The Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition has released a special selection of Highly Commended photographs, including an Iberian lynx framed in a Spanish doorway, a golden tree snake coiled around a gecko and a coalition of cheetahs swimming in turbulent waters. The stunning images have been released before overall winners of the competition are announced on October 12. Wildlife Photographer of the Year is developed and produced by the Natural History Museum, London. This year, the competition, now in its 57th edition, received a record number of entries from across the world, the Natural History Museum said in a statement.
“These extraordinary images showcase the rich diversity of life on Earth and spark curiosity and wonder. Telling the story of a planet under pressure, the Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition illuminates the urgent challenges we face and the collective action we need to take. This year’s inspiring exhibition will move and empower audiences to advocate for the natural world,” said Dr Doug Gurr, Director of the Natural History Museum.
Lockdown chicks by Gagana Mendis Wickramasinghe
Three rose-ringed parakeet chicks pop their heads out of the nest hole as their father returns with food. The picture was taken by 10-year-old Gagana from the balcony of his parents’ bedroom, in Colombo, Sri Lanka.
Apollo landing by Emelin Dupieux, France
An Apollo butterfly settles on an oxeye daisy in this stunning photograph which was highly commended in the 11-14 Years category.
Raw moment by Lara Jackson, UK
Bright red blood drips from the muzzle of this lioness, photographed at Tanzania’s Serengeti National Park. Lara’s arresting portrait captures the rawness of the moment and the intensity of the lioness’s stare.
Beautiful bloodsucker by Gil Wizen by Israel/Canada
The best way to photograph a female ornamented mosquito, says Gil, is to let it bite you. The elegant Sabethes mosquitoes, found only in Latin America, are just 4 millimetres (0.16 inches) long and skittish.
Storm fox by Jonny Armstrong, USA
The fox was busy searching in the shallows for salmon carcasses. She is one of only two red foxes resident on the tiny island in Karluk Lake, on Alaska’s Kodiak Island.
Up for grabs by Jack Zhi, USA
In southern California, USA, a juvenile white-tailed kite reaches to grab a live mouse from the clutches of its hovering father.
The great swim by Buddhilini de Soyza
This striking picture was taken as the Tano Bora coalition of male cheetahs leapt into the raging Talek River in Kenya’s Maasai Mara. The Tano Bora (Maasai for ‘magnificent five’) is an unusually large coalition.
The gripping end by Wei Fu, Thailand
Clutched in the coils of a golden tree snake, a red-spotted tokay gecko stays clamped onto its attacker’s head in a last attempt at defence.
Toxic design by Gheorghe Popa, Romania
This eye-catching detail of a small river in the Geamana Valley, within Romania’s Apuseni Mountains, took Gheorghe by surprise – but the designs are the result of an ugly truth. Gheorghe says his photo captures the elemental colours of heavy metals in the river and the ornate radiating banks of this shockingly toxic landscape.
Mushroom magic by Juergen Freund, Germany/Australia
It was on a summer night, at full moon, after monsoon rain, that Juergen found the ghost fungus, on a dead tree in the rainforest near his home in Queensland, Australia. Comparatively few species of fungi are known to make light in this way, through a chemical reaction: luciferin oxidizing in contact with the enzyme luciferase. But why the ghost fungus glows is a mystery.
Net loss by Audun Rikardsen, Norway
In the wake of a fishing boat, a slick of dead and dying herrings covers the surface of the sea off the coast of Norway.
Deep feelers by Laurent Ballesta, France
In deep water off the French Mediterranean coast, among cold-water black coral, Laurent came across a surreal sight – a vibrant community of thousands of narwhal shrimps. Their legs weren’t touching, but their exceptionally long, highly mobile outer antennae were. It appeared that each shrimp was in touch with its neighbours and that, potentially, signals were being sent across a far-reaching network.
Natural magnetism by Jaime Culebras, Spain
When Jaime spotted this tarantula hawk wasp dragging a tarantula across his kitchen floor, in Quito, Ecuador, he rushed to get his camera. By the time he got back, the giant wasp – nearly 4 centimetres long – was hoisting its victim up the side of the fridge.
Lynx on the threshold by Sergio Marijuan, Spain
A young Iberian lynx pauses in the doorway of the abandoned hayloft where it was raised, on a farm in eastern Sierra Morena, Spain.
The nurturing wetland by Rakesh Pulapa, India
Houses on the edge of Kakinada city reach the estuary, buffered from the sea by the remains of a mangrove swamp. Development has already destroyed 90 per cent of mangroves – salt-tolerant trees and shrubs – along this eastern coastal area of Andhra Pradesh. Flying his drone over the area, Rakesh could see the impact of human activities – pollution, plastic waste and mangrove clearance – but this picture seemed to sum up the protective, nurturing girdle that mangroves provide for such storm-prone tropical communities.
A caring hand by Douglas Gimesy, Australia
After a feed of special formula milk, an orphaned grey-headed flying-fox pup lies on a ‘mumma roll’, sucking on a dummy and cradled in the hand of wildlife-carer Bev.
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