Caribbean Trumpet Fish
Nature, third prize stories
Bonaire, Netherlands Antilles
A Caribbean trumpetfish (Aulostomus maculatus), off the coast of Bonaire, in the Lesser Antilles.
Trumpetfish are named for their elongated snouts and bodies, and can expand their mouths widely to suck up the small fish and crustaceans they feed on. They are able to change skin color to blend with surroundings, and often use large herbivorous fish as camouflage, shadowing them until the moment is right to strike out at smaller prey.
Trumpetfish will often hang vertically in the water, drifting with the current and vacuuming up any prey swimming below, using a method called ‘pipette feeding’.
The Sacramento Bee
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About the photographer
Benton has been a professional photographer for 25 years. For the last 12 years, he has worked as a staff photographer for The Sacramento Bee newspaper. As a staff member, his photos have documented a rich and diverse cross-section of life in northern California. He has photographed the NBA, NFL, PGA, and WBC; Stephen Hawking, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Elton John, and the Pope; surgeons, teachers, cops, and murderers. He has shot from helicopters, inside tiger cages, in underwater caves, and on movie sets.
Benton’s photos have won numerous awards from the San Francisco Bay Area Press Photographers Association, The California Newspaper Publishers Association, National Press Photographers Association, and Pictures of the Year International. One of his underwater photos was selected as the Underwater Picture of the Year by members of the international network of underwater photographers at Wetpixel.com. Benton lives in Sacramento, California, USA.