Association of Polar Early Career Scientists


Polar Week Photo Competition Spring 2016

Christopher Jones
FitzPatrick Institute of African Ornithology, University of Cape Town
  • fauna
A male Northern Giant Petrel devours the carcass of a Southern Elephant Seal pup. Giant Petrels are considered to be the most sexually dimorphic among petrels, with males being significantly larger. Thought not to be a result of sexual selection but due to the different foraging strategies by males and females. Males compete for carcasses on beaches near the nest site while females mainly forage at sea. This photograph was captured in October 2017, a time on Marion Island when Northern Giant Petrel chicks are hatching which coincides with the peak pupping of Elephant seals. Thus energy rich seal carrion is thought to be an important dietary item during chick rearing.

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