Frans Lanting

National Geographic Photographer || Author || Speaker || Creator of images, stories and events to inspire wonder and concern about our living planet.

335 posts 750,652 followers 233 following

Our oceans are full of junk and albatrosses searching for food often mistake floating plastic and rubber objects for fish or squid and swallow them. Why do they do that? Well, it’s hard to know what goes on inside the mind of an albatross, but I speculate that they are hardwired to swallow things that feel like fish or squid and plastic or rubber may not taste that different to a hungry albatross. After all, their feeding habits evolved long before there was any plastic junk out at sea. When you walk around an albatross colony you see the sad results. Many thousands of albatross chicks die every year because their parents feed them plastic instead of fish and it clogs up their intestines until they die. It’s heartbreaking to see their decaying corpses full of junk, but because this mortality occurs on remote oceanic islands, very few people know this is a problem, so we need to show and share what is going on. For this image I asked a British Antarctic Survey researcher on South Georgia’s Bird Island to unwrap a roll of plastic that had been regurgitated by a wandering albatross. Imagine what that would have done to the bird or its chick if it had unwound in their guts. Plastic pollution is a global problem, but there are local solutions. They start with banning single use plastic items from your own lifestyle and from your community and there are lots of campaigns gaining momentum that can effect change on a bigger scale. Check some of the hashtags and share this post. And follow us @FransLanting and @ChristineEckstrom for more stories about these amazing birds who deserve better than to die from plastic pollution.
@leonardodicaprio @leonardodicapriofdn @birdlife_insta @rspb_love_nature @plasticpollutes @sea_legacy #Albatross #Seabird #Naturelovers #Ocean #Birdphotography #YearoftheBird #Pollution #Plasticpollution #SouthGeorgiaIsland


You’re looking at the outcome of albatross love—a gaggle of black-browed chicks, which have a long way to go before they can lift their wings and become the supreme flyers sailors have admired for centuries. They’re plump from the fish and squid oil they are raised with and they’re all sitting on mud nests built by their parents. After the young birds fledge they will roam the open ocean for several years without ever coming back to shore, but eventually the survivors come back to the island where they are born to seek mates. Follow me @FransLanting and @ChristineEckstrom for more stories about these amazing ocean nomads.
@thephotosociety @natgeocreative Albatross #Seabird #naturelovers #ocean #wildlifephotography #Birdphotography #YearoftheBird


Video by @ChristineEckstrom and @FransLanting Albatross courtship involves a dance during which male and female have to be in sync. Mastery of the dance requires practice and that is what these young Royal albatrosses are doing. They are born with a basic knowledge of the dance, but they will only succeed in finding a mate if they can perform the ritual with vigor and self assurance—and if they are sensitive to their partner’s moves. As the late Duke Ellington once said, “It don’t mean a thing if it ain’t got that swing.” These young Royals have gathered like teenagers to practice courtship moves on each other in a group; they’ve got the energy and the motivation, but they are trying too hard and still lack the finesse that is needed to woo a mate. When two birds get more serious about each other they will sneak away as a pair and spend time getting used to each other. Does that sound familiar? Watch the previous video we posted as well to compare how relaxed those two birds are with each other. Follow me @FransLanting and @ChristineEckstrom for more stories about albatrosses.
@natgeocreative @thephotosociety #Albatross #Seabird #NewZealand #Antarctica #Amazing #YearoftheBird #Wildlife #Courtship #Love



Video by @ChristineEckstrom and @FransLanting “Love Birds” Albatross courtship is an intimate affair. These graceful seabirds live as long as we do and they mate for life after a spectacular dance ritual. They’re dependent on the open ocean and on tiny specks of land where they come ashore to find a partner. These two Royal albatrosses on New Zealand’s Campbell Island are in an advanced state of courtship, which involves much nibbling and grooming back and forth. I offer this video in celebration of this Valentine’s Day in the Year of the Bird. Follow me @ChristineEckstrom and @FransLanting to see more of these remarkable seabirds.
@Nategeocreative @Thephotosociety #valentinesday #courtship #mate #partner #attract #albatross #Yearofthebird


Video by @ChristineEckstrom and @FransLanting Elephants have a remarkable sense of themselves—and of us. It helps them navigate through the precarious landscapes where their traditional movements intersect with our modern infrastructure. Finding solutions for conflicts between elephants and people in places where they share space is a huge challenge. This video shows a cautious tolerance back and forth, but how long can it last?

