Feb 12, 2012

The ugly member of the family

Seals are up to some shenanigans lately over at my other blog, which reminded me that it's been way too long since we saw an elephant seal here.

When people think "seal," they think of adorable pups that need to be protected from cruel hunters, or playful trained performers at a zoo or aquarium. (They also are often actually picturing a sea lion, but that's another story.)

And even elephant seals can fool you when they are young and cute and making puppy-dog eyes:

But cute little boys will eventually grow into their ugly adult snout and their ugly adult behavior, which involves harassing the ladies and lots of between-male violence, like in this photo:

As the photographer describes it: "Here one male ambushed an older male opening those wounds on his neck - and then immediately fled the area." The shot nicely captures the sand kicked up by the action, as well as an angle on that lovely proboscis that we don't usually get to see.

So if you're the next one to find an adorable seal pup curled up on your sofa, think twice before you ask if you can keep it, because you might end up with this:

Even as a lover of ugly animals, that's way closer than I need to get.

-Wombat (No Relation)

Photos by Flickr users Mike Baird and especially check out more by Joe McKenna.

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