The Natural History Museum has chosen 25 of the year’s most incredible images from its Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2016 shortlist. Vote for your favourite in the People’s Choice Award here. Online voting open now, until 10 January 2017. And don’t forget to let us know your favourite wildlife photo too via comments below or on social media!
The Natural History Museum chooses from almost 50,000 submissions from 95 countries. Here are some of the most breathtaking images:
Wildlife Photographer of the Year – People’s Choice Award
Facing the storm
Gunther Riehle, Germany
Gunther arrived at the frozen sea ice in Antarctica in sunshine, but by the evening a storm picked up. Initially just strong winds, by the early morning snow had arrived. He concentrated on taking images of the emperor penguin chicks huddled together to shield themselves from the force of the snowstorm.
Cold temperatures on Shodoshima Island, Japan, sometimes lead to monkey balls, where a group of five or more snow monkeys huddle together to keep warm. Thomas observed a large group exhibiting this behaviour close to a tree, giving him the vantage point he needed. A few days and a tree climb later he got the image he desired.
The blue trail
Mario Cea, Spain
The kingfisher frequented this natural pond every day, and Mario used a high shutter speed with artificial light to photograph it. He used several units of flash for the kingfisher and a continuous light to capture the wake as the bird dived down towards the water.
Daisy Gilardini, Switzerland
This female polar bear was resting with its two young cubs in Wapusk National Park, Manitoba, Canada, when it suddenly got up and rushed downhill through the deep snow. One of the cubs jumped on to her, holding onto her furry backside with a firm bite – totally unexpected and humorous behaviour.
Sergio Sarta, Italy
During a dive off the coast of Tulamben, Bali, Indonesia, Sergio was finning across a volcanic, dark grey, sandy seabed when suddenly, he saw a bright-coloured organism – a fire urchin with an elegant couple of little Coleman shrimps. The fire urchin has quills that are very toxic to humans – the shrimps avoid this danger by seeking out safe areas between the quills.
Gordon Illg, USA
These snow geese almost seemed like ghosts in the pink early morning light as they landed among sandhill cranes in the Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge, New Mexico, USA. Gordon had no control over the patterns made by the landing geese, all he could do was compose the image around the cranes and keep pushing the shutter button as the geese dropped down.
Bernd Wasiolka, Germany
Bernd encountered a large lion pride at a waterhole in the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, South Africa. One of the two males spray-marked the branches of a nearby tree. Later two females sniffed the markings and for a brief moment both adopted the same posture.
The natural world provides countless magical moments, none more so than the delicate moment a tiny, elegant hummingbird softly inserts its slender bill into the corolla of a flower to drink nectar. Cristobal was lucky enough to capture that exact moment in Los Quetzales National Park, San José, Costa Rica.
The Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition showcases Earth’s most extraordinary and revelatory sights; reflecting nature’s beauty and diversity and highlighting the fragility of wildlife on our planet.