A Humboldt Squid expels a cloud of ink at night in the waters of Mexico’s Sea of Cortez. These animals can grow to be thirteen feet long and they feature a parrot-like beak that can remove quarter-sized chunks of flesh from their prey. The arms and tentacles of Humboldt Squid are lined with as many as 24,000 tiny ‘teeth,’ which they use to attack and hold their prey. Historically found in southern waters, Humboldt Squid have been forced northward by climate change and warming sea temperatures, with reports of Humboldt Squid sightings off of the Pacific Northwest of North America and in Alaska.
A polar bear wanders across pack ice along the floe edge in the Arctic near Navy Board Inlet, Canada. The decline of sea ice is having an incredibly adverse impact on these animals.
As a result of anthropogenic climate change, it is predicted that - within the next several years - the North Pole will be free of ice in the summer, meaning that ships will be able to pass over the pole for the first time in recorded history.
While such a trend may prove beneficial for shipping costs, such climate change threatens all of us. With each square mile of ice lost, more and more of the sun's energy becomes trapped in the atmosphere, expediting further climate change in the future.
Photo by @BrianSkerry.
A Batfish glides through the warm waters off of the Ogasawara Islands of Japan, feeding on plankton in the late day light filtering through the shallow sea. The Ogasawara Islands, 620 miles south of mainland Japan, are often referred to as the “Galápagos of the Orient” for their immense biological diversity.
This photograph is featured on the cover of my monograph - “Ocean Soul” - which includes a huge variety of stories and photographs from my adventures underwater. Follow the link in my bio to pick up a copy!
Photo by @BrianSkerry.
Two Oceanic Whitetip Sharks near the surface in The Bahamas; one of the few locations left where these animals can be found. Oceanic Whitetip populations have been decimated due to the demand for their fins, which are prized for shark fin soup. Like the American Bison, an animal that was once abundant and then hunted to the brink, only a fraction of Oceanic Whitetip shark populations remain today. Their numbers have declined 93% between 1995 and 2010 alone. Recovery will be difficult, because they reach sexual maturity only by age 7 and have small litters of pups every one to two years.
Living in the pelagic zone - the open ocean - Oceanic Whitetips are shaped like aircraft, with long pectoral fins that allow them to glide efficiently over long distances, expending little energy.
Today is the last day to purchase signed prints from @natgeocreative’s Flash Sale. Click on the link in my profile to see the full collection of globetrotting prints available for $100.
In the photo that I contributed to the sale, a California Sea Lion investigates a drifting kelp paddy teeming with fish in the waters of Cortes Banks, located 100-miles off San Diego, California. Giant kelp frequently breaks free of the sea floor and gathers in ‘paddies’ that drift on the surface, attracting marine life. Cortes Banks is an underwater mountain range that has created a unique habitat of kelp forest and surf grass on the bottom of the ocean and has enabled a variety of pelagic marine life to thrive in the water above.
Visit the link in my profile to see the full collection of images. Remember, the sale ends at midnight tonight. #california#sea#lion#cortes#banks#san#diego#underwater#photography#national#geographic#photooftheday#nat#geo#flashsale#sale
Photos by @amivitale, @franslanting and @ronan_donovan. In honor of Earth Day, signed prints of Earth’s wildlife and wild places from @natgeocreative photographers are on sale now. Visit the link in my profile to see the full collection of images. Sale ends at midnight on April 28th.
Live today! I’m pleased to announce that my photo of a California Sea Lion, created in the waters of Cortes Banks, is a part of the @natgeocreative’s Flash Sale of collectible prints that capture wildlife and wild places from April 20th-28th. Visit the link in my profile to see all the signed prints on sale for just $100.
Cortes Banks is an underwater mountain range that has created a unique habitat of kelp forest and surf grass on the bottom of the ocean and has enabled a variety of pelagic marine life to thrive in the water above.
Photo by @BrianSkerry
Saturday April 14th is #NationalDolphinDay! This photograph shows a large pod of spinner dolphins socializing while swimming over a white sand bottom in the waters of Oahu, Hawaii. I was freediving to depths of 60-feet to make pictures of these animals. The water was warm and blue and being in the presence of these dolphins was hypnotic. Spinner dolphins are among the most social of dolphin species and are almost always seen in larger groups. Dolphins have the second largest brain relative to body size in the animal kingdom, after humans, but their world is vastly different than our own. Dolphins see much of their world acoustically, using echolocation (sonar) to determine objects and distances. When they sleep, they keep half of their brain awake, because they are voluntary breathers and also must remain vigilant for predators. But what else are they doing with those big brains in the sea? In the time ahead, perhaps these answers will be revealed.
Photographed on assignment for @natgeo with a Nikon D4 camera and 17-35mm lens. Photograph made under NMFS permit #17941 #dolphins#hawaii#underwater#nikonlove#nikonnofilter#nikonambassador@nikonusa@hecsaquatic
Photo by @BrianSkerry
Tomorrow, April 10th, I will be doing an Instagram Live event at 12pm EST. I will be at the headquarters of the @conservationlawfoundation and talking about the plight of the North Atlantic Right Whale - a species on the brink of extinction. I’ll be joining Dr. Scott Kraus with the @newenglandaquarium , a leading right whale researcher working on solutions to save this species. Please check out this event here on my Instagram feed!
This photo shows a Southern Right Whale hovering inches above the sea floor in New Zealand’s sub-antarctic waters. About a million years ago there was once species of Right Whale on Earth. But as land masses moved and oceans became separated, the right whales became separated too. Both species were hunted to the brink of extinction by early whalers, but the Southern Right Whales recovered better following protection, because they live further away from industrialization. The North Atlantic Right Whales are urban animals and live from Canada’s Bay of Fundy to Florida. In these regions they become entangled in fishing gear and often die. They also get hit by ships. Last year (2017) 17 North Atlantic Right Whales were lost.
A lobster crawls over the rocky sea floor near Hook Head Light in County Wexford, Ireland. According to legend, the saying ‘By Hook or by Crook’ is derived from this location. Oliver Cromwell, the English military leader, proposed to invade Ireland during the English Civil War by way of the village of Crooke - in Waterford - or from Hook Head in Wexford.
Ireland is a frequently photographed place, with ‘forty shades of green,’ beautiful landscapes, and charming towns. But Ireland under the sea is equally beautiful, with a stunning variety of marine life, ranging from marine mammals and fish to colorful invertebrates.
A pair of Indo-Pacific Bottlenose dolphins swim through the temperate waters near Jeju Island, South Korea. Three dolphins from this pod were illegally captured several years ago and kept in captivity in a zoo. In 2013 the captive animals were re-wilded and released off Jeju, where they returned to their birth pod and are now doing well. On Tuesday, South Korea banned the importation of dolphins from Taiji, Japan; the location where dolphins are captured for use in captivity or are slaughtered. Although this does not mean that captive dolphins are prohibited in South Korea, such a ban should help reduce the number of captive dolphins, as approximately 70% of the country’s captive dolphins have come from Taiji.