Feature Stories

93 Days of Spring by Jim Brandenburg
27 Sep 2016 12:00 am
93 files
Beginning on the vernal equinox and ending on the day before summer solstice Jim Brandenburg captured one photograph a day to document springtime in Minnesota - we have arranged the photos chronologically in this gallery. All images were made in the state's four ecological zones: tallgrass aspen parkland, prairie grassland, deciduous forest and coniferous forest. Wildlife and quiet landscapes spanning the season are portrayed in Jim's signature minimalist style.~This photo essay appeared in its entirety in the April 2016 National Geographic Magazine
Adelie Penguins
by Tui De Roy
25 Oct 2015 12:00 am
112 files
Living in a shrinking world these diminutive Adelie penguins - endearingly named after the wife of 19th century French explorer Dumont D'Urville - are at ease in the Ross Sea, some 2500 kms due south of New Zealand. It is a testament to their superb insulation and metabolic adaptations that they can survive in seas whose temperatures remain at a constant minus 1.8 degrees C year round. These adaptive birds live, breed and feed amid the sea ice.~~Text by Tui De Roy.
African Lion Cubs
by Suzi Eszterhas
25 Oct 2015 11:55 am
66 files
Suzi has made a name for herself capturing the delicate family relationships of wild animals. She spends much of her time in Kenya's Masai Mara where she worked with an African Lion pride with a number of cubs.We are looking at this material as a "Day in the Life of a Lion Cub" - cute portraits for covers, playing with siblings, interacting with dad, exploring their surroundings, nursing, being carried by mom and finally sleepy shots at the end of the day.
African Wild Dogs
by Suzi Eszterhas
25 Oct 2015 12:00 am
123 files
Considered the second most endangered carnivore in Africa with an estimated 5,500 individuals on the whole continent Wild Dogs are the focus of Suzi Eszterhas' most recent shoot. She has captured rare images of these dogs hunting and taking down prey, pack social interactions and a litter of pups from early emergence from the den to learning pack hierarchy and play behavior.~~African wild dogs are some of the most accomplished hunters in the animal kingdom. Interestingly scientists have discovered that they have two hunting strategies. Packs living in the open plains areas hunt in packs cooperatively, with an 80% success rate. Working together they can bring down animals five times their size. But packs that live in more wooded areas often spread out when hunting and pursue prey alone. These dogs go after a lot of different prey, using short bursts of speed to run them down. In these hunts, they are successful less than 16% of the time. But they are usually hunting animals like impala which are too much for one wild dog to eat, so food sharing helps make up for inefficient hunting. Wild dogs are endangered and scientists think that this latter strategy is helping the species survive.
Alaskan Brown Bears
by Michio Hoshino
25 Oct 2015 11:55 am
109 files
A mother grizzly and her two cubs gorge on berries as the autumn chill sets the tundra afire with brilliant hues of gold and crimson. As it lunges upstream, a huge salmon is plucked from the air by the jaws of a famished bear. Two males fight over rights to fish a particularly abundant stretch of stream. Michio Hoshino spent more than a decade working with grizzlies in the wilds of Alaska and in this coverage shares with us some intimate views of this unpredictable and fearsome carnivore.
Amazon River Dolphins
by Kevin Schafer
25 Oct 2015 11:55 am
74 files
South America hosts the largest of the world's river dolphins, the Amazon River Dolphin or as they are locally known, Boto. Kevin Schafer travels to the Amazon basin of Brazil to document these rare and intelligent animals that are perfectly adapted to live in the silted waters of the Rio Negro using high-frequency sonar to navigate their murky world. He captures the animals during the rainy season when forests flood allowing these animals to forage among trees and plains outside their usual habitats where they play, display and feed. In addition, working with a team of researchers Kevin took part in a capture and tagging project in the Mamiraua Reserve from which the majority of current Boto information is gleaned.
Amazon's Giant Arapaima
25 Oct 2015 11:55 am
23 files
The Amazon Basin's Arapaima, one of the largest freshwater fish in the world reaching ten feet long and weighing up to 400 pounds, were once abundant in the lakes and ponds of the Rupunuini in Guyana. In the 1970s harvesting of this species began in earnest leading to such a dramatic decline in numbers that by 2001 there were fewer than 1000 individuals in the entire region. A 2014 study by Virginia Tech's College of Natural Resources and Environment found that the fish has become extinct in some regions due to overfishing. The good news is that in 27% of the communities have established management rules for fishing the arapaima; the density of the fish in these areas is 100 times higher than in regions where no rules are followed or regulations are ignored. Pete Oxford has documented such a success story where an average of 17% annual population increase has been achieved in a properly managed area.
