London's Natural History Museum has just published the winners of its prestigious Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition — and the images are as spectacular as always.
Each year, the competition manages to illicit a breathtaking array of pictures that mange to depict the beauty and brutal reality of the natural world. This year, the judges had to sift through 42,000 entries from 96 countries to choose the winners. We've assembled some of our favourites here.
The overall prize of Wildlife Photographer of the Year goes to amateur photographer Don Gutoski for the image at the top of the page. Called Tale of two foxes, it shows a red fox dragging an Arctic fox, that it successfully killed and ate from, through the snow. The Natural History Museum notes that "for Arctic foxes, red foxes now represent not just their main competitor — both hunt small animals such as lemmings — but also their main predator."
The winner of the Amphibians and Reptiles was the picture above, shot by Edwin Giesbers from The Netherlands. He was submerged in a stream wearing a wet suit as the crested newt passed across his lens, suspended just above the surface.
This image, called The art of algae, secured Pere Soler the prize for the From The Sky category. It shows the green seaweed and microalgal blooms that intermingle in the Bahía de Cádiz natural park on the coast of Andalucia in the spring.
The winner of the Under Water is this sensational image called A whale of a mouthful by Michael AW from Australia. It's shows a Bryde's whale as it tears through a huge shoal of sardines, devouring hundreds of the fish in a single chomp.
A special mention goes to this image, Flight of the scarlet ibis, which was declared winner of the 15-17 Years Old catergory. Taken by Jonathan Jagot in the estuary on Ilha do Lençóis, it's a vivid of example of the dynamism of nature.
Finally, this image — of another fox — won the Urban category. Captured by Richard Peters from the UK, it shows the shadow of an urban fox as it crept through his garden at night.
There are plenty more images to pore over, and you can see all the winners and runners up over on the Wildlife Photographer of the Year website. If you're lucky enough to find yourself in London, the images will be on show at the Natural History museum from October 16th
All images by the respective photographer and Wildlife Photographer of the Year