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Male southern elephant seal

Male southern elephant seal

Z936/0125

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Credit

BRITISH ANTARCTIC SURVEY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY BRITISH ANTARCTIC SURVEY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Southern elephant seal (Mirounga leonina) male (bull) resting in clumps of tussac grass (Poa or Parodiochloa flabellate). The male has the trunk- like proboscis that gives this huge seal its name. It acts as a resonator to the roar given by a male during fights to win breeding rights over a harem of females. The set of sharp canines are used to wound opponents. Most of its time is spent hunting fish and squid in subantarctic waters. The male comes ashore to breed and moult. Only the largest males, over 5 metres in length and 4 tonnes in weight, breed successfully. Photographed on Bird Island, South Georgia, southern Atlantic Ocean.

Release details

Model release not required. Property release not required.

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