PHOTOS

For the residents of the world’s most iconic desert, including fennec foxes, it will take grit and perseverance to weather a challenging suite of threats. Fortunately, those are two traits the desert dwellers have in abundance.

photo essay | 05.13.19

Spirit of the Sahara

photo essay | 15.13.19

Spirit of the Sahara

Successfully raising a single infant is challenging enough that gorillas rarely have twins. But both of these babies are thriving, thanks to a few extra helping hands.

spotlight | 05.13.19

Hands Full

spotlight | 55.13.19

Hands Full

From the beautiful to the bizarre, this photographic showcase of life on Earth shines a light on some of our planet's most amazing species and places.

photo gallery | 04.30.19

The Big Picture 2019

photo gallery | 32.30.19

The Big Picture 2019

This picturesque battle between a blue dragon sea slug and a Portuguese man o’ war is a matter of life or death—for both parties.

spotlight | 04.18.19

Deathly Beautiful

spotlight | 30.18.19

Deathly Beautiful

The more scientists learn about this strange, elusive species, the more concerned they become about its future. But these new insights may ultimately help to save it.

photo essay | 04.18.19

Plight of the Platypus

photo essay | 29.18.19

Plight of the Platypus

Hundreds of new dams are currently planned for Central American rivers, posing a threat to Indigenous peoples and wildlife. Preserving the integrity of these corridors between mountains and sea will help them both.

photo essay | 04.09.19

Free-Flowing, For Now

photo essay | 10.09.19

Free-Flowing, For Now

One of the world’s largest birds has long been persecuted for both its outsized bill and its eating habits, but an ambitious cross-border plan is helping this threatened pelican bounce back.

spotlight | 04.09.19

Below the Bill

spotlight | 09.09.19

Below the Bill

One of the most attentive of all insect parents, this tiny treehopper fiercely defends her offspring until they're fully grown, using her thorn-shaped headdress as both shield and intimidation tool.

spotlight | 03.17.19

Mighty Mom

spotlight | 24.17.19

Mighty Mom

Africa's rarest carnivores face mounting threats from disease-carrying domestic dogs, but scientists hope a new vaccination campaign will give Ethiopian wolves a fighting chance at survival.

photo essay | 02.27.19

The Last Wolves

photo essay | 24.27.19

The Last Wolves

What looks like a flamboyant fashion accessory is actually this jelly's brilliant evolutionary strategy for attracting prey.

spotlight | 02.27.19

Allure of the Flower Hat

spotlight | 23.27.19

Allure of the Flower Hat

To understand how and why these highly social animals have evolved such complex systems of cooperation, scientists have resorted to a very simple strategy.

spotlight | 02.07.19

Herding Meerkats

spotlight | 08.07.19

Herding Meerkats

Australia’s corals may get all the headlines, but the country’s kelp-dominated temperate reefs are at least as important and imperiled. Now they're finally getting the restoration focus they deserve.

photo essay | 01.25.19

The Unsung Reef

photo essay | 26.25.19

The Unsung Reef

When an octopus known for its size and hunting prowess encounters a football-field-sized team of spider crabs, the outcome isn’t what you might expect.

spotlight | 01.25.19

Banquet on Legs

spotlight | 39.25.19

Banquet on Legs

This caterpillar combines next-level camouflage and shelter-building to disappear into one of the most vibrant and biodiverse ecosystems on the planet.

spotlight | 12.18.18

Mobile Home

spotlight | 58.18.18

Mobile Home

The lionfish that haunt one of the world’s most famous shipwrecks are now laying claim to new battlegrounds.

spotlight | 12.12.18

The Wreckers

spotlight | 38.12.18

The Wreckers

For these hunters, no right-sized target is off-limits—regardless of whether or not it has a backbone.

spotlight | 11.06.18

Spider House Rules

spotlight | 25.06.18

Spider House Rules

Climate change may have forced these Galápagos sea lions to turn to a new food source. Since they can't outswim their prey, they use wits and teamwork instead.

photo essay | 11.06.18

The Tuna Herders

photo essay | 24.06.18

The Tuna Herders

Finding—and defending—prime fruit-picking perches is no easy task in the rainforest, but toucans have a few tricks up their beaks.

spotlight | 10.23.18

The Better to Bite You With

spotlight | 19.23.18

The Better to Bite You With

Their prey may be tiny, but these Indian mackerel need both gaping mouths and an assist from their school-mates to successfully snag a meal.

