Crabeater seals (Lobodon carcinophagus) on ice floe

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Antarctic seals

Female Crabeater seals give birth on an ice floe around September and suckles the young from a birth weight of about 20kg (44lb) to 110kg (242lb) at weaning, this takes around a month. As with other Antarctic seals, the female comes into oestrous very quickly and an attendant male will mate with a female, seeing others off.

After mating the male leaves the female and goes to find another receptive female that he can mate with. Many seals give the impression that they form cozy family groups as they lay around together. The reality is usually that it is a mixed group of individuals with no real bonds other than mothers and their pups. Don't they have some of the best scenery to look at though?!

Photo; © Paul Ward