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Story Behind the Picture: Aye-aye What’s This?

Nikon D5, Nikon 200-400mm, f8, 1/100 second After dark, the forests near Daraina in northern Madagascar are one of the best places to look for aye-ayes. One of the most critically endangered species, the aye-aye is also arguably the world’s most peculiar primate and epitomises all that it bizarre and ‘other-worldly’ on the island. It…

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Story Behind the Picture: The Gold Standard

Nikon D3S, Nikon 70-200mm, f5, 1/250 second On Madagascar, an island where superlatives abound, the forests around Daraina are particularly special. Here so many of the environmental, social, humanitarian and conservation issues the desperately poor island nation faces collide. By day these forests and particularly those close to the village of Andranotsimaty, are perhaps the…

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Story Behind the Picture: Red Ruffed Lemur

Nikon D5, Nikon 200-400mm, f6.3, 1/60 second Ruffed lemurs are among the most endangered of lemur species. They require intact primary rain forests as they are heavily reliant on large fruiting trees, which are the first to be removed when any deforestation occurs. In many areas of Madagascar where they still survive, ruffed lemurs are…

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Story Behind the Picture: Rafflesia, the World’s Largest Flower

Nikon D810, Nikon 8-15mm fisheye @15mm, f10, 1/2 second   My roots are firmly set in the zoological rather than botanical camp. I read zoology at university and once regarded plants as nothing more than things animals either sat in or ate. Over time my attitudes have thankfully mellowed and I’ve come to realise the…

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Story Behind the Picture: Jellyfish Galaxies

Nikon D3, Nikon 70-200mm @70mm, f8, 1/80 second The first unusual thing about the day was that it was a calm, not something I was used to on the west coast of the Isle of Mull. The surface of Loch Na Keal was nothing more than a uniform gentle ripple. I was heading out towards…

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Story Behind the Picture: The Cat’s Whiskers

Nikon D3s, Nikon 600mm, f8, 1/640 second There may be a proportion of the world who enjoy taking cheap shots at the USA (especially with the current resident in the White House) and who constantly ask, “what did the Americans ever do for us?” Well just stop for a moment. If nothing else they came…

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Story Behind the Picture: Pure Silk

Nikon D5, Nikon 200-400mm @290mm, f6.3, 1/320 second I first visited Marojejy National Park in Madagascar in 1998. The national park had only just been created and I had a single primary aim – to photograph the silky sifaka. On numerous previous visits to the island I had seen all the other varieties of sifakas…

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Story Behind the Picture: Scorpion – Let There Be UV Light

Nikon D850, Nikon 8-15mm fisheye @15mm, f16, 6 seconds It has long been known that scorpions (all species) fluoresce under ultraviolet (UV) light, yet the reasons for this remain a mystery. Not only do we not really know why, we also do not know how as the chemicals that actually cause the phenomenon have also…

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Story Behind the Picture: Capybara Capers

Nikon D3s, Nikon 500mm, f4, 1/5000 second This photo was taken during one of my group photography tours to the Pantanal in Brazil. On each of the three previous afternoons, we had visited the same beautiful secluded lagoon off the main channel of the Paraguay River and seen nothing particularly special or noteworthy. And yet…

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Story Behind the Picture: Macaws at Clay Lick

Nikon D5, Nikon 600mm, f8, 1/1000th second I first became aware of the mind-boggling biodiversity of Manu and Tambopata in the Peruvian Amazon during my undergraduate years at Nottingham University. It sowed a seed. This was further reinforced, when Andre Bartschi won the overall title in the Wildlife Photographer of the Year of 1992 with…

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