spotlight | 10.09.18

Open Wide

spotlight | 36.09.18

Open Wide

Shockingly, being eaten alive by dozens of hungry wasp larvae may have its advantages.

spotlight | 09.11.18

It’s a Wasp-Eat-Caterpillar World

spotlight | 07.11.18

It’s a Wasp-Eat-Caterpillar World

Kangaroo Island’s iconic animals are orphaned all too often by speeding cars. But a dedicated group of volunteers is working to save as many survivors as possible.

spotlight | 08.28.18

Raising Joey

spotlight | 02.28.18

Raising Joey

While its partner is away at sea, this sooty albatross patiently holds down the nest and awaits its turn to forage—contributing to an equal partnership that will last a lifetime.

spotlight | 08.15.18

The Long Haul

spotlight | 53.15.18

The Long Haul

Grabbing ahold with both claws, a crab defends itself—and steers the course of another species’ evolution.

spotlight | 07.31.18

Double Fisted

spotlight | 37.31.18

Double Fisted

Some Tasmanian devils have taken a surprising turn in response to a devastating cancer, offering new hope for the endangered species' survival.

photo essay | 07.31.18

All Eyes on the Devil

photo essay | 36.31.18

All Eyes on the Devil

Before embarking on an icy fishing expedition in the Southern Ocean, king penguins pause to soak up the morning’s first light.

spotlight | 07.18.18

Facing the Day

spotlight | 03.18.18

Facing the Day

In a display that rivals even the most dazzling of firework shows, millions of squid gather off the coast of Japan each spring to perform a sparkling spawning ritual.

photo essay | 07.03.18

Flashes of Brilliance

photo essay | 10.03.18

Flashes of Brilliance

For American pikas, the rush to store enough food for winter is becoming more hazardous—and climate change isn’t the only culprit.

spotlight | 06.12.18

Dine and Dash

spotlight | 03.12.18

Dine and Dash

An "unholy" river in India may be the last, best hope for one of the world's largest and most imperiled crocodilians.

photo essay | 06.05.18

Basking on the Brink

photo essay | 30.05.18

Basking on the Brink

Cuba’s sustainable farming practices could provide a recipe for restoring struggling coral reefs around the world.

photo essay | 05.08.18

Farm to Reef

photo essay | 04.08.18

Farm to Reef

On the island of Nauru, a young noddy hunter practices a skill that’s been passed down for centuries—one that now requires more patience.

spotlight | 05.08.18

By the Skin of His Teeth

spotlight | 03.08.18

By the Skin of His Teeth

From the beautiful to the bizarre, this photographic showcase of life on Earth shines a light on some of our planet's most amazing species and places.

photo gallery | 05.01.18

The Big Picture 2018

photo gallery | 23.01.18

The Big Picture 2018

This might be your only chance to meet the best-named fish in the sea.

spotlight | 04.24.18

Mystic Minipizza

spotlight | 55.24.18

Mystic Minipizza

Sometimes the best way out of a sticky situation is up, up and away.

spotlight | 04.19.18

High Drama

spotlight | 49.19.18

High Drama

In California’s Mono Lake—whose alkaline waters are deadly to most insects—these diving flies don’t just survive; they thrive.

photo essay | 03.27.18

Scuba Flies

photo essay | 50.27.18

Scuba Flies

Aboard a reef dweller that acts as a living cruise ship, this tiny hitchhiker may receive much more than just a free ride from one patch of coral to another.

spotlight | 03.27.18

Pacific Piggyback

spotlight | 49.27.18

Pacific Piggyback

The world’s largest frogs are among the most coveted in the African bushmeat trade. Can grassroots efforts save the goliath frog from extinction?

spotlight | 03.08.18

Taking Down Goliath

spotlight | 11.08.18

Taking Down Goliath

In Iceland's Hornstrandir Nature Reserve, arctic foxes are thriving—and offering hope that the species will be able to adapt to a changing climate.

photo essay | 03.08.18

Kingdom of Foxes

photo essay | 10.08.18

Kingdom of Foxes

Specialized though it may be, Madagascar’s largest living lemur may need an extra hand to survive in a rapidly changing world.

spotlight | 02.28.18

A Helping Hand

spotlight | 53.28.18

A Helping Hand

With eight eyes, two hydraulic legs, and impressive cognitive abilities, this jumping spider has a leg up on even the feistiest prey.

spotlight | 02.20.18

Face Off

spotlight | 55.20.18

Face Off

They do almost everything else in slow motion, but Panama’s pygmy sloths are surprisingly proficient swimmers—and they find relative safety in the sea.

