Southern elephant seal mother and pup

Southern elephant seal mother and pup

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Credit: BRITISH ANTARCTIC SURVEY/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Southern elephant seal (Mirounga leonina) female (cow) suckling her pup. The female comes ashore in September or October to give birth to a single pup that was conceived the previous year. She nurses her pup for about three weeks, going without food. The pup gains weight from the rich milk, but after the mother has mated she weans the pup onto solid food and abandons it. The pup survives on reserves of fat for several weeks until it moults to reveal its adult coat and heads out into the subantarctic waters to feed on fish and squid. Photographed on Bird Island, South Georgia, southern Atlantic Ocean.

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Keywords: adult, animal, animals, antarctic, antarctica, aquatic, atlantic, baby, beach, behaviour, bird island, breeding, carnivore, carnivores, carnivorous, cow, eating, evermann cove, family, feeding, female, food, hungry, juvenile, mammal, mammals, marine, maternal, meal, milk, mirounga leonina, mother, nature, oceanic, parent, parental, pup, raising, rearing, reproduction, reproductive, seals, south georgia, southern elephant seal, subantarctic, suckling, wildlife, young, zoology

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