2010 Photo Contest, Nature, 1st prize

Paul Nicklen

National Geographic

11 November, 2008

An 18-day-old elephant seal pup. Only 40 kg at birth, the pup already weighs some 180 kg.

South Georgia is rich in wildlife due to the high density of krill in the surrounding seas. These small, protein-rich crustaceans are a vital part of the Antarctic food chain, but their own food source—phytoplankton growing on the underside of sea ice—is disappearing as ice cover shrinks.

About the photographer

Paul Nicklen

As a young boy, Paul Nicklen, a Canadian-born polar specialist and marine biologist, moved to Baffin Island and spent his childhood among the Inuit people. From them he learned t...

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