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Survival of the Fittest

Survival of the Fittest
Photo Information
Copyright: Manyee Desandies (manyee) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3089 W: 230 N: 6774] (23770)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2006-02-12
Categories: Mammals
Camera: Canon Powershot S1-IS
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2006-02-22 11:06
Viewed: 3777
Points: 8
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
This photo was taken at the Ano Nuevo State Reserve.

Here you see the classic pose of two elephant seal bulls fighting it out amidst loud roars and bellows for the ultimate prize in life: the right to pass on one's genes to posterity... to assure the survival of the species. Darwinism in action! It is hard to have the right perspective on your computer screen. Do keep in mind that each of these animals is about 16 feet (almost 5 meters) long and weighs about 5000 pounds (almost 2000 kg).

Elephant Seal
Mirounga angustirostris

Elephant seals form harems, in which the dominant, or alpha, male is surrounded by a group of females. On the periphery of the harem, the beta bulls wait in hopes of an opportunity to mate. They assist the alpha bull in keeping away the less dominant males. Fights between males can be bloody affairs in which the combatants rear up and slam their bodies against each other, slashing with their large canine teeth. However, not all confrontations end in battle. Rearing up on their hindquarters, throwing back their heads, showing off the size of their noses and bellowing threats is enough to intimidate most challengers. When battles do occur, it is rarely to the death.

Listen to their vocalizations while fighting.


livios, Luc has marked this note useful
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Beautiful sillohuette photo. They almost look like mirror images it's hard to imagine they were fighting here. Nice POV.

Neat mirror image capture! Having stood next to thses critters, you are correct that it is hard to grasp their size in a photograph. I should post my photo of one. I had the shot all framed, great composition, he moved, I jumped out of my skin (so to speak) and I got a picture of his nose!...and some rapid breathing on my part...I hasten to add.

  • Great 
  • livios Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2150 W: 319 N: 4263] (16942)
  • [2006-02-22 21:36]

Manyee, great note, very nice photo.

Two giants, one photo.

Thanks for sharing this image.

  • Great 
  • Luc Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1835 W: 301 N: 4287] (14767)
  • [2006-02-23 4:20]

Pas Úvident Ó contre-jour mais j'aime bien ces silhouettes se profilant sur ce rivage.
Merci pour le lien vers les vocalisations.
Thank you ManYee.

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