National Geographic : 1955 Jan
A Naturalist in Penguin Land This usually brings the fight to an abrupt end, and the wounded bull beats a hasty re treat to the sea. If there is no decisive vic tory, one or the other soon tires of the battle and makes off. Though a great deal of flesh may have been ripped away, wounds are not usually deep. Occasionally an eyeball is scratched; less frequently, one is torn out. Cows Unimpressed by Mate's Prowess Having dealt successfully with the challenge to his supremacy, the owner of the harem returns to his ladies. They, however, do not appear in the least impressed by his prowess. If the fight has lasted more than a few min utes, the chances are that a watchful bache lor, biding his chance, has slipped in to mate with one of the cows. It is a matter of su preme indifference to them which bull it may be, so long as one turns up at the critical moment. Confronted by a human intruder, the harem bulls issue the same challenge, and if he does not halt, they start for him. For a short stretch the sea elephant can move remarkably fast. The only safe course is to watch the position of the bull's foreflippers and plan one's movements accordingly. In order to heave himself forward, the bull must bring his flippers at right angles to his body; so long as the flippers remain parallel to the body and pointing toward the tail there is comparative safety in a close approach. But when those flippers travel forward, it is time to get going! A Nesting Wandering Albatross Eyes the Author's Cumbersome Camera South Georgia's sea birds generally showed little fear of man. Skuas even attacked expedition members who ventured too near their nests (page 113). The bird brooding beyond the tripod is a giant fulmar.