Photography Contest: Finalists, Sea

We received approximately 40 photographs from 20 photographers. Most of the pictures were excellent. We divided the entries into 3 categories, Land, Sea, and Sky, though we had to fudge a little bit to populate all 3 categories.

Choosing finalists was difficult. We considered what we thought were the scientific and pictorial qualities of the photographs, and also attempted to represent as many photographers and present as much variety as possible. The text was written by the photographers and lightly edited for style.

Here are the finalists in the Sea category. Please look through them before voting for your favorite. You will have to be logged in to vote on the poll. We know it is possible to game these polls. Please be responsible and vote only once. If we think that the results are invalid, the contest will be canceled. The photos and poll are below the fold.

The winner in each category will receive a copy of The Way of the Panda, by Henry Nicholls; we thank the publisher, Pegasus Books, for their generosity in providing the books.

Note: Matt Young directed the selection of the finalists and wrote most of this text.

  • Ammonite fossils, by Amanda Brooks — Benbrook Lake, southwest Tarrant County, just outside Fort Worth, Texas. This area is known for the Barnett Shale formation which is formed by sedimentary rock from about 350 Ma.
  • Phalacrocorax brasilianus, Immature Neotropic Cormorant, by Pete Moulton — Phoenix, Arizona, late May, 2011. Over the last 15 years or so, this species has expanded explosively into Arizona, arguably our major ornithological story of the last five or six decades. The reasons for this expansion aren't well understood yet, but may be related to the effects of the northwestern Mexican drought on available habitats there, and the creation of new habitats in the Phoenix area. Inexplicably, they've largely bypassed Tucson so far.
  • Tursiops truncatus, Atlantic bottlenose dolphin, by David Muntz jr — off the coast of Wildwood, N. J., aboard sightseer tour boat.
  • Nerodia sipedon, northern water snake attempting to swallow Ameiurus sp., bullhead catfish, by Nicholas Plummer — Eno River, central North Carolina.
  • Roboastra gracilis, sea slug , by Joel Rein.
  • Dolomedes scriptus , fishing spider, by Michael Siccha — Kejimkujik National Park, Nova Scotia, Canada.