Roving Tortoise Worldwide
"Images of wildlife & wilderness from our planet's most pristine uninhabited regions"
Focal Point Feature ...
~ our spotlighted photo of the moment ~
Here we present our regularly updated pick of stand-alone images, together with expanded captions, that are chosen for a particularly memorable, newsworthy or otherwise special natural moment we have experienced.
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A new species of mammal: The Olinguito (pronounced as in Spanish: oh-lin-GHEE-toe, meaning 'little olingo'). Tui was recently in the spectacular Cloud Forests of Ecuador (August 2013), collecting new images for a future book project: this biodiversity hotspot region has the highest variety of bird species on earth. However, among the varied feathered subjects she also photographed this wonderful little nocturnal mammal that would regularly come in the dead of night to steal banana and sugar-water from the hummingbird feeders located around the lodge at the Bellavista Cloud Forest Reserve. Unbeknownst to her, a few weeks later scientists from the Smithsonian Institution announced the exciting discovery of a new South American mammal species - the first carnivore in 35 years - a smaller type of olingo only found between 1500 and 2750 metres elevation in the Andes. Coincidence is sometimes fortuitous, as we now have available a lovely collection of non-captive images of these endearing little mammals: new to science and now named Bassaricyon neblina.
Photo © Tui De Roy
Just before midnight a male aardvark (Orycteropus afer) emerges from its deep burrow to forage on insects, especially termites dug up using those massively powerful claws and a long sticky tongue. A single species of the Order Tubulidentata, very little is known about this shy, secretive and solitary mammal found throughout Subsaharan African savannahs. To see an aardvark is so rare that Maasai elders have a saying that one is bestowed with an extra ten years of life for the privilege. During a two month long expedition in Kenya, employing specialist trackers to locate active burrows, and after countless futile set-ups, we obtained this and only one other good image of this elusive beast, captured using multi-beam infra-red remote triggers on cameras linked to multiple wireless strobes. Note the split in the ear (perhaps a result of a fight with a rival) as well as the large embedded tick. Unfortunately, by using a camera trap, this encounter only entitles Mark to an extra five years' lifespan. To see more images from Kenya's Laikipia Plateau, check out our Feature Gallery, and our book Kenya's High Country.
Photo © Mark Jones
The Pink Iguana (Conolophus marthae) a new species of reptile from Wolf Volcano on northern Isabela Island in the Galapagos Islands. First sighted during an expedition to the remote northern flanks of the volcano in 1986, individuals were thought to be just an anomalous race of the islands' more common yellow land iguana. This almost mythical animal was scientifically described in 2009 and was immediately added to the IUCN Red List as a Critically Endangered species: as an exception to the rules of taxonomy because of its rarity, the electronically tagged holotype (the type-specimen that is normally preserved in a museum) is still free-living in the wild. The emergence of this species and its significance in relation to the other megafauna of these intensely studied islands is featured in our book Galapagos: Preserving Darwin's Legacy.
Photo © Tui De Roy
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The Chelonians - a.k.a. the Roving Tortoises...
Beyond being out in the field, there is of course a lot more to the business of wildlife photography than just living on corned beef and wielding a camera!
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