King Penguins, Right Whale Beach, South Georgia Island, Southern Ocean

A gang of king penguins.
Steve Gould/Nature's Best Photography

There are over 30 colonies of king penguins (Aptenodytes patagonicus) on South Georgia Island in the Southern Atlantic Ocean. The penguins capture their prey, typically lanternfish, by diving at speeds of 12 miles per hour.

“This photo was taken the first evening of six that I spent at South Georgia Island. It captures a group of penguins on their way to the ocean to feed. As they approached, I knelt down, set the camera low to the ground, and waited for them to reach the spot I envisioned. King penguins are usually depicted as fairly placid, elegant creatures. This image presents a dynamic gang, seemingly with a leader, moving with a purpose. One can even see the articulation of their muscles. The cloudy mountains in the background enhance the sense of drama.” -- Nature's Best Photographer, Steve Gould