American Prairie
by Jim Brandenburg
25 Oct 2015 11:55 am
97 files
Wind rippling through a vast grassland; a thundering herd of bison; an endless carpet of multi-colored blossoms swaying in the breeze - these are enduring symbols of the North American prairie. Today only scatttered patches remain of a sea of tall and short grass prairie that once stretched across the Great Plains from Texas to Saskatchewan. Jim Brandenburg shares his vision of the ecosystem Walt Whitman called 'North America's characteristic landscape.'
Andean Condors
by Tui De Roy and Mark Jones
25 Oct 2015 11:55 am
56 files
Vertigo and wildlife photography do not mix-at least not if you are photographing the Andean condor, the world's heaviest flying bird. One place the condors still soar is Peru's Colca Canyon, a gorge twice as deep as Arizona's Grand Canyon. To catch the birds on film Mark Jones and Tui De Roy rappelled down the canyon's cliff sides or perched like spiders above sheer drop-offs.~~Text by Tui De Roy.
Andean Flamingo
by Tui De Roy
25 Oct 2015 11:55 am
28 files
Tui travels to the Bolivian Altiplano where expansive alien landscapes and delicate pink flamingoes incongruently mingle. In the region's high-altitude lakes microscopic life thrives. Upon this prolific algae bloom feast the worlds largest population of rare James, or Puna, flamingoes. Fine strainers in their beaks filter out the minute organisms, whose red pigment reappears in the birds crimson plumage.Text by Tui De Roy.
Animal Architecture
by Ingo Arndt
25 Oct 2015 11:55 am
193 files
From the intricate 'love nests' of Guinean Bower Birds to the towering nests constructed by Australian termites Ingo Arndt documents the delicate and ingenious shelters animals build to protect themselves and their young. Baya weaver birds clip of long blades of grass to weave together a nest so strong they are waterproof and can withstand intense tropical storms - the birds even build 'practice nests' for juveniles to experiment on. With just silk pebbles and shells caddis fly larvae create protective receptacles into which they can escape in case of danger. Honeybees generate their own building materials. Each worker bee has eight glands that secrete wax onto its abdomen which the bees use to build their honeycombs. Animal Architecture has been released into Germany with great success; in April of 2014 and English language version will be available.
Animal Athletes
25 Oct 2015 11:55 am
12 files
It's the season of athletic competition and we wish to honor some of the world's animal athletes. Click on the image above to see wildlife in motion including critters fencing, wrestling, weight lifting and even playing their version of water polo!
Animal Feet
25 Oct 2015 11:55 am
48 files
Arndt won third place in the World Press Photo Awards 2005 for his revealing photographic study of animal feet, commissioned by GEO magazine. Ingo's photos of the underside of different animal feet reveal nature's perfect adaptations to their owner's varying life styles from the gecko's adhesive discs which enable it to to climb smooth vertical surfaces to the the sloth's hook-like claws which let it climb and hang from branches.
Anja Reserve: Ring-tail Lemur Haven * NEW *
by Cyril RUoso
11 Sep 2020 12:00 am
83 files
In a country where over exploitation of the land is rampant the Anja Community Reserve is a bright example of pragmatic community-based conservation. Created in 1999 this small Madagascar nature reserve was imagined by a group of locals working with alongside the national forest service. The plan for the six participating villages was simple: protect the habitat and wildlife which will benefit the environment and attract ecotourists providing income and employment to the local community. Farmers were relocated, reforestation with native tree species was begun and an environmental education program was instituted.~~Previous to the effort local forest lands were being cleared using slash and burn techniques for corn planting which lead to erosion and loss of water retention in the soil. Loss of land productivity and low agricultural yields drove the locals to hunt lemurs as a source of protein - animals were also caught and sold to the illegal pet trade. By the early 1990s it is estimated that fewer than 100 lemurs inhabited the devestated forests in the Anja area - the environment was destroyed. Having established this protected area the locals have turned the tides and the Reserve is home to the highest concentration of Ring-tailed Lemurs (locally called Maki) on the island country and they are the star attractions for visitors with over 400 individuals.~~Association Anja Miray, a local group established in response to the degradation of the forest, maintains and protects the reserve. The association's ecotourism initiative helps to fund community works projects related to education and health alongside conservation activities. With income generated by entry fees to the Reserve and the sale of handmade items the community was able to build two schools and cover the teachers' salaries the first year. The growth of ecotourism has also helped to diversify the local economy of 2,500 community members, encouraging fish farming and tree nurseries. Since visitors must hire a guide to escort them into the Reserve locals gain important jobs and revenue from the ecotourists.
Ant Superorganism
by Mark Moffett
25 Oct 2015 11:55 am
60 files
Ants, like people, live in groups of millions but unlike us, individuals don't pursue their own goals. Their colonies function as one organism, working together to build enormous civilizations right beneath our feet. Mark takes us among the complex culture where ants work together to tend their young, hunt and collection food for the group, fight of intruders and construct elaborate homes.
