thomaspeschak

Thomas Peschak

National Geographic Photographer // Storyteller // Marine Biologist //Conservationist

Marine Iguanas can dive to depths of over 30 feet (10m) and hold their breath for up to 30 minutes. These iconic reptiles are only able to spend a few hours a day in the ocean grazing algae for sustenance. In the western Galápagos the water is simply too cold for longer underwater excursions by a cold blooded reptile. The surgeonfish surrounding the iguana also graze on algae, but can feed all day long without freezing to death. Shot on assignment for @natgeo magazine for the June 2017 story on climate change and the Galápagos Islands. In collaboration with @darwinfound #galapagosnationalpark #paulmangellfoundation @natgeocreative
The waters around the northern Galápagos Islands of Wolf and Darwin are one of few places in the world where mature adult whale sharks make regular seasonal appearances. This 6-8 foot silky shark is dwarfed by a giant 30 + foot female. Photographing theses giant sharks is difficult, the currents are ripping and they swim incredibly fast and show little curiosity for people. Shot on assignment @natgeo magazine for a story on climate change and the Galápagos Islands in the June 2017 issue. In collaboration with @darwinfound @saveourseasfoundation #paulmangellfoundation #galapagosnationalpark and @ecuadortravel
Marine iguanas are the world's only lizards that feed in the ocean grazing on seaweeds. This unique trait however comes at a price. The Pacific in the western reaches of the Galápagos Islands is cold and the iguanas can only feed for a few hours at a time. For the rest of day they embrace the sun baked volcanic rocky shores to regain as much heat as possible. Shot on assignment for @natgeo magazine for the June 2017 story on climate change and the Galápagos Islands. In collaboration with @darwinfound @pelayosalinas #paulmangellfoundation @ecuadortravel #galapagosnationalpark
In the Galápagos some groups of sea lions have learned how to hunt yellowfin tuna. In small bands they intercept the schools and drive them into convoluted dead end bays. Here the sea lions trap them in crevices or push them onto rocky shores where they dispatch the fish with a bite to the head. Shot on assignment for @natgeo magazine in 2016. I believe this is the first time that this behavior has been photographed. Check out the June 2017 issue of @natgeo magazine for my story on Galápagos and climate change. In collaboration with @darwinfound #galapagosnationalpark @fonassociation @pelayosalinas #galapagosislands #allyouneedisecuador
A whale shark feeds near the surface off the coast of Djibouti in the Gulf of Tadjoura. The whale shark carries the title as the largest shark (and fish) in the sea. However, we still know very little about them. These gentle ocean giants, listed as Endangered by the IUCN, are becoming more and more popular with tourists. In Djibouti, whale shark aggregations consist mostly of young males and have been monitored by scientists for over a decade. Shot on assignment for @natgeo magazine for a story on the Seas of Arabia in March 2012. #WhaleShark #Africa #arabiansea
Waved albatrosses appear as mirror images of one another on Española in the Galápagos—a World Heritage Site since 1979. In a choreographed mating ritual, these goose-sized sea birds use their beaks to repeatedly gape, point and fence. Photographing critically endangered animals like the waved albatross is both a privilege and a burden. As a photographer, how can I best capture the beauty and wonder of an animal in a way that takes people’s breath away? How can I create images that foster awareness and appreciation, which ultimately leads to conservation action? Shot on assignment for @natgeo magazine for a forthcoming story on climate change and the Galápagos Islands. In collaboration with @darwinfound #galapagosnationalpark and @ecuadortravel #Galapagos #ClimateChange @natgeocreative @thephotosociety
A humpback whale on the verge of a dive in Canada’s Great Bear Rainforest. The attached barnacles create an ephemeral waterfall from the whale’s fluke. These tiny freeloaders can collectively add around 1,000 extra pounds to the whales. However, for these 45-ton giants, it’s no big deal. The spot along British Columbia’s “nook & cranny” coast is a magnet for humpback whales, fin whales and orcas. First Nations peoples and other conservation organizations have negotiated with the government for decades to conserve this special place. While 15% of the Great Bear Rainforest forest is sustainably managed for logging, the remaining 85% is protected, giving everything from humpbacks to barnacles safe harbor. @pacificwild #GreatBearRainforest #Canada #BritishColumbia #whales
A floating mass of tens of thousands of squid eggs pushed by the current into a lagoon of Bassas da India. This tiny French atoll, with a landmass smaller than The Mall in Washington DC, is halfway between Mozambique and Madagascar. In a place that has become a ship graveyard, I found it incredible to come across such a fragile, yet intact mobile incubator. #squid
A female Steller sea lion speaks her mind to a bull. Stellers or northern sea lions are the largest species of sea lion. Males are roughly three times the size of females, weighing in at around 544 kg (1,200 lb). This image was shot in the Great Bear Rainforest in British Columbia. The 21 million acre hub of biodiversity is part of the last remaining coastal temperate rainforest on Earth. #GreatBearRainforest #Canada #BritishColumbia @pacificwild
Marine Iguanas can dive to depths of 30 feet (10m) and hold their breath for up to 30 minutes. These iconic reptiles are only able to spend a few hours a day in the ocean grazing algae for sustenance. In the Galápagos the water is simply too cold for longer underwater excursions by a cold blooded reptile. Shot on assignment for @natgeo magazine for a forthcoming story on climate change and the Galápagos Islands. In collaboration with @darwinfound #galapagosnationalpark #allyouneedisecuador
A rocky pinnacle punctures the North Pacific Ocean just offshore from Triangle Island. The largest of the Scott Island group, it is situated 39 miles off the tip of Canada's Vancouver Island. Triangle hosts critically important populations of seabirds and sea lions and has been designated the centerpiece of the proposed Scott Island Marine Protected Area. Photograph shot in collaboration with @pacificwild a key conservation role player in the fight to keep British Columbia's oceans healthy. Follow @pacificwild to find out how YOU can help.
A green turtle rests underwater in the shadow of a mangrove tree. Convoluted bays and inlets penetrate deep into the harsh lava landscape of some of the most westerly Galápagos Islands. Many of these hidden realms are sanctuaries for sea turtles which probably seek them out due to the water being warmer than the adjacent ocean. Shot on assignment for @natgeo magazine for a forthcoming story on Climate Change and the Galápagos Islands. In collaboration with @darwinfound #galapagosnationalpark @pelayosalinas and @ecuadortravel #allyouneedisecuador
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