Yeah, so, the Natural History Museum in London has been putting on this little photo comp. They’ve been doing it for 52 years. You might have heard of it, the Wildlife Photographer of the Year? No? Well, no worries. Photos speak louder than words sometimes. So, let’s take a look at the finalist for this year’s comp.
Above is Audun Rikardsen’s over-under of a killer whale near Norway. Sometimes it’s the fishing boats that look for the orcas and humpbacks, hoping to locate the shoals of herring that migrate to these Arctic Norwegian waters. But in recent winters, the whales have also started to follow the boats. Here a large male killer whale feeds on herring that have been squeezed out of the boat’s closing fishing net. He has learned the sound that this type of boat makes when it retrieves its gear and homed in on it. The relationship would seem to be a win-win one, but not always.JTNDJTIxLS0lMjAlMkYxNzgzNjY4JTJGMzAweDYwMF9ob21lXzAxJTIwLS0lM0UlMEElM0NkaXYlMjBpZCUzRCUyN2Rpdi1ncHQtYWQtMTQzMTU2NDk1NjE1Ny0wJTI3JTIwc3R5bGUlM0QlMjdoZWlnaHQlM0E2MDBweCUzQiUyMHdpZHRoJTNBMzAwcHglM0IlMjclM0UlMEElM0NzY3JpcHQlMjB0eXBlJTNEJTI3dGV4dCUyRmphdmFzY3JpcHQlMjclM0UlMEFnb29nbGV0YWcuY21kLnB1c2glMjhmdW5jdGlvbiUyOCUyOSUyMCU3QiUyMGdvb2dsZXRhZy5kaXNwbGF5JTI4JTI3ZGl2LWdwdC1hZC0xNDMxNTY0OTU2MTU3LTAlMjclMjklM0IlMjAlN0QlMjklM0IlMEElM0MlMkZzY3JpcHQlM0UlMEElM0MlMkZkaXYlM0U=
Every night, not long after sunset, about 30 common pipistrelle bats emerge from their roost in a derelict house in Salamanca, Spain, to go hunting. Each has an appetite for up to 3,000 insects a night, which it eats on the wing. Its flight is characteristically fast and jerky, as it tunes its orientation with echolocation to detect objects in the dark. Photo by Mario Cea Sanchez/2016 Wildlife Photographer of the Year
Termite after termite after termite — using the tip of its massive beak-like forceps to pick them up, the hornbill would flick them in the air and then swallow them. Foraging beside a track in South Africa’s semi-arid Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, the southern yellow-billed hornbill was so deeply absorbed in termite snacking that it gradually worked its way to within 6 metres (19ft) of where Willem sat watching from his vehicle. Photograph: Willem Kruger/2016 Wildlife Photographer of the Year
Lance van de Vyver had tracked the pride for several hours before they stopped to rest by a waterhole, but their attention was not on drinking. The lions in South Africa’s Tswalu Kalahari Private Game reserve had discovered a Temminck’s ground pangolin. This nocturnal, ant-eating mammal is armor-plated with scales made of fused hair, and it curls up into an almost impregnable ball when threatened. Photograph: Lance van de Vyver/2016 Wildlife Photographer of the Year
When the lava flow from Kilauea on Hawaii’s Big Island periodically enters the ocean, the sight is spectacular, but on this occasion Alexandre Hec was in for a special treat. Kilauea (meaning ‘spewing’ or ‘much spreading’) is one of the world’s most active volcanoes, in constant eruption since 1983. As red-hot lava at more than 1,000˚C (1,832˚F) flows into the sea, vast plumes of steam hiss up, condensing to produce salty, acidic mist or rain. Photograph: Alexandre Hec/2016 Wildlife Photographer of the Year
Termite after termite after termite — using the tip of its massive beak-like forceps to pick them up, the hornbill would flick them in the air and then swallow them. Foraging beside a track in South Africa’s semi-arid Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, the southern yellow-billed hornbill was so deeply absorbed in termite snacking that it gradually worked its way to within 6 meters (19ft) of where Willem Kruger sat watching from his vehicle. Photograph: Willem Kruger/2016 Wildlife Photographer of the Year
Thousands of giant cuttlefish gather each winter in the shallow waters of South Australia’s Upper Spencer Gulf for their once-in-a-lifetime spawning. Males compete for territories that have the best crevices for egg laying and then attract females with mesmerizing displays of changing skin color, texture and pattern. Rivalry among the world’s largest cuttlefish — up to a meter (3.3ft) long — is fierce, as males outnumber females by up to 11 to one. Photograph: Scott Portelli/2016 Wildlife Photographer of the Year
Imre Potyó was captivated by the chaotic swarming of mayflies on Hungary’s River Rába and dreamt of photographing the spectacle beneath a starlit sky. For a few days each year (at the end of July or beginning of August), vast numbers of the adult insects emerge from the Danube tributary, where they developed as larvae. On this occasion, the insects emerged just after sunset. At first, they stayed close to the water, but once they had mated, the females gained altitude. Photograph: Imre Potyó/2016 Wildlife Photographer of the Year
Sam Hobson knew exactly who to expect when he set his camera on the wall one summer’s evening in a suburban street in Bristol, the UK’s famous fox city. He wanted to capture the inquisitive nature of the urban red fox in a way that would pique the curiosity of its human neighbours about the wildlife around them. Photograph: Sam Hobson/2016 Wildlife Photographer of the Year
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