Antarctic Orcas
by Norbert Wu
25 Oct 2015 11:55 am
27 files
In Antarctica's summer the McMurdo Sound sea ice splits and Adelie penguins gather on the edges. These openings allow Orca pods to hunt and travel amid the thick ice. Norbert Wu documents above and underwater images of these sturdy Antarctic hunters.
by Tui De Roy
25 Oct 2015 11:55 am
18 files
Throughout the warm grassy plains of Central and South America roams one of the strangest mammals the world has ever known. As large as a German shepherd but with a brain not much bigger than a pea; a curved, tapering, tubular snout and a tiny puckered mouth with no teeth; a body temperature set colder than all other mammals at less than 90F; and an exclusive appetite for ants and termites, which it devours by the tens of thousands - these are just a few of the startling traits of this other-worldly beast.Text by Tui De Roy.
by Heidi and Hans-Jurgen Koch
25 Oct 2015 11:55 am
43 files
Heidi and Hans-Jurgen Koch bring us a new story featuring the intricate social patterns, aggressive hunting tactics and impressive nest building capabilities of ants.
Ants & Plants 1: Partnerships
by Dr. Mark W. Moffett
25 Oct 2015 12:00 am
10 files
Ants and plants have developed many curious relationships - pitcher plants that accomodate complete ant colonies, ant debris composting to nourish a fern, ants planting seeds to sprout Ant Gardens. Either way the interaction tends to be beneficial in the long term to both ant and plant- a symbiotic relationship that ecologists call mutualism.
Ants & Plants 2: Friends and Foes
by Dr. Mark W. Moffett
25 Oct 2015 11:55 am
13 files
Ants and plants have developed many curious relationships - animals pollinating flowers, protecting plants in return for nourishing sap, fending off flies that attack sunflower embryos - all in exchange for room and board.Either way the interaction tends to be beneficial in the long term to both ant and plant- a symbiotic relationship that ecologists call mutualism.
Ants & Plants 3: Tree Fortresses
Dr. Mark W. Moffett
25 Oct 2015 11:55 am
76 files
Ants and plants have developed many curious relationships, some positive, some negative. Extreme examples occur with tropical plants called myrmecophytes, or ant plants, which provide their insect guests with housing and often food. Many of these ant plants are vines or other types of tree-top vegetation, but in the examples shown here, the hosts are the trees and shrubs themselves. Dr. Mark W. Moffett explored, documented, and marveled at whole groves of ant trees in Brazil and Borneo, in areas where biting and stinging ants are the true lords of the jungle.Often the ants' behaviors can be interpreted as self-serving: The worker killing eggs gets a meal; the one gnawing vines destroys a route that might be used by invading enemies. In other cases workers defend particular part of the pant that affects their tree's long-term health and reproductive ability with no apparent immediate benefits to the ants.Either way the interaction tends to be beneficial in the long term to both ant and plant- a symbiotic relationship that ecologists call mutualism. But as I will show you, sometimes this relationship breaks down, as when parasitic ants seize control of a tree.
Arctic Wolf
by Jim Brandenburg
25 Oct 2015 12:00 am
154 files
A lone arctic wolf, illuminated by a ray of sunlight, sits atop a deep blue iceberg surveying its territory. In a carefully choreographed chase, a pack of white wolves pursue a herd of musk oxen across the dusty tundra. On a brightly lit snowfield, two adult wolves engage in lighthearted play. Jim Brandenburg traveled to the high arctic of Ellesmere Island to live with and become accepted by a pack of arctic wolves. This spectacular coverage presents the story of their lives. This timeless photo essay originally was featured in the May 1987 National Geographic Magazine~~Text available by Jim Brandenburg
by Heidi and Hans-Jurgen Koch
25 Oct 2015 11:55 am
82 files
When it comes to bizarre mammals on this planet, the nine-banded Armadillo is a very serious candidate. It looks strange, prehistoric in a way, a creature from a different age. In 1995 Texas named the Armadillo the Official State Mammal - an armor-plated icon of survival and adaptability.Text by Heidi and Hans-Jurgen Koch
Army Ants
by Dr. Mark W. Moffett
25 Oct 2015 11:55 am
65 files
Dr. Moffett's in-depth look into the ranks of Panama's aggressive ants uncovers massive bivouacs, acrobatics, intraspecies battles, piercing mandibles and extensive relocation projects.Text by Dr. Mark W. Moffett
Atlantic Forest
by Dr. Mark W. Moffett
25 Oct 2015 11:55 am
96 files
A biodiverstiy hotspot, the Atlantic Forest or Mata Atlantica, covering a mere 38,000 square miles of its original 520,000 square miles is just a remnant of its original size. In spite of the fact that the majority of the Atlantic forest exists only in isolated patches, it still boasts one of the highest levels of biodiversity and endemism in the world. Unfortunately, small patches of forest may not be enough to sustain populations of the various endemic plants and wildlife.Text by Dr. Mark W. Moffett.
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