Brian Skerry

Brian Skerry

@brianskerry National Geographic Photographer & Fellow // Author// Speaker // Nikon Ambassador

331 media 902.7K followers 379 followings

31.7K    340    13 days ago

Photo by @BrianSkerry Close-up of a mako shark in the waters off New Zealand. Makos are one of the fastest fish in the sea, capable of bursts up to 60mph and of all shark species they have one of the largest brains, relative to body size. They are also an endothermic shark, meaning that they can generate heat within their bodies. This allows them to swim into cooler waters to feed on oily fish, giving them great strength and fueling their powerful muscles. The numbers of makos have declined worldwide due to over fishing and the demand for shark fins. They are currently listed as vulnerable. #makoshark #sharks #NZ

18.5K    185    18 days ago

Photo by @BrianSkerry A Blue Shark with a red colored Parasitic Copepod attached to its dorsal fin cruises in the waters of the Gulf of Maine (a tiny hitchhiker). A pelagic animal living in the open sea, blue sharks have been sculpted by nature to move like undersea aircrafts, with slender, fuselage-like bodies and long wing-like pectoral fins.Like all species of sharks, their numbers are in decline due to over fishing and shark finning. #sharks #gulfofmaine #sharkfinning


30.6K    271    1 month ago

Photo by @BrianSkerry A Humpback whale calf appears to be riding on its mom’s nose as it swims closely to her in the waters of the South Pacific. Humpback moms invest a lot into their offspring, with a gestation that lasts nearly a year and then spends the first year of the calf’s life teaching it all the skills it will need to survive in the sea. These bonds are strong and are an important element of whale culture. #whales #humpbackwhales #pacific #momandcalf #whaleculture

21.2K    360    2 months ago

Photo by Brian Skerry @BrianSkerry An Olive Ridley sea turtle entangled in plastic fishing net in the waters off Sri Lanka. I was at sea in this location searching for whales, on assignment for @natgeo when our crew spotted this turtle struggling at the surface. I got into the water, made a few photos, then with the help of our team, freed the turtle. The turtle was severely entangled, with the plastic ropes wrapped tightly around its flippers and body. Floating debris, such as drifting logs, often attract fish and other small creatures and turtles will investigate hoping for a meal. In this case the debris was a bamboo log that was snagged with net. Despite some wounds on its flippers from the net, this turtle strongly and quickly swam away once it was free. I actually saw several sea turtles entangled in plastic during my time on this assignment and we disentangled each one. But I can’t help wonder about the many others I won’t be there to see or help. Plastic is a terrible problem in the sea with an estimated 8 million metric tons of plastic being added to our oceans each year. In edition to deadly entanglement, it is eaten by countless animals, many of which are consumed by humans. #plasticpollution #planetorplastic #srilanka #seaturtles

29.4K    253    2 months ago

Photo by Brian Skerry @BrianSkerry A pair of orca travel on the ocean surface in the waters of the Norwegian Arctic days before the sun sets for the winter and the Polar Night begins. The orcas migrate into fiords in this region during late fall and winter to feed on herring that often overwinter here. Successful feeding by the orca involves complex communications and echolocation as they hunt in total darkness. Specialized feeding strategies such as this are examples of intelligence and culture found among whale and dolphin families. #orca #norway #whaleculture #smartanimals

31.2K    207    2 months ago

Photo by @BrianSkerry Happy World Oceans Day! On this day, when the world celebrates the magnificence of Earth’s oceans, I urge you to think about the need for conservation of our water planet. 98% of our biosphere - where life can exist on Earth - is water - yet only about 3% os the oceans are protected. Science tells us that for a healthy planet, at least 40% of the oceans must be protected. Every other breath we takes comes from the sea, more than 50% of the oxygen needed to live is generated by the ocean. For our own survival, ocean ecosystems must be conserved. But the benefit of a thriving planet also means that we not only survive, it means that we live richly and in harmony with nature. My hope on this day is that each one of us will work on becoming better citizens for the planet in every way possible - from reducing waste in our daily lives (especially plastic) to making wiser choices about what we eat and supporting political leaders that understand science and who will act to protect the ocean and the Earth. #worldoceansday #WorldOceansDay2019

