Frans Lanting — National Geographic Photographer || Author || Speaker || Creator of images, stories and events to inspire wonder and concern about our living planet.
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Photo by @FransLanting Male emperor penguins are heroic symbols of fatherhood. After female emperors lay their eggs in the middle of the brutal Antarctic winter, their male partners take over incubation duty while the females go back to sea to replenish themselves. A male emperor incubates his precious egg by balancing it on his feet and he covers it with a brood flap to keep it warm. It takes up to two months for the eggs to hatch and during that period the prospective fathers do not eat or drink. By the time the chicks are born the males may have lost up to a third of their body weight. I spent a month camping on sea ice next to an emperor penguin colony in the Weddell Sea to document the parenting saga of these amazing birds on assignment for @NatGeo. I share this image in celebration of Fathers Day! Follow me @FransLanting for more images and stories of the emperor penguin and Antarctica. @Natgeo @natgeotravel @Natgeocreative @thephotosociety #Emporerpenguin #Penguin #Antarctica #Chick #FathersDay #Father #Fatherhood #Parent #Care #Nurture ...more
2 days ago
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Photo by @FransLanting Bonobos are the least known of all the great apes and eerily close to us. When one looks you in the eyes like this male did, the boundaries between us and them become blurry. I’m back in the Congo to explore the world of bonobos. We are joined for this exciting expedition by @Ashley_Judd who is just as keen as @ChristineEckstrom and I are to elevate the profile of bonobos and to support the people who care about them. This is among one of my favorite new images I made @Lolayabonobo. Follow us @FransLanting and @ChristineEckstrom as we go deep into the heart of the Congo to learn more about the fascinating lives of bonobos. @natgeo @natgeocreative @thephotosociety @Bonobodotorg @Ashley_Judd @ChristineEckstrom @natureneedshalf #Bonobos #Apes #Empathy #Naturelovers #Explore ...more
4 days ago
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Photo by @FransLanting Bonobo females are powerful figures. They rule over males in their social groups, but they are also strong physically. Look at the muscles in this female’s upper arms. They’re developed for a life in the trees, but bonobos also move bipedally on the ground. This female was foraging in shallow water in the Lola ya Bonobo sanctuary where she was brought in as a frightened orphan and nurtured into a healthy adult by an amazing group of dedicated Congolese bonobo conservationists @LolayaBonobo. Stay tuned for more bonobo discoveries as we head into the heart of the Congo Basin for a jungle expedition with @Ashley_Judd and @ChristineEckstrom. @natgeo @natgeocreative @thephotosociety @bonobodotorg #Bonobos #Bonobo #Apes #Matriarchy #Conservation ...more
6 days ago
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Photo by @FransLanting A family group of bonobos has gathered in a forest clearing. Only a handful of Westerners have seen bonobos in the wild, because they only occur in a nearly inaccessible part of the Congo Basin. I’m one of the lucky few and I’m excited to be back in the Congo for more field work aimed at boosting the visibility of bonobos and to support the people who care about them. We’ve teamed up with @Ashley_Judd and the Bonobo Conservation Initiative to do that. Follow me, @franslanting and @ChristineEckstrom to learn more about bonobos and to see some of my favorite new images made the last few days @Lolayabonobo. @natgeo @natgeocreative @thephotosociety @Bonobodotorg @Ashley_Judd @ChristineEckstrom @natureneedshalf #Bonobos #Apes #Naturelovers #Explore #Conservation. ...more
1 week ago
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Photo by @FransLanting Bonobos are remarkably tolerant of each other and they play a lot too. Here, a high ranking female is jostling with a young male while an older male is getting in on the game as well. You’d rarely see this kind of interaction among chimps where power plays are more common. Photographed @Lolayabonobo, a remarkable sanctuary in the Congo where we spent a few days documenting bonobos and the people who care about them. We are about to head deep into the heart of the Congo for a challenging bonobo expedition. We’ll be joined on this mission by @Ashley_Judd who is as keen as @ChristineEckstrom and I are to elevate the profile of bonobos. Follow us for more discoveries soon. @natgeocreative @Bonobodotorg @ThePhotoSociety @ChristineEckstrom #Bonobos #Apes #Empathy #Naturelovers #Play ...more
1 week ago
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Photo by @FransLanting From the air the boundary between protected tropical forest and adjacent commercial agricultural land in the Iguacu area of Brazil is a hard line and the contrast is striking. The contour lines in the agricultural land are drawn to stem soil erosion and that us a visible expression of land management. What you don’t see in the forest next to it, is its contribution to global climate stabilization. The smartest investment in combating climate change is to protect our forests. They’re the green lungs of the planet. This image is included in a new campaign by the Union of Concerned Photographers sponsored by @WeTransfer. I’m a member along with @amivitale, @MandyBarker, @JoelRedman1 and @lucalocatelliphoto. Go to to learn more about us and hear my perspective on forests and deforestation. (link in bio) #deforestation #preservation #conservation #forest #worldenvironmentday ...more
