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Entries in photography (4)


Here, have a sunset

Westmeadow Beach NY, 2006


Devil rays win! (and no, I don't mean baseball)

This fantastic picture of a huge school of devil rays (Mobula sp.) just scooped the top prize at the 2010 CIWEM Environmental Photographer of the Year competition.  According to photographer Florian Schulz, no-one in Baja California seems to remember a devil ray aggregation of this size before.  Chances are, its a breeding aggregation, since other myliobatids (like cow-nosed rays) also gather in huge numbers for that purpose.

Click the photo to see the full sized version over at the Telegraph website.


Bring a change of wetsuit, just in case...

Wouldn’t it be awesome to be a National Geographic wildlife photographer?  Yeah, I thought so too until I saw this video in which NatGeo snapper Paul Nicklen describes his prolonged encounter with a huge leopard seal that took an unusual interest in his lack of predatory skill by offeri… you know what, just watch it.


My wife and I had the good fortune to meet some leopard seals in person a couple of years back, thanks to our colleagues at Taronga Zoo.  My two take-aways from that experience were (a) that they have big scary jaws and (b) that they have unusually gentle and melodic songs.  They had two at Taronga in separated enclosures, and they sang to each other more gently and sweetly than their bulk and dentition would suggest.  Amazing animals.


A photo post from field work in Mexico

Sorry things have been a bit quiet on the blog lately.  Our field work season has reached a crescendo, with several back-to-back trips to Mexico where I and others from Georgia Aquarium are studying whale sharks that aggregate annually in the coastal waters of the Yucatan, and thats left little time for writing.  To learn more about the whale shark project, go here.  Its been a real treat lately, with hundreds of sharks feeding in the area east of Isla Contoy and Isla Mujeres.  Between the boat work, which focuses on photo cataloguing and ecological sampling, and aerial surveys, which focus on counting and distribution, we’ve been gathering a ton of data that will help shed light on why these aggregations form, and how to better protect them in the future.  Rather than write about it, I figured I’d let the pictures do some talking.  Required legalese: all these images are copyright 2010 Alistair Dove/Georgia Aquarium and may not be reproduced without permission.

Flating mats of Sargassum are home to all sorts of things. These baby jacks were seeking shelter from me and caught a red reflection off my rashguardThis is what we came for: a whale shark feeding east of the Yucatan.Any port in a storm: this tiny 2 inch barracuda was hitching a ride with a moon jelly

Most filefish live on rocky and coral reefs, but this one was vigorously defending a little bit of SargassumIts hard not to feel like the whale sharks are checking you out sometimes

Georgia Aquarium senior aquarist Marj Awai wielding the 7D and housing: stills AND HD video *drool*People are the biggest threat to whale sharks. This male had a close encounter with a boat but luckily came away with only shallow scrapes. We see deeper cuts from propellers sometimes, and utmost caution is warranted when moving among the animals.The most common view of a whale shark. Even though they seem to swim effortlessly, keeping up with them is only possible for short distances. This is the last one we’ll see until next years field work season. Adios amigo!