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Breaking wave, fast motion and blur. The Wedge, Newport Beach, California North Pacific humpback whales, a mother and calf pair swim closely together just under the surface of the ocean.  The calf will remain with its mother for about a year, migrating from Hawaii to Alaska to feed on herring, Megaptera novaeangliae, Maui North Pacific humpback whale, breach, Megaptera novaeangliae, Maui Guadalupe fur seals, floating upside down underwater over a rocky reef covered with golden kelp at Guadalupe Island, Arctocephalus townsendi, Guadalupe Island (Isla Guadalupe) Two blue whales, a mother and her calf, swim through the open ocean in this aerial photograph.  The calf is blowing (spouting, exhaling) with a powerful column of spray.  The blue whale is the largest animal ever to live on Earth, Balaenoptera musculus, San Diego, California Adelie penguins leaping into the ocean from an iceberg, Pygoscelis adeliae, Brown Bluff Half Dome and storm clouds at sunset, viewed from Sentinel Bridge, Yosemite National Park, California Guadalupe fur seal, floating upside down under the ocean's surface at Guadalupe Island, watching the photographer and looking for passing predators, Arctocephalus townsendi, Guadalupe Island (Isla Guadalupe) Breaking wave, Ponto, South Carlsbad Brown pelican in flight.  The wingspan of the brown pelican is over 7 feet wide. The California race of the brown pelican holds endangered species status.  In winter months, breeding adults assume a dramatic plumage, Pelecanus occidentalis, Pelecanus occidentalis californicus, La Jolla Male elk bugling during the fall rut. Large male elk are known as bulls. Male elk have large antlers which are shed each year. Male elk engage in competitive mating behaviors during the rut, including posturing, antler wrestling and bugling, a loud series of screams which is intended to establish dominance over other males and attract females, Cervus canadensis, Mammoth Hot Springs, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming Bald eagle, closeup of head and shoulders showing distinctive white head feathers, yellow beak and brown body and wings, Haliaeetus leucocephalus, Haliaeetus leucocephalus washingtoniensis, Kachemak Bay, Homer, Alaska Cholla cactus, brittlebush, ocotillo and various cacti and wildflowers color the sides of Glorietta Canyon.  Heavy winter rains led to a historic springtime bloom in 2005, carpeting the entire desert in vegetation and color for months, Opuntia, Encelia farinosa, Fouquieria splendens, Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, Borrego Springs, California Waterfall at Temple of Sinawava during peak flow following spring rainstorm.  Zion Canyon, Zion National Park, Utah Vernal Falls at peak flow in late spring, with a rainbow appearing in the spray of the falls, viewed from the Mist Trail, Yosemite National Park, California Bull elk spar to establish harems of females, Gibbon Meadow, Cervus canadensis, Gibbon Meadows, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming A rainbow appears in the mist of the Lower Falls of the Yellowstone River.  At 308 feet, the Lower Falls of the Yellowstone River is the tallest fall in the park.  This view is from Lookout Point on the North side of the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone.  When conditions are perfect in midsummer, a midmorning rainbow briefly appears in the falls, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming Grand Prismatic Spring (left) and Excelsior Geyser (right).  Grand Prismatic Spring displays a stunning rainbow of colors created by species of thermophilac (heat-loving) bacteria that thrive in narrow temperature ranges.  The blue water in the center is too hot to support any bacterial life, while the outer orange rings are the coolest water.  Grand Prismatic Spring is the largest spring in the United States and the third-largest in the world.  Midway Geyser Basin, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming Alaskan brown bear catching a jumping salmon, Brooks Falls, Ursus arctos, Brooks River, Katmai National Park A large, old brown bear (grizzly bear) wades across Brooks River. Coastal and near-coastal brown bears in Alaska can live to 25 years of age, weigh up to 1400 lbs and stand over 9 feet tall, Ursus arctos, Katmai National Park Mesa Arch, Utah.  An exuberant hiker greets the dawning sun from atop Mesa Arch. Yup, that's me, Island in the Sky, Canyonlands National Park Full grown, mature male coastal brown bear boar (grizzly bear) in sedge grass meadows, Ursus arctos, Lake Clark National Park, Alaska A great white shark opens it mouth just before it attacks its prey with a crippling, powerful bite.  