The 52nd annual ‘Wildlife Photographer of the Year‘ (WPY) 2016 Finalists have been previewed and there are some stunning displays of nature photography on show.
The competition saw 50,000 entries from a mixture of both professionals and amateurs, from 95 countries around the world. The full exhibit will go on display at the Natural History Museum, London in October 21st.
H/T The Daily Mail:
Collective courtship: By Scott Portelli, from Australia. 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. Malescompete for territories that have the best crevices for egg-laying and then attract females with mesmerizing displays of changing skin colour, texture and pattern. Rivalry among the world’s largest cuttlefish – up to a metre (3.3 feet) long – is fierce, as males outnumber females by up to eleven to one. A successful, usually large, male grabs the smaller female with his tentacles, turns her to face him (as here) and uses a specialized tentacle to insert sperm sacs into an opening near her mouth. He then guards her until she lays the eggs. The preoccupied cuttlefish (the male on the right) completely ignored Mr Portelli, allowing him to get close.
Nosy neighbour: By Sam Hobson, from the UK. Mr Hobson knew exactly who to expect when he set his camera on the wall one summer’s evening in a suburban street in Bristol. 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. This was the culmination of weeksof scouting for the ideal location, a quiet, well-lit neighbourhood, where the foxes were used to people (several residents feed them regularly) and the right fox. For several hours every night, Sam sat in one fox family’s territory, gradually gaining their trust until they ignored his presence. One of the cubs enjoyed investigating new things, and his weeping left eye is the result of a scratch from a cat he got too close to.
Swarming under the stars: By Imre Potyó, of Hungary. After a few decades, the Danube mayfly (Ephoron virgo) have returned to the river Danube, probably due to the increasing water quality. The photographer said: ‘The fantastic mass swarming of these mayflies is one of the most exciting phenomenon for me. My image was taken in a dark, near-natural bank on a tributary of the Danube with long exposure, flash and flashlight. Unfortunately, the lamp-lit bridges have negative influence to them, because they are attracted to the lamps, become exhausted, lay their eggs to the asphalt roads of the bridge and perish immediately. The team of the Danube Research Institute in cooperation with the Environmental Optics Laboratory plan to solve this biooptical and environmental problem. This image is very precious to me as I can draw the attention to these spectacular water insects and their complex ecological light trap’
Termite tossing: By Willem Kruger, from South Africa. Termite after termite after termite – using the tip of its massive beak-like forceps to pick them up, the hornbill flicks them in the air and then swallows them. Foraging beside a track in South Africa’s semi-arid Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, the southern yellow-billed hornbill was deeply absorbed in snacking.
Crystal precision, by Mario Cea of Spain. 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. The sounds it makes is too high-pitched for most humans to hear, but creates echoes that allow it to make a sonic map of its surroundings. Mario positioned his camera precisely so that it was level with the bats’ exit through a broken window and the exact distance away to capture this astonishing head-on shot.
Golden relic: By Dhyey Shah of India. With fewer than 2,500 mature adults left in the wild, in fragmented pockets of forest in northeastern India (Assam) and Bhutan, Gee’s golden langurs are endangered. Living high in the trees, they are also difficult to observe. But, on the tiny man-made island of Umananda, in Assam’s Brahmaputra River, you are guaranteed to see one. This photograph was taken at the site of a temple dedicated to the Hindu god Shiva, but the island is equally famous for its introduced golden langurs.
Playing pangolin: By Lance van de Vyver, from New Zealand/ South Africa. Lance 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 GameReserve, had discovered a Temminck’s ground pangolin. This nocturnal, ant-eating mammal is armour-plated with scales made of fused hair, and it curls up into an almost impregnable ball when threatened. Pangolins usually escape unscathed from big cats – though not from humans, whose exploitation of them for the traditional medicine trade is causing their severe decline. Mr van de Vyver said: ‘But these lions just wouldn’t give up. They rolled it around like a soccer ball and every time they lost interest, the pangolin uncurled and tried to retreat, attracting their attention again