Mind the gap

Posted on 9 May 2023 By Tsoku Maela

National Geographic photographer Thomas Peschak aims to capture never before seen scenes from the natural world – in hopes that we’ll fall in love with something we never realised existed. These images are from his book, Wild Seas.  

Rockhopper penguins live up to their name as they leap from one rock to the next. With surprising grace and ease, they navigate the treacherous lava rock that blankets the steep western coastline of subantarctic Marion Island. South Africa, 2016.

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A constellation of brittle stars hitchhikes on a jellyfish off the Bazaruto Archipelago. It appears that these opportunistic travellers not only get a free ride but also actively “steal” planktonic food scraps from the jelly’s tentacles.
Mozambique, 2010.

Guanay cormorants make room for a few Peruvian pelicans to roost on Isla Guanape Norte, one of the eastern Pacific’s most productive guano islands. In slow waves, more than 80 000 birds leave the island every morning to preen offshore.
Peru, 2017.

Spectacular mass-feeding events such as this occur about a dozen times a year in Hanifaru Bay. Cramming into a lagoon the size of a soccer field, as many as 250 mantas feed on dense patches of zooplankton.
Maldives, 2008.

A Cape gannet flying low over Malgas Island, trying to land as close to its partner and nest as possible. If the
bird lands too far away from its own nest, it will have to run through the crowded colony’s gauntlet of stabbing beaks.
South Africa, 2010.

An Atlantic puffin gapes widely to display its displeasure with another bird coming too close to its burrow entrance.
Iceland, 2017.


This article was adapted from a version that appeared in our March 2022 magazine issue.

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