Readers’ wildlife photographs

Reader Carl Sufit sent us some underwater shots of cephalopods; his notes are indented:
I’ll start with some images from Bonaire, of my (and many others’) favorite Order(?),  Octopoda(?)
Although they are generally nocturnal hunters, we do get to see them during the day, although they tend to retreat back into a tiny hole in the reef when confronted by divers.  Occasionally I’ve seen one that seemed so intent on some task that it ignores the bubbling hulks nearby.  This one, I assume a Caribbean Reef Octopus, Octopus briareus, kept leaving its lair in a coral head, and moving a meter or two down to a sandy area and grabbing some dead coral and bringing it back up.  Setting up defenses??  No idea.




And I’ll throw in a cousin cephalopod, a Caribbean Reef SquidSepioteuthis sepioidea.  They often shy away from divers, but occasionally they seem curious and I’ve actually been approached by them briefly.


And some mammals from Karen Bartelt:

I recently took a trip to Panama with the Sierra Club.  One of the places we stayed was called to Canopy Tower, a former radar installation in the old Canal Zone.  Now part of Soberania National Park, it’s an ecolodge and an excellent place to view wildlife.  Though the focus of the trip was birds and butterflies, we did see a few mammals, including this Brown-throated Three-toed Sloth (Bradypus variegatus).  The second pair of photos were taken days after the first two, so these may be two different animals.  There were several sloths around, and it was wonderful to shoot across the canopy rather than up, as we were at about the same level. They seemed to not have a care in the world.
Canopy Tower:
There were also troops of Geoffroy’s Tamarin (Sanguinus geoffroyi) that came and begged for bananas. We heard howler monkeys, and also saw agoutis and capuchin monkeys, but my photos of these aren’t very good.
Finally, we have last night’s moon, photographed by reader Nicole Reggia with a hand-held camera propped against a tree, and a 150-600 mm Tamron zoom lens:


  1. Tim
    Posted January 5, 2017 at 7:47 am | Permalink

    Anyone else see the face in the bottom of the octopus in the first picture? A nice case of mimicry!

    • Mark R.
      Posted January 5, 2017 at 1:05 pm | Permalink

      Looks like the profile of an elephant to me. 🙂

  2. rickflick
    Posted January 5, 2017 at 7:53 am | Permalink

    Nice shots! The sloth seems to be wearing cosmetics.

  3. Jim Knight
    Posted January 5, 2017 at 8:36 am | Permalink

    Excellent photos! The sloth shots are particularly good…!

  4. Doug
    Posted January 5, 2017 at 8:43 am | Permalink

    He’s creating an octopus’s garden, near a cave.

    • Mark Sturtevant
      Posted January 5, 2017 at 10:09 am | Permalink

      🐙 !!

  5. Dominic
    Posted January 5, 2017 at 8:51 am | Permalink

    New book on octopus intelligence by Peter Godfrey-Smith may be of interest –
    Other Minds

    • Dominic
      Posted January 5, 2017 at 8:52 am | Permalink

      oops – did not realize that would add a picture – apologies! 😦

  6. Heather Hastie
    Posted January 5, 2017 at 8:54 am | Permalink

    All good pics.

    I wondered if the octopus was creating a hide to aid its hunting? They’re so smart, and I love videos of them carrying one or even two coconut shell halves to hide in from predators in areas where they don’t have a cave nearby.

  7. Mark Sturtevant
    Posted January 5, 2017 at 10:15 am | Permalink

    I have heard that octopi sometimes do this for protection. Suspecting it is a female (it looked ‘big’), so maybe it was preparing a protected nursery to place her eggs? She would be pretty single-minded in something like that, I guess.

    So.. is it octopi or octopuses? While we are at it, is it
    ‘carah-bee-ann’, or ‘carib-bee-en’?

  8. Mark Sturtevant
    Posted January 5, 2017 at 10:17 am | Permalink

    I got kind of excited seeing the picture of a new world primate. See the nostrils? Notice how they open sideways? That is a new world primate character. Old world primates have nostrils that open downward, and so our nostrils are consistent with the hemisphere of our origin.

  9. Mark R.
    Posted January 5, 2017 at 1:09 pm | Permalink

    YAY! An octopus and a sloth…two of my favorite critters. I’ve seen an octopus in the wild, but never a sloth. That would be a thrill.

  10. allison
    Posted January 5, 2017 at 2:13 pm | Permalink

    Strange animal day – octopi and sloths are among the strangest of animals (in my opinion).

  11. Mark Sturtevant
    Posted January 5, 2017 at 3:59 pm | Permalink

    I like the moon pix, too. I tried that and failed utterly.

  12. ThyroidPlanet
    Posted January 5, 2017 at 6:10 pm | Permalink


  13. David Evans
    Posted January 6, 2017 at 2:44 am | Permalink

    When photographing the Moon it’s worth going to manual exposure mode, if you can. There are online guides on setting the camera for different Moon phases. Otherwise you’re likely to get overexposure, as here.

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