The Alpha Male
(Elephant Seal, Mirounga leonina)
EOS 50E, 300mm f5,6
Baie de la Hébé, Possesion Island, Crozet archipelago
French Southern and Antarctic Lands (2000)
Every year, Elephant Seals migrate back to the beaches where they were born. The males arrive first, hauling out on the beaches and establishing territories. The mature males are called the "alpha" males and establish the best and largest territories. Fights takes place to establish the strongest alpha males as the "beachmasters" (harem masters).
A "beachmaster", which measure 5 or 6 metres for 2 to 4 tons, can reign over 50 females.
Defend a harem need a big spending of energie. The reign can run one or two years, and then, a new reign begins, with a new younger and stronger "beachmaster".
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