Thursday, November 29, 2012

Nature's fierce laws of survival

The Veolia Environment Wildlife Photographer of the Year award winners are on view now at the Natural History Museum. Always a stunning show there are 100 wonderful prize winners to see there in December. I've posted some already, but this one by French wildlife cameraman, Gregoire Bouguereau, captured my attention. Read Gregoire's explanation to experience Nature's fierce laws of survival.

Practice run
When a female cheetah caught but didn’t kill a Thomson’s gazelle calf and waited for her cubs to join her, GrĂ©goire guessed what was about to happen. He’d spent nearly a decade studying and photographing cheetahs in the Serengeti National Park, Tanzania, and he knew that the female’s behaviour meant one thing: a hunting lesson was due to begin. The female moved away, leaving the calf lying on the ground near her cubs. At first, the cubs took no notice of it. But when it struggled jerkily to its feet ‘the cubs’ natural predatory instincts were triggered,’ says GrĂ©goire. ‘Each cub’s gaze locked on to the calf as it made a break for freedom.’ The lesson repeated itself several times, with the cubs ignoring the calf when it was on the ground and catching it whenever it tried to escape – ‘an exercise that affords the cubs the chance to practise chases in preparation for the time they’ll have to do so for real.’

Gregoire won the 2012:Behavior: Mammals Award. 

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