A young Cape fur seal dives amongst a smack of Box jellyfish in South Africa's Table Mountain Marine Reserve. Fortunately this species of box jelly (Carybdea branchi) is nowhere near as virulent as its sometimes deadly Australian relative Chironex fleckeri. A sting will still hurt, but is unlikely to kill you. Nonetheless I covered myself head to toe to make this image. Photograph from my @natgeo story Cross Currents about southern Africa's marine protected areas. #oceans#marinereserves#southafrica@thephotosociety@natgeocreative
It’s been almost five years since I began my “Animals Surfing Underwater” series and it was these Indo-Pacific Bottlenose dolphins in southern Mozambique that were some of my first subjects. Since I have been fortunate enough to add surfing seals, sharks, whales, penguins, marine iguanas, turtles and even mantas to that collection. Have any of you ever seen animals surfing? If so please share your experiences with all of us in the comments below.
I lived in the Galápagos Islands for six months while shooting my June 2017 @natgeo magazine story ‘Life in the Balance’ Chronic low grade feelings of missing home are just part of the National Geographic photographer lifestyle and over the years I have made peace with them. Every once in a while however I become overwhelmed by acute homesickness. This time it was triggered watching a juvenile sea lion play incessantly with a stick. This scene simply reminded me too much of my dogs playing back home at the southern tip of Africa #home#dog#seadogs@natgeocreative
In the Galápagos some groups of sea lions have learned how to hunt yellowfin tuna. In small bands they intercept the schools and herd the fish into narrow convoluted bays. There the sea lions drive them into crevices or push them onto rocky shores where they dispatch the fish with a bite to the head. Shot on assignment for @natgeo magazine in 2016. Check out the June 2017 issue of @natgeo magazine for my story on Galápagos. In collaboration with @parquegalapagos@darwinfound@fonassociation@pelayosalinas#galapagosislands
Mercury is probably the only island in the Benguela Current Large Marine Ecosystem where African penguins are not in steep decline. Situated off Namibia’s desert coast Mercury is the centerpiece of the Namib Islands Marine Protected Area. Every morning penguins descend to the ocean from their sleeping sites on the island’s pyramid shaped summit. Some climb cautiously while others leap and slide down to sea level. The individual in this image is moulting, replacing all its feathers once a year to remain well protected from the cold waters of the South Atlantic. @natgeo@natgeocreative
It’s that time of month again when I feature the work of a emerging photographer who I think all of you might be interested in following on Instagram. This week I want to spotlight the work of the very talented Justin Gilligan @justingilligan He specializes in telling conservation stories about the oceans of his native Australia. So please show @justingilligan some love, follow him and learn more about his inspiring work.
While not as severe as predicted, the 2016 El Niño extreme climate event in the Galapagos left many marine iguanas hungry. Warmer ocean temperatures lead to a reduction in nutritious cold water algae (the primary food source), resulting in some marine iguana populations becoming skinnier than usual. Fortunately colder waters returned sooner than anticipated and a mass marine iguana die off was everted this time. Shot on assignment for @natgeo@natgeocreative in collaboration with @parquegalapagos and @darwinfound
A orca tail slaps the ocean’s surface after killing a large green sea turtle. Frigate birds are in close attendance hoping to snatch bits and pieces from the carcass. They appeared especially interested in scavenging parts of the turtle’s stomach and intestines. As far as I know the remote western reaches of the Galapagos are the only place in the world where orcas regularly hunt sea turtles. It was quite a wild and primal experience to observe the entire hunt from our tiny zodiac. Shot on assignment for @NatGeo in collaboration with @darwinfound@parquegalapagos@pelayosalinas
“Return of Robomanta” A oceanic manta ascends from the deep still wearing @natgeo Crittercam, a miniaturized video system that records scenes from the animal’s POV. It temporarily attaches to the manta’s skin with a suction cup and is programmed to detach after a set period of time. Shot on assignment for @natgeo magazine in the Revillagigedo archipelago #Mexico with scientists from @mantatrust and @maresmexicanos
Humpback whales feed on a school of herring. The whales release a circular curtain of bubbles beneath the fish which traps and pushes them upwards. The whales follow the fish and breach the surface with open mouths. The humpback whale population in the the seas off Canada's Great Bear Rainforest is unique in that they also sing at their feeding grounds. Photograph made in #Gitga’at territory #whales#herring#canada#greatbear Please follow @pacificwild and @bcwhales for more photographs and stories