Part Two of these beautiful wildlife photos
I am still proclaiming that these are the most beautiful wildlife photographs you have ever seen.
To ensure that copyright ownership is presented correctly, I shall be including the text that comes with the photographs.
These beautiful photos speak loud and clear for wildlife
ANGELA NELSON, October 19, 2017
Andrey Narchuk of Russia didn’t intend to photograph sea angels on the day he snapped this shot in the Sea of Okhotsk in the Russian Far East. He tells the museum he was on an expedition to photograph salmon, but when he jumped into the water, he found himself surrounded by mating sea angels. So he switched to his macro equipment and started photographing the pairs of tiny molluscs, which are just over an inch long.
“Each individual is both male and female, and here they are getting ready to insert their copulatory organs into each other to transfer sperm in synchrony,” according to the museum. “One is slightly smaller than the other, as was the case with most of the couples Andrey observed, and they remained joined for 20 minutes.”
Another finalist in the 11- to 14-year-old age group is ‘Glimpse of a lynx” by Laura Albiac Vilas of Spain. The Iberian lynx is an endangered cat found only in southern Spain. Vilas and her family traveled to the Sierra de Andújar Natural Park in search of the lynx, and got lucky on the second day when they found a pair near a road.
She told the museum that many photographers were present, but there was an atmosphere of respect as the only sound was the camera noise when the animals looked in their direction. “The animals’ attitude surprised me. They weren’t scared of people, they simply ignored us,” says Vilas. “I felt so emotional to be so close to them.”
Talk about texture. David Lloyd of New Zealand and the U.K. snapped this shot of an elephant in Kenya’s Maasai Mara National Reserve during the herd’s evening trek to a waterhole.
“As they got closer to his vehicle, he could see that the mellow light from the fast-setting sun was emphasizing every wrinkle and hair… He could see the different qualities of different parts of their — the deep ridges of their trunks, the mud-caked ears and the patina of dried dirt on their tusks,” according to the museum.
This was the female leading about a dozen others. Lloyd says she was probably the matriarch and he describes her gaze as “full of respect and intelligence — the essence of sentience.”
Saguaro cacti in Arizona’s Sonoran Desert National Monument fill the frame of ‘Saguaro twist’ by American Jack Dykinga, landing him a spot as a finalist in the Plants and Fungi category. These cacti can live to be 200 years old and grow 40 feet tall, though they grow very slowly and not always straight up.
The museum describes how Dykinga got this particular shot:
Most water is stored in sponge-like tissue, defended by hard external spines and a waxy-coated skin to reduce water loss. The surface pleats expand like accordions as the cactus swells, its burgeoning weight supported by woody ribs running along the folds. But the saturated limbs are vulnerable to hard frost – their flesh may freeze and crack, while the mighty arms twist down under their loads. A lifetime of searching out victims near his desert home led Jack to know several that promised interesting compositions. ‘This one allowed me to get right inside its limbs,’ he says. As the gentle dawn light bathed the saguaro’s contorted form, Jack’s wide angle revealed its furrowed arms, perfectly framing its neighbours before the distant Sand Tank Mountains.
This captivating image, which is a finalist for the Wildlife Photojournalist Award: Single Image category, has a sad backstory.
This 6-month-old Sumatran tiger cub got a hind leg caught in a snare set in a rainforest in Aceh Province on the Indonesian island of Sumatra. He was found during an anti-poaching forest patrol, but the leg was so badly injured that doctors had to amputate. And while he’s lucky to be alive, the cub will spend the rest of his life in a zoo.
In the wild, the Sumatran tiger population may be as low as 400 to 500 individuals, the result of poaching to fuel the illegal trade in tiger parts, the museum says.
Justin Hofman of the United States traveled to a reef near Sumbawa Island, Indonesia, to snap “Sewage surfer,” another finalist in the Wildlife Photojournalist Award: Single Image category.
Seahorses hitch rides on the currents by grabbing floating objects such as seaweed with their delicate prehensile tails, the museum explains. Hofman says he watched with delight as this tiny seahorse “almost hopped” from one bit of natural debris to the next. However, when the tide started to come in, so did other things, like bits of plastic, sewage and sludge. Soon, the seahorse was surfing the waves on a waterlogged cotton swab.
With echoes of “Finding Nemo,” “The insiders” by Qing Lin of China is a finalist in the Under Water category.
Lin noticed something strange about this group of anemonefish while diving in the Lembeh Strait in North Sulawesi, Indonesia. Each one had an “extra pair of eyes inside its mouth — those of a parasitic isopod (a crustacean related to woodlice),” the museum explains. “An isopod enters a fish as a larva, via its gills, moves to the fish’s mouth and attaches with its legs to the base of the tongue. As the parasite sucks its host’s blood, the tongue withers, leaving the isopod attached in its place, where it may remain for several years.”
It took patience and luck to snap a photo of these quick, unpredictable fish to line up just right.
Photographer Mats Andersson of Sweden tells the Natural History Museum that he walks every day in the forest near his home, often stopping to watch the red squirrels foraging in the spruce trees. Winter is tough on animals, and though many squirrels hibernate, red squirrels do not.
Their winter survival is linked to a good crop of spruce cones, the museum says, and they prefer woodland with conifers. They also store food to help get them through the winter.
One cold February morning, this red squirrel “closed its eyes for just a moment, paws together, fur fluffed, then resumed its search for food,” according to the museum.
What an incredible standard of excellence by so many photographers.
You all have a very good week!