Stunning Shots of Gorilla Mourning Baby, Blood-Thirsty Birds Among the Best Wildlife Photos of the Year
The Natural History Museum in London just released the winners of its Best Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition. Each year the museum puts a call out for the best photos that capture and "raise awareness of the beauty and fragility of the natural world." The competition is open to all ages and skill levels.
This year's winners showcase beautiful landscapes, endangered animals, bizarre behaviors and much more. Here is a selection of 2018's best wildlife photographers and photos.
WINNER OF "BEHAVIORS: MAMMALS" CATEGORY
Taken by Ricardo Núñez Montero of Spain, this sad shot shows Kuhirwa, a young female mountain gorilla, mourning the loss of her dead baby. Kuhirwa, who lives in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park in Uganda, carried her child's corpse for weeks.
GRAND TITLE WINNER
Marsel van Oosten of The Netherlands earned the competition's top honor when he captured this "golden couple" resting in the Qinling Mountains in the Shaanxi Province of China. The animals are Qinling golden snub-nosed monkeys.
GRAND TITLE WINNER FOR YOUNG WILDLIFE PHOTOGRAPHER OF THE YEAR
Skye Meaker of South Africa captured this peaceful shot of Mathoja the female leopard after tracking a group of the big cats for hours around Mashatu Game Reserve in Botswana.
WINNER OF "BEHAVIOR: BIRDS" CATEGORY
Thomas P. Peschak of Germany got a rare permit to photograph Wolf Island — a remote party of the Galapagos Islands — and stumbled across a ground finch drinking the blood of a Nazca booby. The smaller bird resorts to this behavior when food is scare.
WINNER "UNDER WATER" CATEGORY
Michael Patrick O’Neill of the United States got this dizzying shot by experimenting with shutter and flash settings while following around a flying fish at night in Palm Beach, Florida.
10 YEARS AND YOUNGER WINNER
Arshdeep Singh of India spotted these urban owls nesting in a pipe in Kapurthala, Punjab, in India. The birds usually nest in tree hollows, but deforestation has caused these owls to get creative.
WINNER OF "BEHAVIOR: INVERTEBRATES" CATEGORY
Georgina Steytler of Australia was able to get these tiny subjects in frame. These mud-dauber wasps are seen rolling tiny balls of mud at a watering hole in an effort to get building materials for their nest.
To see even more of the winners, and to apply to next year's competition, visit the Natural History Museum's website.