Here’s the story behind the video: Elephants love the fruits of wild mango trees and when they ripen in Zambia’s Luangwa Valley, one elephant family was used to visiting a favorite tree behind a safari lodge. When the reception area was expanded, the route to the tree was blocked. The lodge owners thought that the elephants would just go elsewhere, because there were many other mango trees around. But the elephants decided otherwise and took their traditional path, which now leads straight through the new reception area.
Who do you think has the right of way? Follow us @FransLanting and @ChristineEckstrom for more stories about the entwined lives of animals and us on a crowded planet.
@natgeocreative @thephotosociety @leonardodicaprio #SaveTheElephants #Elephants #Zambia #Africa #Safari #Wildlife #Conservation


Photo by @FransLanting When an elephant calf is born everyone in the herd gets excited and wants to touch and smell the newborn. The pace of the herd—made up of related females and their offspring—slows down to accommodate the needs of the youngest. The adults become very protective and surround the calf at all times. You can’t get close without causing commotion, so I made this image with a long lens from a respectful distance. This baby had been born just a day earlier; it could barely walk and its trunk was still limp. It takes young elephants a few weeks before they learn how to manage the many complex muscles that govern a trunk. It’s endearing to see them struggle with that odd appendage. Can you imagine how you would feel with a trunk dangling from your face? Follow me @FransLanting and @ChristineEckstrom for more intimate stories from the world of elephants.

@natgeocreative @thephotosociety #SavetheElephants #Africa #Elephants #Family #Conservation #Ivory #Motherhood #Baby #Wisdom



“Ivory is for Elephants” I offer this image of an elephant at dawn in recognition of Hong Kong’s decision to phase out elephant ivory sales by 2021. It is a great gift to elephants and to all of us who care about their survival. It follows the Chinese government's decision to ban ivory sales in 2018, by the terms of an agreement made between President Xi Jinping and President Obama in 2015. Let’s make sure the current US administration holds up its side of the bargain and does not reopen the import of elephant ivory and other body parts from Zambia and Zimbabwe. I salute the organizations who are banding together with their counterparts in Asia to champion the case for elephants. Our gratitude goes to @SaveTheElephants, to @WildAid and to the World Wildlife Fund’s global network. I hope you will add your support to these groups because there is more hard work ahead. The ivory trade is moving from China and Hong Kong to Laos and Vietnam, where it needs to get stopped. Follow me @FransLanting and @ChristineEckstrom for more intimate encounters with elephants in the places where they deserve to live in peace. @Wild_Net @World_Wildlife @Leonardodicaprio @Leonardodicapriofdn @Natgeocreative @Thephotosociety #Elephants #Respect #Dignity #Respect #Conservation #Hope


Video by @ChristineEckstrom and @FransLanting Today was a great day for all of us who believe in the preservation of wilderness and wildlife. Chilean President Michelle Bachelet and Kristine McDivitt Tompkins, President and CEO of Tompkins Conservation, joined forces to create five new national parks in Chile and increase the size of three others with a historic ten million acre expansion of protected areas in Chilean Patagonia. This unprecedented partnership started with Kris and Doug Tompkins's private commitment to embrace the preservation of wilderness in Patagonia on a grand scale twenty years ago. It confirms what Margaret Mead once said: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” We salute the Tompkins for their vision and thank them on behalf of the guanacos—and all the other wild creatures—who will now have a home in perpetuity in Patagonia Park, where I stalked this family group of guanacos. Watch how they react when I lie down in front of them; instead of running away they approach me with wary curiosity. I’ve seen similar behavior by antelopes in Africa getting stalked by a cheetah in the open: They prefer to keep their eyes on adversaries and make it clear they won’t get surprised. When I work with animals, I try to think like them. It’s all about putting yourself in their position. Follow us @FransLanting and @ChristineEckstrom for more stories of hope about wildlife and wild places.

