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© Isabelle CHARRIER / NeuroPSI / CNRS Images



Seals can fly

This Cape fur seal has just given birth: the pink umbilical cord of her pup is still visible. She moves her baby by throwing it in the air in order to keep it away from other females in the colony, which might become very aggressive towards this little stranger if he came near them. A rather harsh, but necessary, start to life! The species forms huge, dense colonies in Namibia, where females give birth to a single pup that they nurse for 10 to 11 months. Throughout the lactation period, the young seal is exposed to long, repeated absences of its mother, who heads out to sea to feed. To be sure that their pups recognise them when they return to the noisy colony, the females wait until their offspring has fully learned to identify their voice before setting off for the first time. This image is one of the winners of the 2022 La preuve par l’image (LPPI) photography competition.

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