Wildlife photograph of the year

October 12, 2023 • 1:30 pm

I usually post a series of finalists for “Wildlife photographer of the year” contest by London’s Natural History Museum , as that has among the best nature photos around. Today, though, as I’m in a rush, I’ll just show you the photo that won the “Grand Title” prize.

A bit from CBS News:

A photo of a golden horseshoe crab —one of the world’s most ancient and highly endangered animals— earned a marine photographer the grand title in the prestigious Wildlife Photographer of the Year contest. The Natural History Museum in London, which runs the competition, made the announcement Tuesday.

The picture, taken by Laurent Ballesta, shows a tri-spine horseshoe crab on a seabed near Pangatalan Island in the Philippines, as it is followed by three golden trevallies. Ballesta documented the horseshoe crabs as they moved through water, fed, mated and provided a home to other animals, according to the museum.

The Wildlife Photographer of the Year contest is produced by the Natural History Museum. Ballesta’s photo was chosen from nearly 50,000 entires across 95 countries. Kathy Moran, who was the chair of the jury, called the image “luminescent.”

“To see a horseshoe crab so vibrantly alive in its natural habitat, in such a hauntingly beautiful way, was astonishing,” Moran said.

“We are looking at an ancient species, highly endangered, and also critical to human health,” Moran added. The International Union for Conservation of Nature has listed the tri-spine horseshoe crab as “endangered.”

It’s the second time Ballesta has won the grand prize, after he earned it in 2021.

Nothing fancy here, and no spectacular animals or behaviors. Just a gorgeous picture of a gorgeous animal, and one accompanied by three pals.  Click to enlarge.

(from CBS News): French photographer Laurent Ballesta has won the Wildlife Photographer of the Year award for the second time after capturing this image of a horseshoe crab near an island in the Philippines. LAURENT BALLESTA/WILDLIFE PHOTOGRAPHER OF THE YEAR

h/t: Steve

7 thoughts on “Wildlife photograph of the year

  1. All the pictures are amazing. This one looks to be taken with a fish-eye lens. Those are remarkable lenses in that they readily give a super wide angle of view, of course, but they also have striking depth of focus from very close to far.

  2. Otherworldly, …man.. -wait! Is that a wound or scar indentation just below the bright reflection? Or am I missing something about the anatomy of one of my favorite entree s at Zeider Zee?

  3. Horseshoe crabs are fascinating. I collected and studied some Limulus polyphemus specimens when doing my college senior thesis on trilobite vision. (Pretty esoteric stuff, but super interesting.)

    1. Oh, then you’d know of Euan Clarkson, the trilobite-eye guy at Edinburgh. While using his textbook in the 80s, I was also rock and ice climbing with his son. Not that I knew it at the time.
      “Schizochroal”, and at least two other pseudo-Greek jaw-crackers of optic units in different families of the Trilobitomorpha, IIRC. And a remarkably cunning piece of natural selection to avoid the birefringence of calcite in their lenses.
      “Holochroal”, too. I’ll be dreaming of trilobite eyes tonight!
      Now if that “Jurassic Pork” movie franchise had resurrected trilobites, I’d probably have stayed awake through at least one of them.

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