Seals Fighting or Mating?

Territory disputes and the sex lives of animals are as varied as a random number generator, spitting out calculations.   Battles and love making can be gruesome, shocking, beautiful, violent and totally bizarre. I’ve watched male kingfishers repeatedly bash themselves on glass windows till their heads were bloody, their bodies swaying from lack of consciousness, trying to defend their territory against an intruder who “never went away”.  Lovable dolphins are freaky sex addicts, birds dance together like they’re in the finals of Dancing with the Stars, numerous female insects devour and eat their partners, while banana slugs have a penis the length of their body and after mating, chew it off.  I have yet to discover the behavior style of harbor seals in either case – weak fighters or kinky sadists.

While searching for wolves the other day, I spotted some unusual splashing and boated over for a closer look.  I found these harbor seals either battling it out or having an intimate moment.  Face biting and neck grabbing hold-downs aren’t exactly my notions of romantic pleasure, but everyone has their unique perspective.  What do you think?  Are these seals in a fighting match or making babies?

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