@Tompkins_conservation @Natgeocreative @Thephotosociety @Leonardodicapriofdn @LeonardodiCaprio #Chile #Conservation #Patagonia #NationalParks #ParquesNacionales #Celebrate #Inspire #Rewilding #Guanacos #Wildlifephotography


A wary matriarch looks at us while others in her family are drinking. Her role in the group is to think ahead and assess problems others may not recognize. Wisdom comes with age and in elephant societies knowledge is passed on, especially between females who stay together all of their lives. Poaching does not just take out the ivory of individual adults, but it destroys entire families and wipes out important memories about food resources and travel routes that need to passed on to the next generation. Follow me @FransLanting and @ChristineEckstrom for more close encounters of the elephant kind.

@natgeocreative @thephotosociety #Africa #Elephants #Family #Conservation #SavetheElephants #Ivory #Motherhood #Wisdom #Leadership



Video by @ChristineEckstrom and @FransLanting While on assignment for @NatGeo in Namibia we used a bunker sunk into the ground to create eye-level coverage of elephants. We were safe in our hideaway, but not prepared for the moment when a curious bull elephant reached into the bunker and started probing around with his trunk. He caused some commotion, but walked off with no harm done. You never know what may happen when you work with wild creatures. They still surprise us every time we get close. On Saturday January 27, Chris and I will talk about our three decades of fieldwork in Africa at a benefit event at the Rio Theatre in Santa Cruz, California. Check out the link in my bio for event info. And if you can't join us, follow us @FransLanting and @ChristineEckstrom for more intimate encounters with the animal world.
@natgeocreative @thephotosociety #Africa #Elephants #Wild #Wildlife #Wildlifephotography #Nature #Explore


Photo by @FransLanting From a distance a toucan in flight looks like a crow pushing a banana. Its body is plain black, but it has an outrageously elongated yellow bill. You have to get close to appreciate the facial design that matches the bill. A blue eye ring of bare skin is surrounded by a bare orange patch and that is framed by delicate black and white feathers. It is one of the most outrageous designs nature has forged over time in the American tropics. Follow me @FransLanting and @ChristineEckstrom for more wonders from the world of birds. @natgeocreative @thephotosociety #YearOfTheBird #toucan #bird #color #evolution #design


“Blizzard of Birds” California’s Klamath Basin is a funnel along the Pacific Flyway. Millions of waterfowl pass through it on their annual migratory journeys between the Far North and wintering grounds in temperate climates. Today the wetlands in the basin have shrunk to a fraction of their former size, and what remains is now carefully managed by the US Fish and Wildlife Service in order to allow the multitudes of birds dependent on it to survive in a much-reduced habitat. Enormous flocks of snow geese arrive here after long flights from the Arctic. It gives me chills when I think of their endurance—some come from as far away as islands off Siberia. Stay tuned for more sights and sounds of these amazing birds, which scientists call Anser Hyperboreus; it means “Bird from beyond the North Wind.” Whoever came up with that name was not just a scientist, but a poet as well. I like people who can use both sides of their brain and unite them. Photography requires that as well; you have to be able to analyze and synthesize to create interesting images.
@christineeckstrom #Bird #Migration #Waterfowl #Snowgeese #KlamathBasin #Birdphotography #Wildlifephotography



