The Natural History Museum Has Named These Photographs The Best Wildlife Images Of The Year

For 53 years now, the Natural History Museum in London has hosted its annual Wildlife Photographer of the Year awards.

Winners from several categories, both adult and youth, from almost 50,000 entries submitted from 92 countries.

As you can imagine (and will see), these photographs are not only visually stunning but each one also tells a rivoting story.

The exhibit showcases 100 of the best photographs from both professional and amateurs alike and feature snapshots of tiny insects to massive mammals and everything in between.

Here are 15 of this year’s best entries:

Animals In The Environment


Winner: The Night Raider
Photographer: Marcio Cabral, Brazil
From Natural History Museum: “Marcio had been visiting the National Park for three years waiting for the right conditions to capture the glowing termite mounds. After days frustrated by rain, he was in for a surprise. A giant anteater ambled out of the darkness and stayed just long enough for Marcio to take a single picture, using a long exposure and flash to highlight his unexpected companion.

Termite mounds twinkle with the green lures of click beetle larvae, waiting for adult termites to fly into their traps. Giant anteaters, up to two metres long, have a more direct approach, using powerful claws and long tongues to reach inside the mound. But the termites aren’t defenceless – soldiers spray toxins at the intruder, which quickly make it move on.”


Animal Portraits

Winner: Contemplation
Photographer: Peter Delaney, Ireland/South Africa
From Natural History Museum: “Peter had spent a long, difficult morning tracking chimpanzees through dense undergrowth. ‘Photographing in a rainforest with dim light and splashes of sunlight means your exposure settings are forever changing,’ he says. Keeping his camera at its optimum ISO setting meant a slow shutter speed, so it was hard to keep a sharp focus without a tripod.

The troop of 250 chimpanzees had spent the morning high in the canopy. Totti, named after an Italian footballer, is a favourite with the rangers, but perhaps not the ladies. After trying everything to entice a female to join him on the ground – posturing, gesturing and calling seductively – he gave up and flopped onto the forest floor.


Behaviour: Amphibians and Reptiles


Winner: The Ancient Ritual
Photographer: Marcio Cabral, Brazil
From Natural History Museum: “Like generations before her, this leatherback turtle journeys back to the ocean. Nesting turtles were not seen every night and were often too far away. When at last Brian got the encounter he wanted – under clear skies, with no distant city lights – he hand-held a long exposure under the full moon, artfully evoking a timeless atmosphere.

Leatherbacks are the largest, fastest, deepest-diving and widest-ranging sea turtles. Much of their lives are spent at sea, shrouded in mystery. Sandy Point provides critical nesting habitat, but elsewhere, leatherbacks are not so lucky. They are threatened by fisheries, coastal development and climate change.