Saturday, November 29, 2008

Mother and Child???

(from Paul)

Here are our visitors - beyond cute. At first glance, we thought it was a Weddell seal mother and her pup that had crawled across the ice and had stopped by the ranch for a rest. However, the pup is an unusual color since most Weddell seal pups are light brown and this one is white.

Jerry says that this is a Weddell seal accompanied by a juvenile crabeater seal. We haven't seen this behavior before, and it is unclear if they are just travelling together, or if the crabeater has been "adopted" by the Weddell.


It looks like the Weddell was bitten on the neck in a fight in the water, and has chosen to find a new dive hole.


She is taking her adopted pup with her as she wanders across the ice, looking for another crack or hole.


There are some cracks within a mile of the ranch, and I am sure they will reach those holes soon.


Both look healthy; both are quite large.  So both should do well.


And a photo from Jessica of the two seals seeking shelter from the wind. Now that the storm is over, they have moved on.




Mother & child