Minden Pictures Highlights June-September 2019

Minden Pictures Highlights

Over the last 4 months, we’ve added to our site more than 2500 images from our US partner agency Minden Pictures. We’ve created a new Minden Pictures Highlights gallery with our selection of some of the most striking new images. Amongst these you’ll find intimate leopard behaviour, ring-tailed lemurs in action, and marine turtle research. Other subjects to flag up are turkeys displaying and an excellent range of iconic North American scenics.

Please note that we represent Minden Pictures material in the UK and any first use outside the UK requires special clearance.

Intimate moments with a family of leopards

American photographer Suzi Eszterhas took these images of a female leopard and her cubs at the Jao Reserve in Botswana. Known as “Camp Female” this leopard had grown up around safari vehicles and was unusually unconcerned by the presence of people. This enabled Suzi to get really close to her and her two female cubs, born in March 2018. Suzi followed them from the age of 5 weeks, documenting the cubs as they grow up, play boisterously together, and learn to hunt.

Turtles in action, and turtle research

A great set of images from marine specialist Ralph Pace covers several species of sea turtles. The focus is on research and radio tracking, adult turtles underwater, and the struggle of turtle hatchlings, against the odds, to reach the safety of the ocean. Locations are in Central and North America.

Ring-tailed lemurs in a dramatic setting provide a livelihood for local villagers

The story behind the Anja lemur reserve

These pictures by Cyril Ruoso of ring-tailed lemurs were taken in a tiny nature reserve created by local villagers. Adrien Razafimandimby, a former biology teacher, imagined the Anja reserve some years ago. The idea was to convince villagers that lemurs, chameleons and birds in a wonderful spot could bring money to six villages. This now enables them to earn more money than by simply over-exploiting this piece of land. It is a very pragmatic view but it works, attracting many tourists. What is now a nature reserve was once the setting of a village before French colonisation, when people lived in caves. Now it is the lemurs that visit the caves to lick minerals. There are huge granite boulders where the lemurs spend the night. Cyril has managed to capture lots of interesting behaviour and  an unusual sequence showing a boa swallowing a lemur.

And some individual images with an interesting story to tell

 

Shane White reveals more about how this hala tree (a type of pandanus) survives repeated volcanic eruptions. “This particular tree is completely covered in hot volcanic ash regularly when Mt. Yasur, an active volcano on Tanna Island in Vanuatu, regularly erupts. Somehow it manages a remarkable resurrection each time it is drowned in hot ash and continues to enjoy a solitary view of this dramatic volcano.”

 

 

 

 

Pika super cache

 

 

 

In Colorado Jeff Foott captured images of a very busy pika hard at work stocking up his haypile for winter. Since pikas live in cold places, they have to work most of the summer collecting vegetation which they cache in HUGE haypiles. In studies by the University of Utah a researcher discovered that one animal’s cache was the equivalent of 350 days worth of food. Not only are they excellent savers, these small rodents are hungry! An average pika eats enough grasses, thistles and flowers every day to fill its stomach nine times.

 

 

 

 

 

Pink chicks – for a reason

 

 

Cyril Ruoso tells us the story behind the bright pink chicks: “this woman told me that she didn’t lose any chicks to predatory kites, if they were dyed another colour. I have no scientific explanation and I didn’t do any experiments to check it! But it was so weird and funny, I had to take the shot. It seems the kite targets chicks and for them chick = yellow. So for the kite another colour means it cannot be a chick…. this is my hypothesis.”

 

 

 

Studying one of the most ancient fish

 

 

The Gulf sturgeon is a threatened subspecies of the Atlantic sturgeon, which occurs in the river systems along the Gulf of Mexico, from Florida to Mississippi. Sturgeon are very primitive fish which evolved 200 million years ago in the age of dinosaurs and which have bony plates rather than scales. Here a biologist returns a sturgeon to the Apalachicola River in Florida after weighing and tagging.

 

 

 

Dramatic Caribbean courtship display

 

 

Shane captured this remarkable image in the Caribbean: “Walking along the edge of the lush forest bordering the beach at Castara on the Island of Tobago, a yellow-crowned night heron emerged from the undergrowth. It then walked along an exposed tree log, stared at me and started a courtship display. Taking a few steps backwards, the bird stopped his show while I brought the camera to my eye and slowly crept closer again. I was then lucky enough to witness the full performance from the beginning to the end, so I was able to capture it.”

 

 

 

 

Wild turkey display

 

 

Mark Raycroft caught this moment when two male wild turkeys show off all their finery in display as they compete to capture the attention of the females.

 

 

 

 

Reintroducing Przewalski’s horse

 

Cyril Ruoso photographed this image of reintroduced Prezwalski’s horses in the Gobi Desert, Mongolia. The young stallion, on the right in the picture, is looking for a connection with a herd. But the head stallion does not need a competitor. The herd is currently in a fenced enclosure as part of the Gobi B Reintroduction (through the International Takhi Group). New horses from zoos spend a year in big acclimatization enclosures. And then they are released in the wild where they have to face a predator they have never seen before : wolves.

 

 

 

 

The Minden Pictures highlights gallery contains more than 200 images if you’d like to browse a larger selection of recent material…