Readers’ wildlife photos

Reader Nicholas Arand sent a sequence that he called “Natural selection in progress”. Trigger warning: death of a zebra.  His notes:
I am sending you an amazing sequence of pictures I took some 6 years ago in a trip to the Pilanesberg National Park in South Africa.
It was about 06:00 am, so the lighting condition was not great: that’s why the action photos are very blurry. In any case we were amazingly lucky to be there to watch two lionesses successfully hunting down a Zebra. Our guide, who was driving tourists thought the park almost every day for about 5 years, told us he had never seen a successful hunt before.
There was a group of zebras in the left side of our road and we could spot one lioness observing the group. The other lioness was in the other side of the road, just laying down.
The first lion starts chasing this very fat Zebra (according to the guide she was surely pregnant), it crosses the road just in front of us, and the second lions just traps her. Amazing coordination between the two of them.























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  1. Monika
    Posted August 12, 2016 at 7:47 am | Permalink

    WOW! You were really at the right place at the right time and had a camera!
    Thanks for sharing this with us.

  2. rickflick
    Posted August 12, 2016 at 8:21 am | Permalink

    Alfred Lord Tennyson’s In Memoriam:

    ‘Who trusted God was love indeed
    And love Creation’s final law
    Tho’ Nature, red in tooth and claw
    With ravine, shriek’d against his creed’

  3. Tom Chambers
    Posted August 12, 2016 at 8:22 am | Permalink

    Simply Amazing

  4. Mark Sturtevant
    Posted August 12, 2016 at 8:28 am | Permalink

    Nicholas, you are going to see a bunch of exclamatory comments today.
    Wow! Totally cool!

    It is also a bit amusing how one lion is doing all the work. ‘A little help here…?’

    • darrelle
      Posted August 12, 2016 at 10:27 am | Permalink

      Reminds me of a vehicle accident.

      I’d guess “the blocker” caused the poor zebra to momentarily slow down thus allowing the chaser to make contact.

  5. Posted August 12, 2016 at 8:56 am | Permalink

    Great sequence Nicholas! What equipment were you using?

    • Nicholas
      Posted August 16, 2016 at 3:31 am | Permalink

      I am no professional, but after my first son was born I bought a fairly quick camera to make sure I wouldn’t miss a smile 🙂
      It’s a Nikon D300.

  6. Posted August 12, 2016 at 9:22 am | Permalink

    Fantastic sequence of pictures!

    Whenever I see a predator chasing its prey, I root for the predator, even if the documentary is about the prey. Except for snakes going after mice or other cute, furry rodents. I think I’m pro mammal.

  7. HaggisForBrains
    Posted August 12, 2016 at 10:10 am | Permalink

    Brilliant! Well done! I thought that #1 lioness was doing all the work too, but presumably #2 did the clever bit of slowing down the Zebra. Great teamwork.

  8. Posted August 12, 2016 at 11:40 am | Permalink


  9. boggy
    Posted August 12, 2016 at 11:50 am | Permalink

    Before the Fall of Man, the lions would have eaten grass.

  10. Mark R.
    Posted August 12, 2016 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

    Now that was a great set of wildlife photos. Thanks!

  11. Posted August 12, 2016 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

    And the circle continues.

  12. Darren Garrison
    Posted August 12, 2016 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

    Shouldn’t a “trigger warning” be about the death of a white horse? This should have something like a “Zecora warning” or something.

  13. Heather Hastie
    Posted August 12, 2016 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

    Fantastic series of pics! Wow!

  14. Gregory Kusnick
    Posted August 12, 2016 at 7:25 pm | Permalink

    These are stunning pictures of predation in action. But in the spirit of “what an educated person should know about evolution” (and meaning no disrespect to Nicholas), I’m going to suggest that they do not depict natural selection, which is (as I understand it) inherently statistical.

    Just as observing the motion of a single molecule tells you nothing about temperature, observing a single act of predation tells you nothing about the selective pressures in play or the genes being selected against. You have to average over many instances to extract that information. For all we know this particular zebra was an optimal specimen of her kind, and just had bad luck that day.

    • Nicholas
      Posted August 16, 2016 at 6:50 am | Permalink

      Point taken with no offense. I would even push it a little further. The Pilanesberg National Park, where the pictures were taken, is in fact a reserve repopulated with wild animals. It looks natural but it is far from it, it is a reserve managed by humans.

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