Slather on some sunscreen and check out a few of National Geographic editors' favourite pictures of sunbathing animals.
In these photographs taken around the world, National Geographic Your Shot contributors captured dozens of animals basking in the sunlight. Some are taking a break from their meals. Others are taking a mid-day nap with their kin.
Although it’s nearly 93 million miles away from Earth, the sun’s rays provide an abundance of resources for critters of all shapes and sizes. Lizards rely on the early-morning sun to jump-start their metabolisms. When learning to navigate the skies, young birds use the sun to stay oriented. Some animals, like hippopotamuses, even produce their own sunscreen with skin pigments that let them soak up the sun they need, while also protecting them from sunburn.
Explore other photos like these by visiting National Geographic’s Your Shot, a collection of pictures submitted by community photographers everywhere.
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Header Image: Penguin. St Helens, Tasmania, Australia. PHOTOGRAPH BY KELLY-MARIE MONGER, NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC YOUR SHOT