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national geographic

Brian Skerry's Gorgeous Dolphin Pictures For National Geographic

national geographic
national geographic

For the May issue of National Geographic, photographer Brian Skerry got up close and personal with dolphins all around the world. Used to illustrate a story about dolphin intelligence, the gorgeous photographs truly caption the personality and energy of a dolphin. National Geographic was kind enough to give us access to some of the images and captions. You can read the whole story and see additional pictures here

© Brian Skerry/National Geographic

Spinner dolphins return from foraging to a bay off Oahu, Hawaii. Garrulous and gregarious, spinners gather in groups that can number in the thousands.

© Brian Skerry/National Geographic

Relative to body size, the brains of bottlenose dolphins, like these at the Roatán Institute for Marine Sciences in Honduras, are among the largest in the animal kingdom. Scientists are attempting to decode dolphins’ complex vocalizations.

© Brian Skerry/National Geographic

Dolphins communicate with their bodies as well as with sounds. A dusky dolphin catapulting through the air off the coast of Patagonia may be sending a signal to other dolphins: The food here is good. Come and get it.

© Brian Skerry/National Geographic

Intensely social, dolphins work together on ingenious feeding strategies. Dusky dolphins off Patagonia herd anchovies into neat spheres and then take turns gulping. Two birds, a Magellanic penguin and a shearwater, join the frenzy.

© Brian Skerry/National Geographic

Spotted dolphins swim off the northern Bahamas, where the waters are exceptionally clear. Three generations of these social animals—300 individuals over 30 years—have been the subject of the longest-running underwater dolphin study in the world, led by Denise Herzing.

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Courtesy of The National Aviary
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Animals
Watch This Live Stream to See Two Rare Penguin Chicks Hatch From Their Eggs
Courtesy of The National Aviary
Courtesy of The National Aviary

Bringing an African penguin chick into the world is an involved process, with both penguin parents taking turns incubating the egg. Now, over a month since they were laid, two penguin eggs at the National Aviary in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania are ready to hatch. As Gizmodo reports, the baby birds will make their grand debut live for the world to see on the zoo's website.

The live stream follows couple Sidney and Bette in their nest, waiting for their young to emerge. The first egg was laid November 7 and is expected to hatch between December 14 and 18. The second, laid November 11, should hatch between December 18 and 22.

"We are thrilled to give the public this inside view of the arrival of these rare chicks," National Aviary executive director Cheryl Tracy said in a statement. "This is an important opportunity to raise awareness of a critically endangered species that is in rapid decline in the wild, and to learn about the work that the National Aviary is doing to care for and propagate African penguins."

African penguins are endangered, with less than 25,000 pairs left in the wild today. The National Aviary, the only independent indoor nonprofit aviary in the U.S., works to conserve threatened populations and raise awareness of them with bird breeding programs and educational campaigns.

After Sidney and Bette's new chicks are born, they will care for them in the nest for their first three weeks of life. The two penguins are parenting pros at this point: The monogamous couple has already hatched and raised three sets of chicks together.

[h/t Gizmodo]

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holidays
Bleat Along to Classic Holiday Tunes With This Goat Christmas Album
iStock
iStock

Feeling a little Grinchy this month? The Sweden branch of ActionAid, an international charity dedicated to fighting global poverty, wants to goat—errr ... goad—you into the Christmas spirit with their animal-focused holiday album: All I Want for Christmas is a Goat.

Fittingly, it features the shriek-filled vocal stylings of a group of festive farm animals bleating out classics like “Jingle Bells,” “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” and “O Come All Ye Faithful.” The recording may sound like a silly novelty release, but there's a serious cause behind it: It’s intended to remind listeners how the animals benefit impoverished communities. Goats can live in arid nations that are too dry for farming, and they provide their owners with milk and wool. In fact, the only thing they can't seem to do is, well, sing. 

You can purchase All I Want for Christmas is a Goat on iTunes and Spotify, or listen to a few songs from its eight-track selection below.

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