nGeo's best pics March 2010

  toddler13
  karma level 70777

Dapper black-and-white razorbills (at right) and bright-beaked puffins (at left and in air, at center) find a haven on the Shiant Islands, just a few miles southeast of Lewis, Scotland. Nearly 8,000 razorbills and more than 200,000 puffins are estimated to use these islands as their breeding grounds each year.



As rain falls in Congo's NouabaléNdoki National Park, a chimp adds to the chorus of excited calls ringing through the forest



On Skye's Trotternish Peninsula, basalt pinnacles loom over the Sound of Raasay. Rising from the debris of an ancient landslide, they bear witness to the geologic upheavals that shaped these lands.



Their crumpled layers as old as the continents, the sea stacks and cliffs of the Outer Hebrides in Scotland offer jagged reminders of the forces that drove Europe, North America, and Greenland apart as the North Atlantic began to open 60 million years ago.



Floating on dreams and whispers, girls from a West Bank village cool off in the salt-laden waters of the Dead Sea. With its main tributary, the Jordan, at less than a tenth of its former volume, the inland sea has dropped some 70 feet since 1978.



Long vistas and the dry season's withered vegetation enable keen eyes to spot game miles away. From a wind-bowed tree on a ridge, a man named Mahiya peers across rough Tanzania terrain where Hadza bands range.



Inland ice fields give way along Chile's coast to a maze of islands and fjords. The weather here is rarely calm. On Byron Island, the skull of a sei whale rests in a tidal creek—until the next storm.



A Decken's sifaka peers out from a jagged stone maw. The tsingy region is a lemur hot spot: Several species inhabit the canyon forests, including the brown lemur and endemic nocturnal lemurs—the tiny mouse lemur and John Cleese's woolly lemur.



During the dry season herding activity slackens, and the Rabari people alter their routines. In Rajasthan, women turn to grueling wage labor, earning two dollars a day for digging a reservoir.



In the coastal desert of southern Peru, sprawling figures etched on the land—a spider, a monkey, a strange flying animal, and more—have inspired wonder in air travelers since first spotted in the 1920s. Now scientists believe they know why ancient people created the designs, beginning more than 2,000 years ago.



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