Life in Antarctica may be difficult, so having a close companion with whom to share a joke is beneficial.
In these photos taken by Canadian instructor Jean-Francois Hic, an elephant seal, and his young Gentoo penguin pal appear to be getting along like a house on fire.
Mr Hic captured these photographs of the two creatures, both youngsters, while on vacation on Livingston Island, just off the Antarctic Peninsula.
Young Gentoo penguins are occasionally eaten by leopard seals, but elephant seals are not among their predators, explaining their friendly connection.
The southern elephant seal may be seen behind the Gentoo penguin as if listening to a joke. Jean-Francois Hic, a classical French instructor, shot these photos while on vacation in Antarctica.
The seal looks to be giggling at the penguin’s wisecrack in the second shot.
The penguin turns away as the seal opens his lips. Is he embarrassed or merely avoiding the seal’s halitosis?
The penguin eventually returns to his friend. Seals and penguins’ relationships have recently become closer, if not a little too hot. In recent years, the journal Polar Biology has reported multiple cases of fur seals attempting to ma.te with king penguins in Antarctica.