photo essay | 02.20.18

Keeping Pygmy Sloths Afloat

photo essay | 52.20.18

Keeping Pygmy Sloths Afloat

To woo a potential mate, a male humpback whale pulls out some surprisingly smooth—and tender—moves.

spotlight | 02.13.18

Head over Heels

spotlight | 05.13.18

Head over Heels

Risking it all, some orcas have taken their hunt onto the shore, and their strategy is catching on.

spotlight | 02.06.18

Beach Crashers

spotlight | 12.06.18

Beach Crashers

Western lowland gorillas dwell deep in the forests of the Congo Basin, but their days may be numbered if we can't bring them into the light.

photo essay | 01.23.18

The Forest Between Us

photo essay | 59.23.18

The Forest Between Us

Quiver trees thrive in arid conditions, but as climate change makes the Namib Desert hotter and drier, can these immobile icons find a way to beat the heat?

spotlight | 01.23.18

Quiver Kingdom

spotlight | 58.23.18

Quiver Kingdom

For these spectacular South American birds, the key to attracting a mate is finding—and fighting for—the right time and place to shine.

spotlight | 01.17.18

Golden Hour

spotlight | 45.17.18

Golden Hour

A simple lifeform, prevalent in freshwater pools the world over, could reveal the secret to ever-lasting life.

spotlight | 01.09.18

The Pond of Youth

spotlight | 31.09.18

The Pond of Youth

Female hares can deftly defend themselves when unwelcome suitors pay a visit, but when climate change comes calling, fighting back proves more difficult.

spotlight | 01.02.18

Boxing Day

spotlight | 18.02.18

Boxing Day

Something strange is happening off the northern coast of Norway—transforming natural enemies into unlikely partners.

spotlight | 12.19.17

Unexpected Dinner Guests

spotlight | 36.19.17

Unexpected Dinner Guests

This apex predator's widely set eyes give it much better binocular vision than most sharks—just one of several reasons why hammerheads are such successful hunters.

spotlight | 12.13.17

Hammerhead Gaze

spotlight | 56.13.17

Hammerhead Gaze

Just minutes from a major metropolis, Malaysia’s Penang Hill rainforest boasts some of the richest backyard biodiversity on the planet.

photo gallery | 12.05.17

The Rainforest Next Door

photo gallery | 30.05.17

The Rainforest Next Door

As New Zealand’s odd “owl parrot” climbs toward recovery, its ultimate survival hinges on a nationwide effort to eradicate millions of invasive predators.

photo essay | 11.14.17

Kakapo Comeback

photo essay | 14.14.17

Kakapo Comeback

We’ve feared and maligned them for centuries, but it’s the bats that really have something to be afraid of.

spotlight | 10.31.17

Bat Odds

spotlight | 03.31.17

Bat Odds

Tracking dogs and their Maasai handlers are helping to keep wildlife and people safe in northern Tanzania—and word is spreading.

photo essay | 10.24.17

Where the Dogs Lead

photo essay | 21.24.17

Where the Dogs Lead

The secret to this squid’s disguise lies in its relationship with a smaller, brighter species.

spotlight | 10.24.17

Hide and Glow Seek

spotlight | 12.24.17

Hide and Glow Seek

A newborn elephant's aunts, sisters, and cousins all lend a helping trunk to support the newest member of their clan.

spotlight | 10.19.17

Are You My Allomother?

spotlight | 40.19.17

Are You My Allomother?

What was once a popular vacation destination for Hollywood's elite has become a last stronghold for some of Africa's most beleaguered species.

photo essay | 10.19.17

Vultures of Eden

photo essay | 39.19.17

Vultures of Eden

Normally invisible to humans, fluorescent light shows like the one this fireworm puts on are helping medical researchers fight disease.

spotlight | 10.10.17

Fire on the Reef

spotlight | 40.10.17

Fire on the Reef

These clownfish host some uninvited, and undesirable, guests on the tips of their tongues.

spotlight | 10.03.17

Tongue-tied

spotlight | 22.03.17

Tongue-tied

Encroaching development is putting pronghorns at risk, but new conservation strategies are giving these record-setting runners a leg up.

photo essay | 10.03.17

Migration, Interrupted

photo essay | 21.03.17

Migration, Interrupted

To catch and swallow their prey, these eels use both an obvious set of tools and an even more remarkable secret weapon.

spotlight | 09.26.17

Last Grasp

spotlight | 56.26.17

Last Grasp

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