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"Surface Flight"

Jumping alligator

This month's picture was taken by Vladimir Peysikov during a trip to Florida, showing an American Alligator trying to emulate its avian cousins propensity for flight. It seems that most if not all crocodilians are quite adept at leaping clear of the water surface, and of course they do this in pursuit of food. Normally this would be birds or bats flying over the surface, perhaps an unwary mammal or reptile perched in a tree. They achieve this brief vertical flight by propelling themselves upwards with their tail. The tail is, after all, around half of the body's length and certainly strong enough to launch the body of a crocodile or alligator out of the water for several feet.

Of course, we have seen jumping alligators and crocodiles before in these pages, but what struck me about Vladimir's picture was the overall composition.

Would you like to enter your best photograph as a potential Pic of the Month? Send it to me and I'll include the best here each month. Each year I run a competition where the best photograph each year is awarded a prize. To be in contention the picture must, above all, capture your attention.


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