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Antarctic Postcard from the Field: Life On the Ice Beach - Windows to the Universe

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From: Jean Pennycook
Cape Royds, Antarctica, December 24, 2007

Life On the Ice Beach

Penguins are not the only animals that use Cape Royds for a temporary home. These Weddel seals use the ice as a resting place far away from the open ocean and their main predator, Killer Whales. The sea ice dynamics against the cliffs of the Cape create tidal cracks and therefore holes to the ocean where the seals can swim to and then haul themselves up onto the ice. In this picture you can see today's group that are using this ice for a resting place. These seals do not eat penguins and the penguins frequently pass very close to them without a care. There are no land predators for these seals so they are not afraid of me and I am able to get close for some good pictures. They look soft and friendly, but they will bite hard if disturbed. There are many color variations, my favorite are the grey ones you see in the fist picture. Antarctic Marine Life

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Postcards from the Field: Adelie Penguins 2007

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