Since 1988, I have observed a local Harbor Seal haul out. I recognize individuals by patterns in their fur or by scars. Some have come back every summer for 20 years! The ledges I observe are in a deep protected bay, it is perfect for newborn pups and so the majority of the seals that use it are female.
My first love is humpback whales, I have been a naturalist for two summers and now work as an Associate at Allied whale, (started in 1978) which houses the catalog of known humpback, identified by the pattern on the underside of their tail. There are known grand mothers, even a great grandmother!
Knowledge of individual animals whether they be whales, seals, deer chimpanzees, fascinates me. Their individual temperaments and life histories shed light on their intelligence... each has an individual way of living within the constraints of their biology.
But most of all I am an old fashioned naturalist, delighted with any animal interaction that comes my way