After the prey has been disabled, the shark will often wait for it to weaken from blood loss before resuming the attack.  If the shark looses a tooth in the course of the bite, a replacement just behind it will move forward to take its place, Carcharodon carcharias, Guadalupe Island (Isla Guadalupe) Mule deer in tall grass, fall, autumn, Odocoileus hemionus, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming Kelp frond showing pneumatocysts, Macrocystis pyrifera, San Clemente Island A whale shark swims through the open ocean in the Galapagos Islands.  The whale shark is the largest shark on Earth, but is harmless eating plankton and small fish, Rhincodon typus, Darwin Island A kelp forest, with sunbeams passing through kelp fronds.  Giant kelp, the fastest growing plant on Earth, reaches from the rocky bottom to the ocean's surface like a submarine forest, Macrocystis pyrifera, San Clemente Island A Florida manatee, or West Indian Manatee, swims slowly through the clear waters of Crystal River, Trichechus manatus, Three Sisters Springs Horsetail Falls backlit by the setting sun as it cascades down the face of El Capitan, February, Yosemite Valley, Yosemite National Park, California Atlantic spotted dolphin, Olympic swimmer Mikako Kotani, Stenella frontalis A great white shark swims through the clear waters of Isla Guadalupe, far offshore of the Pacific Coast of Baja California.  Guadalupe Island is host to a concentration of large great white sharks, which visit the island to feed on pinnipeds and tuna, Carcharodon carcharias, Guadalupe Island (Isla Guadalupe) Bald eagle makes a splash while in flight as it takes a fish out of the water, Haliaeetus leucocephalus, Haliaeetus leucocephalus washingtoniensis, Kenai Peninsula, Alaska Portrait of a young brown bear, pausing while grazing in tall sedge grass.  Brown bears can consume 30 lbs of sedge grass daily, waiting weeks until spawning salmon fill the rivers, Ursus arctos, Lake Clark National Park, Alaska Two Adelie penguins, holding their wings out, standing on an iceberg, Pygoscelis adeliae, Paulet Island Yosemite Falls at peak flow in late spring, viewed from Cooks Meadow, Yosemite National Park, California Venus comb murex.  Scientists speculate that the distinctively long and narrow spines are a protection against fish and other mollusks and prevent the mollusk from sinking into the soft, sandy mud where it is commonly found, Murex pecten Full moon rises over Seattle city skyline at dusk, Space Needle at right Paradise Falls tumble over rocks in Paradise Creek, Mount Rainier National Park, Washington Oceanside Pier at dusk, sunset, night.  Oceanside Tiny hikers atop Sand Dunes in Death Valley National Park, California.  Near Stovepipe Wells lies a region of sand dunes, some of them hundreds of feet tall Aspen trees display Eastern Sierra fall colors, Lake Sabrina, Bishop Creek Canyon, Populus tremuloides, Bishop Creek Canyon, Sierra Nevada Mountains Hiker in North Window, sunset, western face.  North Window is a natural sandstone arch 90 feet wide and 48 feet high, Arches National Park, Utah Galapagos shark swims over a reef in the Galapagos Islands, with schooling fish in the distance, Carcharhinus galapagensis, Wolf Island Scalloped hammerhead shark swims over a reef in the Galapagos Islands.  The hammerheads eyes and other sensor organs are placed far apart on its wide head to give the shark greater ability to sense the location of prey, Sphyrna lewini, Wolf Island A great white shark swims through the clear waters of Isla Guadalupe, far offshore of the Pacific Coast of Mexico's Baja California. Guadalupe Island is host to a concentration of large great white sharks, which visit the island to feed on pinnipeds and use it as a staging area before journeying farther into the Pacific ocean, Carcharodon carcharias, Guadalupe Island (Isla Guadalupe) A SCUBA diver swims through a giant kelp forest which is tilted back by strong ocean currents.   Giant kelp, the fastest plant on Earth, reaches from the rocky bottom to the ocean's surface like a submarine forest, Macrocystis pyrifera, San Clemente Island Galapagos sea lion pup, Punta Espinosa, Zalophus californianus wollebacki, Zalophus californianus wollebaeki, Fernandina Island California sea lions swim and socialize over a kelp-covered rocky reef, underwater at San Clemente Island in California's southern Channel Islands, Zalophus californianus Ocean sunfish recruiting fish near drift kelp to clean parasites, open ocean, Baja California, Mola mola Humpback whale breaching with pectoral fins lifting spray from the ocean surface, Megaptera novaeangliae, Maui   more ...

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Updated: November 18, 2017