8 incredible images from the Wildlife Photographer of the Year shortlist

The Natural History Museum has released a sneak peek of some of the stunning images entered in this year’s Wildlife Photographer of the Year.

In it 52nd year, the exhibition has proved more popular than ever, attracting a record near 50,000 entries.

The final exhibition, held at the Natural History Museum in London, will open on October 21.

Here’s a sample of the talent that will be on display:

Nosy neighbour

– By Sam Hobson, UK

Hobson sat in the territory of a family of foxes until they came to ignore him.

He wanted to capture the inquisitive nature of the animals and finally got the shot of this cub peeking over a wall at him.

Termite Tossing

– Willem Kruger, South Africa

Picture: Willem Kruger

Kruger took this shot from his vehicle as the south African hornbill got so engrossed in eating termites it came within six metres of him.

After a 40-minute wait in 40C, Kruger finally got what he wanted – an example of how the hornbill feeds by flicking termites into the air, as its tongue isn’t long enough to pick them up.

Splitting the catch

– Audun Rikardsen, Norway

Picture: Audun Rikardsen

This extraordinary shot was taken with Rikardsen’s home-made camera, built to allow him to take split-level pictures in low light.

Here a large male killer whale waits underneath a fishing boat in the Arctic Norwegian waters, waiting to feed on the herring squeezed out of its fishing nets.

Collective Courtship

– Scott Portelli, Australia

Picture: Scott Portelli

The alien scene as three male cuttlefish watch on after missing out on being part of the courtship ritual between the couple in front.

The Disappearing Fish

– Iago Leonardo, Spain

Picture: Iago Leonardo

Natural camouflage at its best, on display from the lookdown fish. Special platelets in its skin cells reflect polarised light, rendering it virtually invivisible from certain angles.

Blast Furnace

– Alexandre Hec, France

Kilauea, on Hawaii’s Big Island, has had an active year, with thousands of tourists flocking to see lava flows reaching the Pacific Ocean.

Alexandre Hec was more interested in the action close up, and snapped this perfect shot from just 100m away. Lava was spitting 30m into the air.

Thistle Plucker

Isaac Aylward, UK

Picture: Isaac Aylward

In Bulgaria’s Rila Mountains, the tiny linnet bird has a tiny appetite. Isaac Aylward caught it in the process of ripping apart seed parachutes for the goodness within.

Crystal Precision

Mario Cea, Spain

Picture: Mario Ceo

Mario Cea held his nerve to perfectly frame this bat leaving a derelict house in Salamanca, Spain.

Wildlife Photographer of the Year is developed and produced by the Natural History Museum, London.

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