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Antarctic Fur Seal

Arctocephalus gazella


Antarctic fur seals are not true seals, but sea lions. They are fairly large, and surprisingly fast on land (I had to flee from some rather aggressive youngsters!), though the males are significantly bigger than the females, with thick necks and shoulders. Compared to other fur seals, they have broad and short snouts. When we arrived at South Georgia, the females had already had their pups, and the males had returned to the open ocean.


These fur seals stayed mainly on the beaches, sometimes lying in the tussock grass. The females leave for the open ocean to feed, often for several days, leaving their babies on the beaches. They seemed happy enough to entertain themselves, though!


There were many seal pups at King Edward Point and Grytviken. They were extremely playful, and super cute. The large, adult males had left, but there were still fully grown females and "teenage" males around. Most were pretty placid, but there were some that were rather aggressive and sometimes chased us! I kept reminding myself that should it come to running, I had the evolutionary advantage... but it didn't make their teeth look any less sharp.

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61 Comments (1–25)

staccyh 8 years ago

So cuuute!!!! Great series, I particularly like the first photo.

LauraMaria 8 years ago

Thank you all for your comments, I'm so glad people are as charmed with these wonderful animals as I was :)

Mona Pirih
Mona Pirih 8 years ago

What a cutie... Lovely series.

Neilen Joyce
Neilen Joyce 8 years ago

OMG!!! Great series!

mauna Kunzah
mauna Kunzah 8 years ago

The last photo is simply adorable.

randp1 8 years ago

Great picture, especially the eyes!

rishib1 8 years ago


cullenb1 8 years ago


Adrián Encontrado
Adrián Encontrado 8 years ago

such a cutie

NuwanChathuranga 8 years ago


RiekoS 8 years ago

Congratulations on National Geographic Spotting of the Week!!
It is awesome and I am very happy that you received such honor!
I look forward to see more wonderful spotting from you :-)

Congrats1 you deserve it.

Wild Things
Wild Things 8 years ago

Congratulations on the SOTW!

Azura Firdaus W
Azura Firdaus W 8 years ago

wow amazing Congratulations! Laura Maria


NeilDazet 8 years ago

Yay Laura!!! Congrats on the NatGeo Spotting of the Week!!! :-)

Carol Snow Milne
Carol Snow Milne 8 years ago

Congratulations on this great honor. Wonderful series. Awesome!

LauraMaria 8 years ago

Thanks so much everyone!!

Sachin Zaveri
Sachin Zaveri 8 years ago

Congratulations !!

Fyn  Kynd
Fyn Kynd 8 years ago

Congratulations again! :-)

Josh Asel
Josh Asel 8 years ago

Congrats Laura, well deserved :)

Harsha Singh
Harsha Singh 8 years ago

Congrats Laura! They are so adorable!

Congratulation, this is an adorable spotting, well deserved indeed :)

Ajwerko 8 years ago

Nice series! Congratulations!

KarenL 8 years ago

Congratulations Laura!

Our National Geographic Spotting of the Week: An Antarctic fur seal plays on the beach.

Spotted by

South Georgia, South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands

Spotted on Jan 26, 2013
Submitted on Mar 22, 2013

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