1 week ago
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Video by @ChristineEckstrom When you enter the nursery at the Lola ya Bonobo sanctuary in the Congo you immediately become a playmate for young bonobos, who wreak havoc with visitors. They’re strong, fast and skilled pickpockets too. What happened to those glasses I had in my pocket when I arrived? Hard to believe that these little rascals arrived at Lola as traumatized orphans who lost their mothers due to the insidious effects of the bushmeat and pet trade. Loving care from a team of surrogate human mothers gives them a new lease on life. Lola is the only place in the Congo—and the world— that is dedicated 100% to bonobos and their care. Check them out @LolayaBonobo and give them your support. And follow us @FransLanting, @ChristineEckstrom and @Ashley_Judd as we dive deeper into the world of bonobos and the people who care about them. @natgeo @natgeotravel @natgeocreative @thephotosociety @bonobodotorg #Bonobos #Bonobo #Apes #Naturelovers #Conservation #Wildlifephotography ...more
2 weeks ago
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Photo by @FransLanting Nobody messes with Salonga, the powerful alpha female of a bonobo group at the Lola ya Bonobo sanctuary in the Congo. She has the physique of a bodybuilder, but she rules with the force of her personality. In response to a previous bonobo post someone commented “ that looks like a human trapped in animal skin” and that is how I feel about this image. Stay tuned for more bonobo stories as we get ready for our jungle expedition with the amazing @Ashley_Judd to support bonobo conservation and check @ChristineEckstrom for an affectionate moment between two bonobos. @LolayaBonobo @bonobodotorg @natgeocreative @thephotosociety #Bonobos #Bonobo #Apes #Matriarchy #Conservation ...more
2 weeks ago
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Photo by @FransLanting Bonobos are not afraid to get wet. This male was contemplating his hands as he sat waist deep in water @Lolayabonobo, a remarkable sanctuary in the Congo where we are spending a few days to document bonobos and the people who care about them. But soon we are planning to head deep into the heart of the Congo for a challenging expedition. We’ll be joined on this exciting mission by @Ashley_Judd who is as keen as @ChristineEckstrom and I are to elevate the profile of bonobos. We can learn a lot about ourselves from bonobos. Stay tuned for more discoveries soon. @natgeocreative @thephotosociety @Bonobodotorg @ChristineEckstrom #Bonobos #Apes #Empathy #Naturelovers ...more
3 weeks ago
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Photo by @FransLanting Two young cheetah brothers are crouching down to drink from a water hole in the Serengeti. Cheetahs may be able to survive for long periods without drinking water and rely instead on the blood from their prey, but they don’t pass up an opportunity to drink when they can. You can tell they are still young because of the ruff of fur along their necks, which disappears when they mature. Follow us @FransLanting and @ChristineEckstrom for more intimate encounters with cheetahs. @Thephotosociety #Cheetah #BigCats #Endangered #Wildlifephotography #Wildlife #Safari ...more
4 weeks ago
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Photo by @FransLanting Elephants in the wild get by with less sleep than virtually any other mammal it appears. According to one study they sleep only two hours every 24 hours. And most of the time they sleep standing up like this male was doing. After a cooling mud bath he draped his trunk over a tusk to reduce its weight and crossed one hind leg against another to relieve pressure as well. It’s in those private moments that I get a better sense of who they are and how they live when they are not harassed. And I keep on learning more, the longer I watch them. Follow me @FransLanting and @ChristineEckstrom for more intimate encounters of the elephant kind. @natgeocreative @thephotosociety #SavetheElephants #Botswana #Elephants #Safari #Wildlife #Naturelovers #Wonder #Amazing ...more
1 month ago
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Photo by @FransLanting Elephants often sleep standing up to avoid pressure from their heavy bodies on their internal organs. But when they are really tired or very relaxed, they may sleep lying down on their sides. I caught this elephant taking a midday nap and she did something I had not seen before. She covered her face with a big floppy ear to screen out light and heat. I love watching elephants; they are so expressive and I always learn something new. If any of you have seen this unusual sleeping behavior I would love to hear from you. Follow me @FransLanting and @ChristineEckstrom for more encounters of the elephantine kind. @natgeocreative @thephotosociety #SavetheElephants #Zambia #Elephants #Safari #Wildlife ...more
1 month ago