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User / Tim Melling
Tim Melling / 5,775 items

N 32 B 960 C 5 E Jan 28, 2019 F Feb 23, 2019
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This is a Macaroni Penguin, named after a class of rich, well traveled Englishmen in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century who picked up foreign ways, such as wearing feathers in their hats. A person who adopted such flamboyant ornamentation was known as a Macaroni. The name Macaroni was given to these penguins in the early nineteenth century because they reminded the sailors of the English Dandies. The scientific name Eudyptes chrysolophus translates as great diver with a golden crest. The shape and face-on stare of this one reminds me of Feathers McGraw off Wallace and Gromit's "The Wrong Trousers". I photographed this Macaroni at Cooper Bay on South Georgia where they breed.

Tags:   Eudyptes chrysolophus Macaroni Penguin Cooper Bay South Georgia Tim Melling

N 38 B 2.0K C 5 E Feb 2, 2019 F Feb 23, 2019
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These are lenticular clouds over a long-abandoned boat on a beach at Half-moon Island on Antarctica's South Shetland Islands. It captures those subtle pastel shades that occur at such low latitudes. The wreck is apparently an old Norwegian whaling boat though it seems a little small for that purpose. Half Moon Island is a small island (171 ha) so named for its crescent shape which is probably a volcanic caldera.

Tags:   Half Moon Island South Shetland Islands Antarctica Norwegian whaling boat wreck lenticular clouds Tim Melling

N 41 B 2.2K C 10 E Jan 28, 2019 F Feb 22, 2019
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Adult Antarctic Terns are near identical to Arctic Terns, right down to the bill colour and short legs. And to confuse things further Arctic Terns migrate to the Antarctic for the winter. But the juveniles are completely different (I refrained from saying "poles apart"). This is a recently fledged juvenile Antarctic Tern which is far more boldly patterned than Arctic Terns of a similar age. I have posted a juvenile Arctic Tern below for comparison. This was photographed at Cooper Bay on South Georgia where they breed. The scientific name of Antarctic Tern is Sterna vittata. Vittatus is a band or a ribbon and the body of this juvenile is indeed banded but vittatus can also refer to a headband so may refer to the black cap. Gmelin, who first described this species in 1789 also mentioned a white band between the black cap and the underparts, which is a feature of adult Antarctic Terns.

Tags:   Sterna vittata Antarctic Tern juvenile Cooper Bay South Georgia Tim Melling

N 56 B 2.5K C 10 E Feb 1, 2019 F Feb 22, 2019
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These Adelie Penguins looks rather pure and innocent but they provide a rare example of prostitution in the animal world. Adelie Penguins build a nest of pebbles that raises the egg off the frozen or watery ground. But pebbles are in short supply so they often steal them from neighbours. But some male Adelie Penguins don't have a mate as such. They simply guard a pile of pebbles on the edge of the colony. Passing females in search of pebbles will make themselves available for mating, then will collect a pebble afterwards, in payment for services rendered. They will then return to their “mate” guarding the nest, who is none the wiser. Sometimes females just flirt and tease the males, then take a pebble for their troubles anyway.

The name comes from Adelie Land, which in turn comes from the name of the wife of the French explorer Jules Dumont D'Urville, who discovered both Adelie Land, and these penguins back in 1840. Adelie land is a French-claimed "wedge" stretching right down to the South Pole, but on the opposite side of Antarctica to the peninsula. It was Adelie Land where the 2005 film March of the Penguins was filmed but I photographed these on Paulet Island near the tip of the Antarctic peninsula.

Tags:   Pygoscelis adeliae Adelie Penguin Paulet Island Antarctica Tim Melling

N 58 B 2.3K C 12 E Jan 28, 2019 F Feb 21, 2019
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This is a young Antarctic Fur Seal on a beach on South Georgia where about 95% of the global population breeds. Usually they are with lots of other Fur Seals, and penguins too, but I managed to photograph this one all by itself. Its scientific name Arctocephalus gazella translates as "bear head" while gazella is after the German naval vessel that collected the first specimens in 1874, from the Kerguelan Islands. Males are much bigger than females and fight to maintain a harem. The strain of competing for and maintaining a harem takes its toll and males have a shorter life expectancy.

Tags:   Arctocephalus gazella Antarctic Fur Seal South Georgia Gold Harbour Tim Melling


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