frank Tose, Clinton Abbott, A.W. Anthony, Barton Warren Evermann, Carlos Cuesta Terron, W.C. Crandall. Lower row: Fred Baker, W.E. Ritter, Joseph Slevin, Captain Angulo, unidentified, Jose M. Gallegos, and unidentified.

- Danielle Castronovo

Archives & Digital Collections Librarian

Filed under: Archives,Photography — Archives & Special Collections @ 2:15 pm


  1. Didn’t know about the show. Thanks for sharing! Will definitely watch. Is it really true Elephant seals dive deeper than any animal? Looking forward to learning the true answer.

    Comment by Damian Hayden — May 4, 2011 @ 4:33 pm

  2. Hi,
    I am working for brown publication under a educational projects on “Elephant Seals” saw some image on your website. The images are are needed for the same, i would really appreciate if you can provide me the images given on the link below.


    Thank You
    Shishir Parasher
    Image Researcher

    Comment by Shishir Parasher — September 9, 2011 @ 3:35 am

  3. I am the granddaughter of Carlos Cuesta Terron. His son was Carlos Cuesta Patino who became a physician and emigrated from Mexico City to Chicago, where I was born.

    I would love to see any further photos and work you may have from my grandfather.

    Comment by Pilar Cuesta — September 22, 2011 @ 8:42 pm

  4. Pilar, thanks for the information on your grandfather and father. I have 5 additional photos that feature your grandfather. They are all formal portraits of the people involved in the expedition. Unfortunately they are not available online right now but I will post one of the formal portraits in the blog post.

    Comment by Archives & Special Collections — October 4, 2011 @ 10:59 am

  5. Hi, I am Bert Kohlmann Cuesta, another grandson of Carlos Cuesta Terrón. I am also a biologist and would like to have access, if possible, to the photos you mention from my granddad. I also wrote an “In Memoriam” of my grandfather in 1989, that was published by the “Boletín de la Sociedad Herpetológica Mexicana, V 1, N. 2″,
    if you are interested I can scan you a copy.


    Comment by Bert Kohlmann Cuesta — April 6, 2012 @ 6:39 am

  6. Bert, I would love to correspond with you since we have a common grandfather! Imagine finding relatives online! email me please at Pilar96@aol.com.

    Comment by Pilar Cuesta — June 25, 2012 @ 8:17 am

  7. I am the grandson of G Dallas. I love seeing photos of him.
    His only daughter Edna was born on St. George Island, Alaska and I’ve seen a few pictures online of Alaska but I don’t personally possess any. When my grandmother Margaret was alive I remember seeing photos of G Dallas driving a sled, photos of the school and many other pics of Alaska in the very early 1900s. If you have any I would appreciate seeing them.

    Comment by Paul Stewart — November 6, 2013 @ 7:04 am

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