Wild Things: Piranhas, Nazca Boobies, Glowing Millipedes | Science | Smithsonian
Current Issue
October 2014 magazine cover
Subscribe

Save 81% off the newsstand price!

Big Southern elephant seal bulls (Mirounga leonina) fighting for females on beach during breeding season in spring. (© Momatiuk - Eastcott / Corbis)

Wild Things: Piranhas, Nazca Boobies, Glowing Millipedes

Elephant Seals, Neanderthal evolution and more news from the world of science

Freedom At Sea

Big Southern elephant seal bulls
(© Momatiuk - Eastcott / Corbis)
Among southern elephant seals, four-ton alpha males lord over harems ashore and block other males from mating with the hundreds of females. But P.J.N. de Bruyn of the University of Pretoria has found that the top seal’s control is not ironclad: The timing of pregnancy indicates some females mate at sea, possibly escaping the alpha.

Comment on this Story

comments powered by Disqus