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Page 18 - Breeding Behaviour of the Grey Seal off the Coast of Cape Breton

Published by Ronald Caplan on 1972/10/31 (862 reads)

than 20 minutes. In many cases his forays to the shoreline were prompted by the appearance of another bull, and he often descended to the water's edge to meet incoming cows, A younger bull visited territory A at least twice a day. If the resident bull was in his territory, he usually spotted the younger bull either before he beached or shortly afterwards and imraediately loped off in his direction in an attempt to drive hira off. Usually the older bull was successful in discouraging the intruder; in some cases, the old bull actually followed the intruder into the sea. If the resident bull was absent, the younger bull generally took full advantage of the opportunity to visit the cows and it was obvious that they did not neces? sarily resent the intrusion. The strange bull approached a cow slowly, presumably to determine whether he would be accepted, and if she exhibited no antagonism, he then drew close enough to caress her head with his snout. On two occasions the pair engaged in a sparring match which at first' appeared agonistic but was pro? bably a form of erotic play. On one occasion the bull laid his head across her neck and the two remained motionless for almost 15 minutes. On six occasions, the resident bull returned from the sea to find the intruder in his territory and close to, or in actual contact with, one of the cows. The younger bull always spotted the old bull when he was still a hundred yards away, or more, and immediately left the cow. On four occasions, he took the shortest route to the sea in a direction opposite to that of the approaching bull. On two occasions, however, he moved in the direction of the oncoming resident bull and stood his ground. On these occasions, the old bull approached his opponent in short, rapid strides, with head lowered, stopping at intervals to glare in the direction of the opponents The younger bull stood his ground, with his head lowered, until the older bull was within 3 or 4 yards of him, whereupon he made a sudden lunge forward. At the same time the older bull sprang forward, so that the two were in close contact. The older bull then directed at his adversary's neck several savage biting at? tacks which the younger bull avoided by turning sideways. The younger bull lunged at the older bull who likewise moved sideways. This exchange of attacks continued for over 3 minutes in one case, during which time apparently no injury was sus? tained by either partner. The younger bull then turned sideways and hastened off in the opposite direction, with the older bull in pursuit. The younger bull quick? ly outstripped his opponent and plunged into the sea. The older bull pursued him for about 40 yards, paused, and rolled over completely. The typical, full roll as observed in the bulls consists of a complete turn where- Moores ElecHc Company Ltd. Furniture & Appliances Service and Office: 794-4707 Furniture and Appliances: 794-3711 67 Stanley Street North Sydney, Nova Scotia The Northside's Largest Independent Supermarket L. Rahey's Supermarket Ltd. Blowers Street, North Sydney Serving the Island of Cape Breton Since 1932 CHICKEN CHALET ItkA a outlets to serve you- Blowers St, North Sydney Sydney Shopping Centre, Prince St Sterling Road, Glace Bay CB. Shopping PJaza, Sydney River 794-3534 564-6322 849-6689 564-6646 Cape Breton's Magazine/18
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