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Life and Death in the Antarctic

Seascape with killer whales and seals
Description: Painting, Watercolor on Paper; by Standish Backus; 1956; Unframed Dimensions 22H X 30W
Accession #: 88-186-AX
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The preponderance of life in the Antarctic seems quite overwhelming, literally. All of it exists in or is dependent on the sea. The predations that normally occur even among the mammals, highest order on the scale of life, greatly impressed this observer. Here a seal, having sensed the approach of a pack of killer whales, fiercest animals on earth, seeks doubtful refuge on a rotting bergy bit, or ice fragment. The tall triangular dorsal fin of the leading bull whales is a symbol of fear, the sign of the sinister that one cannot avoid anywhere in the far south."--Commander Standish Backus

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