We call it the gathering of the tribe when we come together once a year at the National Geographic Society in Washington, D.C., for a week of meetings and events. We are photographers and storytellers with a sense of purpose. We inspire and challenge each other with new work, we trade tales from the past and embrace the newcomers who show up for the first time. Here are some of us last week at the original entrance to the @NatGeo Headquarters where eclectic, talented people have walked in and out for more than a century. Shown here from left to right are some of my favorite image makers on the planet: @JenniferHayesig and her partner @DavidDoubilet, who are an awesome underwater team. David has been making remarkable photos underwater for 50 years and amazed us with his newest images. @CristinaMittermeier and @PaulNicklen are forces of nature on their own, but together they are a singular force for nature with their advocacy projects for @Sealegacy. Check out their work! On her own @ChristineEckstrom is a lyrical storyteller and videographer, but as my partner in life and work she enriches everything I do. I feel blessed to stand next to these amazing people who are helping all of us see the world in a different way.
@natgeo @natgeotravel @natgeocreative @thephotosociety #photography #photographer #naturephotography #nature #teamwork #turningthetide #conservation #together


Emperor penguins never set foot on land. They gather on the sea ice that forms around Antarctica each winter to raise their young. It’s a race against time because they have to fledge their chicks before the sea ice melts in late summer. It is hard to know yet what the ultimate effects of climate change will be for these remarkable birds, but the worst-case scenario is that the sea ice will start melting from under the feet of young emperors before they are ready to go to sea. The birds cannot go anywhere else because the massive edge of the Antarctic ice shelf prevents them from going inland. Just like polar bears in the Arctic, emperor penguins are totally dependent on sea ice for their survival. They are like canaries in a global coal mine when it comes to bearing witness to how our planet is changing. Follow me @FransLanting and @ChristineEckstrom to learn how emperors are coping with life.

@natgeocreative @thephotosociety @leonardodicaprio #Penguins #Antarctica #Climatechange


If you are wondering how I stayed warm while working with emperor penguins in Antarctica, here’s a glimpse behind the scenes. I wore an outfit designed for people who work outside in extreme cold for long periods of time like polar explorers and Iditarod dog mushers. It included a very thick body liner that kept my body core warm. It made me look and feel like a blimp, but it was a lifesaver. My boots had very thick insulated soles that kept my feet well above the ice and they never got cold. This outfit is different from the kind of flexible, lightweight clothing mountaineers wear who need to be more mobile. My work required me to be immobile while observing emperors for long periods. Even so, there were times when I could barely cope and it only increased my admiration for the birds, who had nothing but their feathers and their ability to huddle together to survive the extreme conditions that are part of their way of life. If any of you would like to visit Antarctica yourself with one the ships that offer great trips along the Antarctic coast, you don’t have to equip yourself the way I did. Temperatures during a ship-based itinerary are moderated by the ocean and typically do not go far below the freezing point. But you won’t be able to get close to emperor penguins who can only be reached by icebreaker or if you join a private ice-based expedition like the one I organized. Follow me @FransLanting and @ChristineEckstrom for more stories from the frigid edges of the planet.
@natgeocreative @thephotosociety #Antarctica #Penguins #Extreme #Cold #Survival #Wildlifephotography



"Happy New Life” Emperor penguin chicks are born on the feet of their parents. That’s where they crawl out of their eggs, which are kept off the ice by incubating adults, who cradle the eggs on their feet for two months. Here, a newborn chick sitting on its mother’s feet is getting a brief peek at the world before it gets covered again by a brood flap, which keeps eggs and chicks warm even under the extreme conditions emperors face during their reproduction cycle. If we can learn how to nurture our planet the way emperors take care of their offspring, we’ll all be better off. Follow me @FransLanting to see what emperor penguins have to do to stay warm when it gets really cold. @christineeckstrom @natgeotravel @natgeocreative @thephotosociety #Antarctica #Penguins #Parenting #Baby #Care #Bird #Naturelovers #newborn #wonder


