Readers’ wildlife photos (and video)

November 28, 2020 • 8:00 am

The photo tank is inexorably draining, so please send in your good wildlife photos.

We have three contributors today, the first being John Crisp, who sent a video:

Here’s a short video of family interactions between gorillas I was fortunate enough to capture four years ago in the Rwandan highlands. Personally, I find the commentary by the guide a little irritating, because I don’t think it is correct, but I could be wrong.

These photos are from John Egloff:

My wife, Cindy, and I live in Carmel, Indiana, just north of Indianapolis.  We are both attorneys – Cindy works for the state of Indiana and I am a business lawyer in private practice.

We have been long-time fans and have both of your books. Cindy even got you to autograph her copy of “Why Evolution is True” (along with a cat drawing) when she traveled to Purdue University several years ago to attend your lecture there.  We read your website religiously (pun intended) and I often post comments under the name “JohnE”.

Cindy and I are also big fans of our national parks, and over a two-week period early last fall we visited Arches, Canyonlands, Capitol Reef and Zion National Parks.   I’ve attached several of the wildlife photos we took at Zion (I hope the total size of the files isn’t too big for the email).  The photos are labeled with my best guess as to the scientific names of the various critters.  The photos of the condor and her chick (which include a photo of the mother feeding the chick) were taken at quite a distance, so they are a bit grainy.

California condors (Gymnogyps californianus):

Cicindelinae (tiger beetle):

Mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus):

Prickly pear (Opuntia):

Bighorn sheep (Ovis canadensis):

Cindy and John: 

From Robert Lang, who calls this “a kitty from Botswana” [Panthera leo]


6 thoughts on “Readers’ wildlife photos (and video)

  1. California condors (Gymnogyps californianus):

    How closely related are condors and vultures? Or is the resemblence just a recurrent set of linked characteristics due to a shared lifestyle (e.g. bald head due to sticking it inside a carcass)?

    (Edited, to see if it can be done!)

  2. If you mean New World Vultures, then there is a close relationship, two species of Condor sharing a family with 5 vulture species. However, the Old World Vultures (about 20 species) are convergent; they are members of the Eagle and Hawk family, and have developed the bare head separately.

  3. Very lovely photos, John C and John E.

    I’m very curious about what you thought was happening with the gorillas, John C. The male looks like he was being protective of his family.

    Interesting how, at a distance, the shadows and sharp edges of the rocks behind John and Cindy kind of resemble an ancient cave drawing.

    1. Hi Smoked,
      Well it looked to me like a simple affectionate family interaction. As you could probably hear on the video, our guide suggested that one of the two parties wanted to mate, and those guys spend a lot of time with the gorillas so you generally respect their opinion. But in this case, there is no sign that the silverback was that way inclined, and the impression is that the female is also looking for some kind of tangible expression, but not necessarily to mate.
      So I tend to agree with you.

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