38.6K    199    3 months ago

Photo by @BrianSkerry An Orca feeds on a fish that has fallen out of a fishing net in the waters of the Norwegian arctic. Orca migrate into these northern waters in the fall to feed on herring. Most often they use a feeding strategy in which multiple animals work cooperatively to ‘corral’ the herring into tight schools, then swim through and eat them. But frequently these days, the orca are finding that they can get an easier meal by hanging out near commercial fishing boats and picking up the fish that escape from the nets. #orca #dolphins #whales #whaleculture #norway #arctic #smartanimals


24.8K    159    3 months ago

Photo by @BrianSkerry Happy #worldturtleday - A Leatherback Sea Turtle feeds on a pyrosome (colonial tunicate) in pelagic waters off of The Azores in the North Atlantic Ocean. Leatherbacks are the oldest, largest, deepest-diving and widest ranging of all sea turtle species and ... endangered. Believed to feed only on jellyfish, this rare scene illustrates that they eat pyrosomes too. But it is also easy to see that sea turtles could easily mistake plastic bags or other pieces of plastic trash as food. And eating plastic can kill them. Leatherbacks and all sea turtles also frequently become entangled in fishing nets and caught on longlines. The sex of baby sea turtles is determined by the temperature of the eggs in nests on beaches and climate change is effecting this as well An ancient mariner whose lineage is older than dinosaurs, yet today faces extinction due largely to anthropogenic stresses. #sea turtles #underwater #endangered species #azores

31.5K    272    3 months ago

Photo by @BrianSkerry Portrait of a sperm whale in the waters off Dominica in the Eastern Caribbean. These animals have complex cultures within their families that includes specialized dialects, parenting techniques and more. Sperm Whale family units are matrilineal and are led by older, wise female whales. The sperm whales found around Dominica however, are on a 3% annual decline due to anthropogenic stresses, such as entanglement in fishing gear and ship strikes. As Dr. Shane Gero has stated, if this population of animals were to disappear, we would loose a whale culture. Although other sperm whales would exist, but the cultures of this particular clan would be lost forever. #whales #dominica #whaleculture #smartanimals

39.3K    271    4 months ago

Photo by @BrianSkerry Happy Earth Day! - A baby manatee clings to its mother’s back while she forages on seagrass, creating billowing clouds of mud around them. On this day, we celebrate our stunningly beautiful planet - a water plant that glows like a jewel when viewed from the darkness of space. The more we learn about Earth, the more it becomes clear that it is a living tapestry in which everything is connected. Geology and biology blend together in a perfect machine where life flourishes everywhere. But our home planet is suffering and is being degraded. It is an assault on every front. We live on a water planet, a place where 98% of our biosphere (where life can exist) is ocean, yet we are destroying Earth’s oceans daily. We have taken most of the fish, destroyed ecosystems, dump billions of pounds of plastic into her each year and turn her waters acidic from excessive carbon in the air. I believe that every day should be Earth Day and that we must cherish the fragile web of life that exists here and protect it vigorously. We can no longer see ourselves apart from nature or above it, but rather directly tied to and dependent on it. #EarthDay2019

22.1K    155    4 months ago

Photo by @BrianSkerry A newborn humpback whale calf swims just beneath the surface of the water off of Tonga in the South Pacific. Humpback migrate to these warm waters in winter from their summer feeding grounds in Antarctica. While in these warmer waters, females give birth following a nearly year-long gestation period. For the first year of its life, the calf will learn from its mother everything necessary to survive. Coverage from my multi-year project for National Geographic (@natgeo) focused on the cultures of whales. #humpbackwhales #tonga #whaleculture #planetofthewhales #smartanimals

33.3K    247    4 months ago

Photo by @BrianSkerry A pair of orca swim near the surface in the chilly waters of the Norwegian arctic. The orcas migrate into fiords in this region during late fall and winter to feed on herring that often overwinter here. In late November the ‘Polar Night’ occurs, with weeks on end of darkness. Successful feeding by the orca involves complex communications and echolocation. Specialized feeding strategies such as this are examples of culture found among whale and dolphin families. #orca #norway #whaleculture #smartanimals