Tag Archive for ‘Reproductive Skew’

Californian Elephant Seals: Models of Sexual Selection

When observing the Northern elephant seal colonies found dotted along the Californian coast from December to March each year, one feature stands out above all others: size. Female elephant seals can weigh up to 750 kg, which is fairly impressive, until you see one next to a 2,300 kg male – that’s a male:female size ratio of about 3:1, among the largest of all vertebrates. By comparison, the same ratio in humans is a mere 1.15:1.

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