Aldabra giant tortoises normally graze on 'tortoise turf', a blend of herbs and grasses that grows close to the ground in response to being cropped. Often, though, the tortoises will wander onto the beaches to eat washed-up seedpods. This female, who is probably at least 100 years old, regularly forages along the beach in front of a research station on Aldabra in the Seychelles. 'Tortoises are known to have made sea crossings between islands,' says Tom, 'and so I was pleased to be able to use the ocean as a backdrop. I lay in her path on the sand, using an extreme wide-angle lens. The moment I took the shot, I had to roll out of her way to avoid her clambering right over me.'
Nikon D3 + 14-24mm lens; 1/200 sec at f22; ISO 200; Nikon SB800 flash.
Picard Research Station, Aldabra Atoll, Seychelles