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2019 Wildlife Photographer Of The Year Finalists (12 Photos)

For 55 years, the Natural History Museum in London has run annual competitions for wildlife photography, and the finalists for the 2019 competition have just been announced. These photos of wild animals in their natural habitat are truly breathtaking, as are the skills of the photographers. Out of 50,000 entries, this collection of photographs made it to the finals - and we can see why! 

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  • 'Big cat and dog spat' by Peter Haygarth

    picture cheetah and wild dogs fighting
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    In this photo, a lone male cheetah is attacked by a pack of African wild dogs. At first, the dogs were wary when they spotted the cheetah. But the group of 12 gained confidence and attacked, but the fight didn't last long before the cheetah fled. 


  • 'Sleeping like a Weddell' by Ralf Schneider

    seal hugging itself as it sleeps
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    This photo depicts a Weddell seal hugging it's flippers close as it prepares to fall into a deep sleep. Lying on the ice, away from predators, the seal can afford the luxury of sleeping peacefully, and is evidently enjoying it. 


  • 'If penguins could fly' by Eduardo Del Alamo

    leopard seal lunging after a penguin in the water
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    This amazing photo captures the moment when a Gentoo penguin - the fastest of all the penguins - leaps out of the water and away from the jaws of a hungry leopard seal. We have no idea if the penguin managed to get away. 


  • 'Lucky break' by Jason Bantle

    raccoon poking head out of abandoned car
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    A raccoon pokes it's head out of the (already existing) hole in the windscreen of a 1970s Ford Pinto abandoned on a farm in Canada. 


  • 'Cool drink' by Diana Rebman

    long tailed tit white bird drinking from icicle
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    This long tailed tit, which lives on the island of Hokkaido in Japan, is nibbling the tip of the icicle for hydration. When the sun comes out, the tip of the icicle forms a drop of water, providing an even easier drink for the birds. 


  • 'Canopy hangout' by Carlos Perez Naval (11-14 years old category)

    sloth sitting in a tree among misty forest in panama
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    This photo was taken in a national park in Panama by the very young photographer, who cleverly composed this photo by placing the subject of the photo, a brown-throated, three-toed sloth with orange fur and a dark stripe on it's back, on the side of the photo rather than in the middle. 


  • 'The hair-net cocoon' by Minghui Yuan

    close up photo of cyna moth pupa inside cocoon
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    This is the cocoon of a Cyna moth pupa. While the silk cocoons are usually made in more natural places, like on a rock or a tree trunk, this pupa made its cocoon on the white wall inside Yuan's house, providing the perfect background and lighting for a close-up shot. 


  • 'Last gasp' by Adrian Hirschi

    male hippo with baby hippo in it's mouth
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    This tiny newborn hippo was keeping close to it's mum when a bull (male hippo) chased the mother, then seized the calf in it's mouth, crushing it to death while the scared mother looked on, helpless. Infanticide is rare among hippos, but can occur when a male feels stressed or territorial. 


  • 'The freshwater forest' by Michel Roggo

    reeds of a plant seen from the bed of a lake
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    This photograph, taken from the bed of a lake in Switzerland, shows the slender stems of Eurasian watermilfoil reaching towards the surface, which is a long distance away. 


  • 'Jelly baby' by Fabien Michenet

    juvenile jackfish inside a tiny jellyfish with purple tentacles
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    This is a juvenile jackfish peering out from it's chosen protection for the day - the umbrella of a tiny jellyfish. With nowhere to hide in the ocean, this is the jackfish's best chance to hide. 


  • 'Circle of life' by Alex Mustard

    shoal of fish circling in circle
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    This photograph shows a shoal of bigeye trevally circle 80 feet deep at the edge of a reef in the Red Sea. This behavior is a dating behavior prior to mating, and deters enemies. 


  • 'Touching trust' by Thomas P Peschak

    baby grey whale approaching a person's hands underwater
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    This incredible photo shows a young grey whale approaching a pair of hands reaching down from a tourist boat. On the coast of Mexico's Baja California, it is common for baby grey whales and their mothers to seek the touch of humans, either in the form of a scratch or pat. 

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