In 1991 South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands issued a set of stamps showing elephant seals - SG 203-208. These colossal animals can hold their breath underwater for longer than any other mammals except those of the whale family - for up to some 100 minutes. Elephant seal fossils have been found from the Miocene (some 23 million to 5 million years ago). The bulls grow typically to some 16 foot, and weigh some 6600 lbs (3000 kilos); the smaller cows, to some 10 foot, weight around 2000 lbs (over 900 kilos). Much bigger males have been observed. They were hunted close to extinction for their blubber in the 19th century, but populations have recovered. The bulls are very territorial, and fights between them are common. Here is the lowest denomination stamp from the set, showing two bulls fighting.
Finally, a tussock bird looking at the face of a young bull elephant seal, apparently for food, according to the Stanley Gibbons catalogue. The tussock bird feeds on small invertebrates and forages among carrion and the leavings of humans, seabirds and other animals.
The leopard seal from the 1987 Falkland Islands set of seals. This is one of the largest seals: it can be up to some 11.7 feet (3.5 metres) long and weigh up to something over 1300 lbs (600 kg). Leopard seals sometimes attack humans.
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