Amazing footage has captured the moment an elephant seal gives birth on a beach in Argentina.
The video quickly shows that the mother is experiencing contractions as she writhes on a pebble beach in the Valdes Peninsula.
When her nostrils flare and her eyes open and close, the puppy fully emerges in less than two minutes.
The black pup can be seen twirling around hesitantly while the mother turns and yelps at her newborn before the two lie side by side on the pebbled beach.
The stunning footage was captured by dentist and photographer Federico Lombardi, 52, who posted it to his Instagram page.
It has been viewed nearly 10,000 times.
Mr. Lombardi said: ‘I live about 1,300 kilometers (808 miles) from the Valdes Peninsula, the UNESCO World Heritage Site where the event took place.
‘I go there three or four times a year to photograph and film the different animals, depending on the time of year, found in different parts of the peninsula.’
Lombardi filmed the clip at a peninsula reserve in Chubut province.
‘It’s not a place accessible to the public,’ he said.
Lombardi was about 50 meters (164 feet) away from the herd of elephant seals when he and his government employees spotted a female about to give birth.
‘I quickly assembled my equipment and decided to film rather than take pictures. I really didn’t realize what I was filming until I saw it a few hours later. I couldn’t believe it! ‘
According to Lombardi, female elephant seals give birth in September after a year-long pregnancy period.
The pup is born weighing about 40 kg (88 lbs) and becomes independent from its mother after 25 days.
A few days after giving birth, the female can become pregnant again.
Mr. Lombardi said: ‘The males arrived at the end of August weighing 4 tonnes, and after two months of intense activity (copulation, fighting, etc.), they returned to the sea with half their weight.
‘They can reach depths of 1,500 meters (0.9 miles), although the average is 700 meters (0.4 miles).
‘In the Valdes peninsula, there are about 30,000 elephant seals during this period, which is mating season.’
Elephant seals (Mirounga) were hunted to the brink of extinction in the late 19th century, but their numbers have since recovered.
Today, both the northern elephant seal (Mirounga angustirostris) and the southern elephant seal (Mirounga leonina) are classified by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) as of least concern.