Every year the London Natural history museum releases some amazing wildlife photographs from its yearly “wildlife photographer of the year contest.” Photographers from all over the world take part and this year the contest received over 50,000 entries from amateurs and professional. But since there can be only select winners, photos were shortlisted and as usual they are stunning. Some of these pictures took hours if not days to capture.
The shortlisted images will compete to win the much coveted “wildlife photographer of the of the year 2020” contest and the winners will be announced on October 13th. This year there will be a virtual exhibition for the first time that will be aired online on October 16th 2020.
Brown Bear Fishing for Salmon in Alaska's Katmai National Park.
There are a sizeable population of bears around the waterfall at Brooks river in Alaska’s Katmai National Park. There is also a viewing platform for visitors who can watch the bears trying their best to Catch sockeye salmon leaping up the waterfall from the river. This shot was captured by photographer Hannah Vijayan who noticed one bear doing the smart thing of placing her head underwater to catch the salmon. The average Alaskan brown bear will eat 30 salmon a day.
This incredible shot of possums peeking out of the woodwork was taken by photographer Gary Meredith of Australia. As you can see, it is a real cute shot and must have taken quite a while to get the precise moment.
Gharial and its offspring in Uttar Pradesh India
Have you ever seen so many crocodile babies? The Gharial is a kind of crocodile species native to rivers of India. This is a four-meter male gharial croc who is playing the role of a good father by giving swimming support to his offspring. This shot was taken by photographer Dhritiman Mukherjee in the National Chambal Sanctuary of Uttar Pradesh a state in Northern India. There was a time when Gharials numbered 20,000 across South Asia but they have shrunk to 650 adults living in sanctuaries.
Now this is acute shot of a family of owls peeking out of their home in Japan. They seem to be busily watching the antics of the squirrel leaping around or maybe sizing him up as prey. The shot was taken by Japanese photographer Makoto Ando.
The animal world is all about survival and though sometimes it may seem unfortunate that little animals are killed for prey, animals need to eat especially the ones who are carnivorous and unlike humans will not go hunt for fun. This is a shot of a young fox and her meal a brown rat. The shot was taken by Matthew Maran in a North London allotment. It isn’t common for foxes to catch rats and most probably the rat was already deceased.
Now this is a truly ethereal and magical shot of a shark in the night. It looks almost surreal because of the awesome lighting and shadows in the picture. The photograph was taken by Laurent ballista from France.
What drought looks like
At first glance you may just see dry mud but look closely and there is an eye popping out from it. That is the eye of a hippopotamus lying in a mud pool emerging every three to five minutes to take a breather. This amazing shot was taken by photographer Jose in Kenya’s Masai Mara National reserve. He has been photographing hippos in the drought-stricken Mara river for several days. Hippos vital grassland and aquatic ecosystem engineers because their dung is a rich source of nutrients for fish, insects and algae. But unfortunately, when the rivers are dry, the dung concentration can deplete the aquatic life instead.
Tree Top Duoc
Now doesn’t that look a regal animal? This monkey photographed by Arshdeep Singh in India looks as if he is posing for the cameras and even knows it. The coloring of the monkey is amazing too, perhaps it is French.
The burning Amazon
This is a typical scene of the Amazon forest fires. This particular shot was taken by Charlie Hamilton James of UK. It is of a fire out of control in Maranhao, a state in Northeastern Brazil. The conflagration is so intense, only a solitary tree seems to be braving the fire alone. Many feel that the fire was started intentionally to make way for agriculture and cattle farming which is what is going on in Brazil. These incidents have been encouraged by the president Jair Bolsonaro who has said he will commit to opening up the Amazon for business and commercialization.
This pair of puffins are incredibly cute and was photographed by Evie Easterbrook. Puffins are unique birds whose beak gets brighter during their breeding season. As pelagic sea birds, they like diving for fish in water and breathe in large colonies in the North Atlantic Ocean.
The Spider’s Dinner
Among the shortlist of wildlife photographer of the year 2020, this is a real intimidating shot of a large wandering spider piercing the egg of a giant glass fog. It will liquefy the prey with its digestive juices and then simply suck it up. There are 11 know species of wandering spiders who are predators native to rainforests. They are so adept at hunting that they can also detect vibrations transmitted through leaves with their sensitive bristles. The photograph was taken by Jaime Culebras of Spain who watched the spider devouring all the eggs.
Forest of fire
This is a shot of Araucana trees that make it look like the forest is on fire. The trees are highly prized for their amazing appearance with spiky leaved and angular branches. Araucanas can live up to 1000 years and are native to Southern Chile and Western Argentina and were also introduced to Europe in the 18th century. The photograph was taken by Andrea Pozzi of Italy.
On first glance this looks amazing especially the blackened landscape but its actually the land torn up to produce oil and is considered by environmentalists t be a very destructive operation just for the sake of oil. The photographer is Garth Lenz of Canada. That’s all we have of the wildlife photographer of the year 2020. Stay tuned for the winners in October.