Smithsonian Magazine’s 13th Annual Photo Contest


Papa's Got a Brand New Bag. This is a yellow-headed jawfish male that incubates its eggs (or its brood) in its mouth. That’s right-the male carries the babies. In the beginning, the jawfish is able to swallow the eggs, keeping them hidden, and occasionally spits them out to grab a bite, then sucks them back in, all in one gulp. It is fascinating to watch, and quite a challenge. The challenge gets tougher as the brood develops and gets larger. What was so sweet though was that after about an hour of observation with this little fish, he accepted that I was not a predator and that my presence could actually protect him. Soon he became comfortable and almost even proud to show off his family to be. Photographed by Suzan Meldonian near the Blue Heron Bridge in Florida.

The finalists of the 13th Annual Smithsonian Photo Competition have been announced. Each year, Smithsonian Magazine hosts a photography competition, with this year’s contest yielding over 46,000 entries sent in from 168 countries. Among the participants, 10 finalists have been chosen for each category in this 12th annual competition in each of the following categories: The Natural World, Travel, People, The American Experience, Altered Images, and Mobile. Captions were written by the photographers.

The Smithsonian magazine is was founded by former Life editors in cooperation with the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., so it naturally has this sort of National Geographic vibe.

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