Spring Is Here
It is spring here, although you wouldn't know it. Temperatures are -10°C to -13°C, and in every direction all you see is ice and snow. But we know this is spring for Antarctica because the Sun is up. The first babies we see this year are the Weddell seal pups. The females haul themselves out of the water through cracks in the ice to bear the pups and nurse them until they are able to swim. The mothers will lose almost a third of their body weight in order to provide nutrition to these pups before they will be able to eat again.
In the pictures, a brand new pup that is only hours old has its umbilical cord still attached (right). Another pup is one day old (left). Females lay in groups ready to have their pups (lower).
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Postcards from the Field: Adelie Penguins 2008