The British Society of Underwater Photographers (BSoUP)
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Deadly Oceans

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Shell Wildlife Photographer of the Year Competition 2006

Snappers in synchrony
Highly commended - Animal Behaviour: All Other Animals
Alexander Mustard
UK

Snappers by Alex Mustard


Swimming off the edge of a coral atoll into the big blue is exciting for a diver. But it's less exciting for fish high on the menu of local predators. Guraidhoo Corner off South Malé Atoll, in the Maldives, is outside the reef and attracts many reef sharks. Paddletail snappers in this exposed environment respond to anything bigger than them, including a human diver, by bunching into a tight, defensive ball. 'The shape of the formation continually morphed as the fish jostled for position,' says Alex. 'I waited for the fish to create different shapes and took a series of frames. When they formed this perfect sphere, I knew I had an interesting picture.'

Nikon D2X with 17-35mm AFS lens; 1/100 sec at f6.3; 100 ISO; Subal underwater housing.

The Natural History Museum’s Shell Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition is open to the public from Saturday 21 October 2006 – Sunday 29 April 2007.

The Shell Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition is owned by the Natural History Museum and BBC Wildlife Magazine, and is sponsored by Shell.

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

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