Immediate report on the Victoria University of Wellington Antarctic Expedition 1959-60: VUWAE 3
All expeditions into the "dry-valleys" have found the carcases of sub-fossil seals from the coast to areas far inland, and this expedition was no exception. Seals were discovered over the whole length of the Victoria Dry Valley system, up to 45 miles inland near the head of Balham Valley and within a few miles of the inland ice. Twenty six seals were found, most of them on the floors of the valleys, although one was on a saddle at 2100 feet. They usually occur on moraines, on outwash or river-laid gravels or basement rock, under conditions which preclude their deposition by retreating glaciers. The available evidence supports the views held by R.E. Barwick (V.U.W.A.E., 1958-59): that the seals have travelled into the area over a long period of time, that they travelled over present-day terrain, and that they have remained undisturbed since page 10 death, the condition of the carcases varies greatly from single disarticulated bones to well-preserved whole animals with skin and hair attached. Only 8 of the 26 seals found were sufficiently well preserved to allow identification of species: four were Crabeater and four were Weddell seals. Several carcases at different degrees of preservation were brought back for C. 14 dating.