When emperor penguin chicks are a month old they are no longer guarded by their parents around the clock and they begin to form creches where they keep each other warm by huddling together, just like their parents do. When parents return from the sea they head for the creches to pick up their chicks. Stay tuned for more scenes from the amazing world of emperors by following me @FransLanting and @ChristineEckstrom.
@natgeocreative @thephotosociety #Antarctica #Penguins #Extreme #Photography #Wildlifephotography #Cold #Parenting #Baby #Care #Bird #Naturelovers #Together


When it gets very cold, emperor penguins huddle together in large groups to keep each other warm. It’s the only way they can survive the brutal conditions they face in the course of their incredible reproduction cycle on the sea ice off Antarctica. During mid-winter blizzards, when males are incubating eggs on their feet with only their brood flaps to cover the future chicks, temperatures can drop to -70 degrees. When I made this image it was not quite that bad, only -30 degrees, but I was standing on top of a platform perched at the edge of a colony and I had to stay still to avoid spooking the birds. It was an ordeal, and it took a while to get warm again, but the images were worth it. Follow me @FransLanting for more stories from the amazing world of emperor penguins and check @ChristineEckstrom for more videos of our fieldwork together.
@natgeo @natgeotravel @natgeocreative @thephotosociety #Antarctica #Penguins #Extreme #Photography #Wildlifephotography #Cold



Photo by @FransLanting The holidays are a time for togetherness and in that spirit I’m sharing this image of an emperor penguin family gathered around their chick. Right now it’s early summer in Antarctica and that means multitudes of young emperor penguin chicks are being nurtured on sea ice around the margins of the frozen continent. Their parents alternate between shuttling in food from open water and guarding their adorable offspring. It is an epic example of parental commitment under extreme conditions. Follow me @FransLanting and @ChristineEckstrom for more stories about heroism in the natural world.

@thephotosociety @natgeotravel @natgeocreative #Penguin #EmperorPenguin #Antarctica #Nature #Family #Parent #Nurture #Love #Togetherness #Heroes


Photo by @FransLanting No matter where you are and what you believe in we wish you all Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Feliz Navidad, Prettige Feestdagen, Mirary Fety Sambatra, اجازة سعيدة, 節日快樂, Selamat Hari Raya, 幸せな休日, Furaha Likizo, छुट्टियां आनंददायक हों, 행복 휴일, تعطیلات شاد and Peace on Earth. Follow us for more images and stories about what we all have in common, our amazing living planet. @christineeckstrom @natgeotravel @natgeocreative @thephotosociety #Holiday #Snow #Peace


“Ivory is for Elephants” At the end of 2017 the Chinese government plans to ban ivory sales, by the terms of an agreement President Xi Jinping made with President Obama in 2015. Let’s make sure our elected officials in the US hold up their side of the bargain in 2018 and do not reopen the import of elephant ivory and other body parts from Zambia and Zimbabwe—as some interest groups are proposing to do. China’s ivory ban is a great gift to elephants and all of us who care about their survival. We salute the many individuals and organizations worldwide who banded together with their counterparts in China to make this happen. Our special thanks and gratitude go to Save the Elephants, to Wild Aid, and to the World Wildlife Fund network. I offer this image of a gathering of bull elephants at a waterhole in Botswana in recognition of this occasion and hope you will add your support to the organizations who will continue the hard work ahead. Follow me @FransLanting for more images and stories from the wild.
@natgeocreative @thephotosociety @christineeckstrom @WildAid @Wild_Net @WorldWildlifeFund @SaveTheElephants @Leonardodicaprio #Elephants #Respect #Dignity


