When you see animals in the wild, one thing strikes you immediately:
They are intensely social creatures.
This is one of the first photos I took with this camera.
In Etosha National Park, Namibia, 2007.
Not only do the animals gather with their own species.
But zebras are happy to hang with gazelles.
And that fabulous oryx, stage right.
The same principle of animal sociability applies in the Antarctic.
Elephant seals like to reach the beach.
“Pass the sunblock.”
And fur seals love the surf.
These gentoo penguins enjoy a crowd.
As do king penguins.
Seen here with another social animal.
But many species are quite comfortable with other species.
Like these rockhopper penguins and black-browed albatross.
Sharing a tight space.
Or king penguins and fur seals.
We think of animals existing in isolation because we isolate them.
For an animal to willingly shun other animals?
It may as well go to the zoo.
And request solitary confinement.
When I told a friend that I was going to see the penguins, she asked: “So you are going to the Aquarium?”
Only one species would imagine a social network that exists in only two dimensions.
No prize for guessing.