THE HEAT RUN

WINNER, ANIMAL BEHAVIOUR

Humpback whales, Megaptera novaeangliae
Dolphins, unidentified species

The heat run is the ultimate wildlife encounter – multiple whales competing for a female. The chase can last for hours or even days and males can display bubble netting, open mouth gulping, physical contact, loud acoustic sounds, and breaching. Even after 16 years documenting humpback behaviour in the region, it is still truly heart-thumping and adrenaline-pumping action.

Tonga, South Pacific

Canon 1DX Mk II, Canon 8–15mm fisheye, 1/320, f/8, ISO 200

by Scott Portelli, New South Wales