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The golden horseshoe: Laurent Ballesta wins Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2023 for the second time - Natural History Museum

© Laurent Ballesta, Wildlife Photographer of the Year
© Laurent Ballesta, Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Selected from 49,957 entries from 95 countries, the winners of the Natural History Museum's prestigious Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition were revealed at an awards ceremony in South Kensington today.

Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2023

French underwater photographer and marine biologist Laurent Ballesta was awarded Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2023 for ‘The golden horseshoe’, an otherworldly image of a tri-spine horseshoe crab accompanied by a trio of golden trevallies.

The tri-spine horseshoe crab has survived for more than 100 million years but now faces habitat destruction and overfishing for food and for its blue blood, used in the development of vaccines. But, in the protected waters of Pangatalan Island in the Philippines, there is hope for its survival.

Chair of the jury and editor, Kathy Moran says, ‘To see a horseshoe crab so vibrantly alive in its natural habitat, in such a hauntingly beautiful way, was astonishing. We are looking at an ancient species, highly endangered, and also critical to human health. This photo is luminescent.’

Laurent is only the second photographer in the competition’s fifty-nine-year history to be awarded the Grand Title award twice. He was first awarded Wildlife Photographer of the Year in 2021 for his intriguing image of camouflage groupers exiting a milky cloud of eggs and sperm in Fakarava, French Polynesia.


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Posted On: 11/10/2023

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