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Young Elephant Seals Sparring, South Georgia

Young male elephant seals practice their sparring skills.

Though these males are nowhere near old enough or (more importantly) large enough to be able to command a harem of females and fight off other males, they prepare for the time when they are from an early age.

One day in the future this sparring may need to be put to use in earnest when they are large enough to become a beach master and so get to father dozens of pups so ensuring the survival of their genes.

 

These are pictures from a trip to Antarctica in the summer of 2010 - 2011 for the purpose of researching former whaling stations and companies by Ulf Gustafsson of the University of Groningen in the Netherlands.

Pictures copyright Ulf Gustafsson.

   

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