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Sea lion carcass being devoured by starfish off the coast of California winner in photo competition

A haunting image showing a sea lion carcass being devoured by at least a dozen color starfish on the seafloor of Monterey Bay in California has won the ‘Aquatic Life’ category in a photo competition.

The eerie picture was captured by wildlife photographer David Slater, who submitted it to the California Academy of Science’s Big Picture Competition.

The bright orange, pink and blue starfish are bat stars – known scavengers of the ocean – which are turning the lifeless body into energy and nutrients that is returned to the marine food web.

‘I knew this image was special when I first published it but words cannot even describe how I feel taking first place in such a prestigious contest,’ Slater, who resides in Monterey, shared in an Instagram post.

The Big Picture Competition includes several…


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