Antarctica Adventure - 2002

There were a huge number of Elephant seals here too. They were not charged by the young fur seals; I suppose their size protects them as males weigh about 900 pounds and females about 700. The males were very jealous of their “personal space” and would challenge other males who invaded that territory. They would rear up against each other and open their huge mouths with the formidable teeth and thrash away with hoarse barks and coughs. Then, as quickly as the spat broke out the huge creatures would flop down right next to each other; indeed they would even pile on top of one another. We never saw any blood drawn possibly because it is not yet mating season The younger males just lay about on the shore scratching at their molting skin and napping quietly. The females were not on this beach with all the fellows. Elephant seals make very rude bodily noises all the time—stomach rumblings, burps, shorts, sneezes, barks, coughs, snuffles, and even farts. However, they are totally untroubled by our ideas of what is permissible in society. The other wonderment here at Gold Harbor was the enormous king penguin colony. There were thousands of birds, covering the beach, the hillsides and making them a patchwork of gray and white, depending on which side of the penguin was facing the beach they have mottled gray feathers on their backs and cloud white feathers on their fronts. They were also exhibiting all stages of penguin life cycles.

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