2nd Place Behavior Category


2nd Place Behavior

David Schrichte


Two manatee calves nursing

David won a Mike Ball Fly Dive Cod Hole expedition


Canon 50D, Ikelite housing, dual DS-160's
Tokina 10-17mm lens, F5.6, 1/40th, ISO 400


. The photograph I've submitted depicts a manatee mother nursing two calves at the same time. Although manatees do give birth to twins, only about 5% of the time, they are more often known to nurse a single calf of their own or another mother's calf that has gone astray or has become orphaned. It is unlikely these two calves are true twins as there is a marked difference in their sizes. Which of these calves is the mother's legitimate offspring is not known.

   Throughout my many years of photographing these gentle giants, I've never witnessed a mother nursing two calves simultaneously. I consider myself extremely fortunate to have been in the right place at the right time,with the right equipment to capture this unique behavioral image.

  The photograph was taken at the Three Sisters Springs located in Crystal River,Florida, late in the afternoon on Feb 15, 2013. For this shot,I used a Canon 50D in an Ikelite housing using twin Substrobe 160's on 1/2 power with diffusers. A Tokina 10-17mm lens was my glass of choice. An ISO of 400 with a shutter speed of 1/40sec at F5.6 were my camera settings. 


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