Paul Salopek and his guide walk into the desert, on day 19 of the "Out of Eden walk" in the Afar region of Northeast Ethiopia. The walk with take about 7 years total.
Paul Salopek/National Geographic
An arctic fox pup, just beginning to show its white winter coat, plays with a lemming carcass. Wrangel's foxes subsist largely on these snow-burrowing rodents, whose numbers fluctuate wildly from year to year.
Sergey Gorshkov/National Geographic
The bucardo, or Pyrenean ibex, lived high in the Pyrenees until its extinction in 2000. Three years later, researchers attempted to clone Celia, the last bucardo. The clone died minutes after birth. Taxidermic specimen, Regional Government of Aragon, Spain
Robb Kendrick/National Geographic
Kyrgyz girls slide plastic jugs back to their family's camp after chopping a hole in a frozen spring to fetch water. Men handle herding and trading; much of the hard labor of daily life falls to the females.
Matthieu Paley/National Geographic
"I was surrounded by thousands of fish that moved in synchrony because of the predation that was happening. It was an incredible experience."
Fransisca Harlijanto/National Geographic Photo Contest
The giant sequoia is a snow tree, says scientist Steve Sillett, adapted for long winters in the Sierra Nevada. But it's a fire tree, too. Thick bark protects it from burning in lightning-caused fires, which open cones and clear the understory, allowing saplings to find light and prosper.
Michael Nichols/National Geographic
"A sculpture like this can take a master carver years to produce. Front and center are the popular Taoist gods Shou, Lu and Fu — symbols of long life, money, and luck. 'We hope — no, we insist — we can continue to protect these skills,' says Wang Shan, secretary-general of the China Arts and Crafts Association."
Brent Stirton/National Geographic
Mitchell Crow plays with his dog on what remains of 28,000 pounds of donated used clothes near Loneman, S.D. Unclaimed, the rain-soaked handouts began to go moldy during the summer.
Aaron Huey/National Geographic