Photo by @FransLanting Wildfires are a cause of global warming and they contribute to ice melting around the poles. Fire and ice have been present on our planet for a long time, but now humans are meddling with the mix. Most wildfires in the USA are caused by people and that is the case as well in other parts of the world. The annual burnings of forests in the Amazon and Borneo are major contributors to climate change. Whether it has a human origin or not, the current Thomas fire in Southern California, which we shared with you in previous posts, is poised to become the biggest in California’s history. It has burned more than 270.000 acres and released massive amounts of carbon into the atmosphere, and that will have an impact, if ever so slight, on the shape of ice in Antarctica where this photo was made. That frigid continent has been at the edge of human attention until now, but it will become a major concern in the next decades as its melting ice will change coastlines around the world and along with that the lives of billions of people. Fire and ice are connected and so are we. Follow me @FransLanting for more stories about our changing planet.@natgeocreative @the photosociety @Leonardodicaprio @Christineeckstrom #Earth #Fire #Ice #Wildfire #Antarctica #Globalwarming #Climatechange #Climatereality


Photo by @FransLanting “California Burning” One of the largest wildfires in California’s history is still raging through the rugged coastal mountains near Santa Barbara. A few nights ago the hills looked like a scene from the apocalypse as the flames were encroaching upon homes on the outskirts of town. More than eight thousand firefighters from all over the American West are combating the blaze in an operation that is as massive as the fire itself. California is used to wildfires, but the ferocity and the magnitude of recent outbreaks is rattling people. Governor Jerry Brown calls these megafires part of the “New Normal,” as the state is adapting to the consequences of climate change. Our local firefighters are heroes when it comes to battling the flames, but they can only address the symptoms of a planet under pressure. We need a different and much bigger global force to address the root causes of the inferno that will impact all of us unless we act. Check the hashtags below to learn how you can engage. Follow me @FransLanting for more stories about our living planet.
@natgeocreative @thephotosociety@christineeckstrom @leonardodicaprio #California #Wildfire #Climatechange #climatereality #stopclimatechange #theellenshow


Video by @FransLanting The intensity of a wildfire is hard to imagine if you have not experienced a blaze up close. I captured this scene the other night in Santa Barbara where one of the largest fires in California history is raging through the mountains. With a long lens I was able to stay safe, yet get into the middle of it. You can see vortexes of fire form and reach up into the sky just like solar flares emanating from our sun. But this is our earth and this current wildfire is yet another indication that our planet is under pressure. California governor Jerry Brown has declared this fire a part of the “New Normal,” as the state is adapting to the consequences of climate change. More than eight thousand firefighters have been assembled to combat the fire. They are heroes when it comes to battling the flames, but we need a much bigger global force to address the root causes of this inferno. Check the hashtags below to learn how you can engage.

@natgeocreative @thephotosociety @christineeckstrom #California #Wildfire #Climatechange #climatereality #stopclimatechange #leonardodicaprio


“The New Normal” I drove into Santa Barbara yesterday for a family visit. We passed miles of scorched woodland from last year's wildfire and now the town is under siege by the latest megafire that has hit California. This is a scene from last night, in the hills above town. Governor Jerry Brown called this part of the "New Normal” at a press conference two days ago. The state is getting hotter and drier. And fires now break out when we are supposed to be getting rain. Everyone is anxiously awaiting the first winter storm to give the land a reprieve. Follow me @FransLanting for more images and stories of a planet under pressure. @natgeocreative @thephotosociety #California #Wildfire #Climatechange #leonardodicaprio @christineeckstrom


Happy Holidays Friends! If you are still looking for a one-of-a-kind gift, we hope you’ll consider our new book “Into Africa.” It captures the wonders of wild Africa—and shows what is at stake in the twenty-first century. The standard edition is available in stores and online, but the Collector's Edition is only available from our Studio. This luxurious, oversize version of the book includes a beautiful clamshell case and is limited to 250 numbered and signed copies. The price is $350 plus tax and shipping. We can ship overseas too. If you would like to receive your copy in time for the holidays, please contact us by Dec. 11 at +1-831-429-1331 or email us at


