Wildlife - Matthew J Photos


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Not Your Normal Traffic Jam

St. Andrews Bay, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands

Google Maps Location photo was taken from: 54°26'10.481" S 36°11'17.178" W

A traffic jam of female elephant seals like these at St. Andrew’s Bay, along with some king penguins scattered in, was a common occurrence at some of the larger beachheads like this. This harem of females, numbering 40 or so, were all hitched to one male seal named the beach master, who was a good 15 feet long at 3 or so tons. Any time another solo male elephant seal encroached on this harem, you would be shocked at how quick his 3 ton pile of blubber could move at the impending intruder. Most of the time the fast charge would scare them off, but sometimes they would rise up on their haunches and slam their massive bodies together, while gnashing at each others neck with their sharp teeth. The beach master always won.