Adorable, but vulnerable, three cheetah cubs watch their mother hunt in the Serengeti Plains, a few weeks after they first emerged from a den inside the rocks where they spent their first month hiding from predators like lions, hyenas and leopards. More than half of all cheetah cubs do not survive the first four weeks of life and most of the rest do not make it beyond their first year. Cheetahs can’t climb trees like leopards, they can’t dig burrows like hyenas, and they’re not social like lions, so they are vulnerable no matter where they are. I photographed these cubs on assignment for @NatGeo and we cheered on their mother as she was facing the difficult challenges of motherhood alone. I would like to salute the individuals and organizations who are in the forefront of safeguarding a future for these endangered cats and hope that you will support them too. Thanks to Luke Dollar and NatGeo’s Big Cat Initiative, Laurie Marker and her Namibia-based Cheetah Conservation Fund (CCF), Rebecca Klein and the Cheetah Conservation Botswana project (CCB) and Luke Hunter and his collegues at Panthera. Follow me @FransLanting for more images of cheetahs and other inhabitants of Wild Africa.

@natgeocreative @thephotosociety #Cheetah #BigCats #BigCatsInitiative #CheetahConservationFund #Panthera #Endangered


Video by @ChristineEckstrom and @FransLanting Experienced cheetah moms, like all good mothers, are both vigilant and tolerant. Watch how this mother puts up with the antics of her cubs until they wear themselves out and suckle and go to sleep. What you don’t see here is how this mother is constantly scanning the horizon for signs of trouble. The fate of cheetahs as a species depends on the ability of a small number of exceptional females to nurture cubs to independence and to keep them safe while doing so. We call them “supermoms.” And any mother who is juggling child care with earning a living and other responsibilities, can relate to that. Stay tuned for more stories from the wild world of cheetahs.

@thephotosociety #cheetahs #wildlife #motherhood #family #joy #play


Photo by@FransLanting Cheetahs are the most vulnerable of the world’s big cats, with cub mortality as high as 95 percent, often due to predation by lions and hyenas. But studies have shown that a small number of cheetah females are so good at raising cubs that we can call them “supermoms.” Here in the grasslands of Kenya’s Maasai Mara one remarkable supermom scans the horizon for trouble with a cub next to her. Today is International Cheetah Day and we’d like to give a shout out to the individuals and organizations who are working to safeguard a future for these amazing cats and hope that you will support them too. Thanks to NatGeo’s Big Cat Initiative, Laurie Marker and her Namibia-based Cheetah Conservation Fund (CCF), Rebecca Klein and the Cheetah Conservation Botswana project (CCB) and Panthera. Follow me @FransLanting for more images of cheetahs and other inhabitants of Wild Africa.

@natgeocreative @thephotosociety #Cheetah #BigCats #BigCatsInitiative #CheetahConservationFund #Panthera #Endangered


Photos by @FransLanting Some thoughts about food as we move on beyond our Thanksgiving food feasts. Our digestive system has not evolved much beyond what we inherited from the common ancestor we share with chimps and it’s based on a largely vegetarian lifestyle. Laid out here are items from a typical day of chimp foraging in the forest of west Africa; lots of leaves, some fruits, and in the middle you can see a handful of termites. Sugar, salt, and fat are almost non-existent in a chimp's diet, but they love it when they can get it. Honey is a prized find. Rare animal kills provide chimps with protein and with fat and salt. When Chris and I tracked chimps in Senegal, during the day we ate what we could carry along in our packs during long days in the field. In the second image you can see what that added up to. We relied on tomatoes, carrots, and bell peppers along with peanuts, hard-boiled eggs, and dried meat all bought at a local market. It was basically a paleo diet. The only luxury item were granola bars and we treasured those like the chimps loved their honey. At night we would have a cooked meal but even so, I lost twenty pounds of weight during this assignment; and after our recent Thanksgiving feast I’m ready to go back to a chimp diet for a while. Follow me @FransLanting for more images and stories from the natural world we all depend on. @thephotosociety @natgeocreative @Christineeckstrom #Food #Chimps #Paleodiet #Health #Assignment