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The incubator bird

Polar pas de deux

Stuck in

The good life

Giant gathering

Memorial to a species

The grip of gulls

The jellyfish jockey

Tapestry of life

Contemplation

Crab surprise

The night raider

Palm-oil survivors

The ice monster

The ancient ritual

The Natural History Museum of London's 2017 Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition surfaces some of the most joyful, and devastating, views of the natural world ever captured. 

This moment comes from photographer Gerry Pearce, who topped the Behaviour: Birds category in the Natural History Museum of London's 2017 Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition. 

This is a male Australian brush turkey piling extra insulation onto a nesting mound. 

Published: / Caption: / Photo: Gerry Pearce/Wildlife Photographer of the Year / Read the article
1
of 15

The incubator bird

Polar pas de deux

Stuck in

The good life

Giant gathering

Memorial to a species

The grip of gulls

The jellyfish jockey

Tapestry of life

Contemplation

Crab surprise

The night raider

Palm-oil survivors

The ice monster

The ancient ritual

Eilo Elvinger's close-up look at the legs of a mother polar bear and her cub earned top honors in the black-and-white category of the Natural History Museum of London's Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition for 2017.

Published: / Caption: / Photo: Eilo Elvinger/Wildlife Photographer of the Year / Read the article
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of 15

The incubator bird

Polar pas de deux

Stuck in

The good life

Giant gathering

Memorial to a species

The grip of gulls

The jellyfish jockey

Tapestry of life

Contemplation

Crab surprise

The night raider

Palm-oil survivors

The ice monster

The ancient ritual

Young photographer Ashleigh Scully's bottoms-up fox photo took top honors in the 11-14 age division of the Natural History Museum of London's Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition.

"It was funny to see but also humbling to observe how hard the fox had to work to find a meal. I really wanted her to be successful," Scully notes in a description of the image, which she snapped in Yellowstone National Park in the US.

Published: / Caption: / Photo: Ashleigh Scully/Wildlife Photographer of the Year / Read the article
3
of 15

The incubator bird

Polar pas de deux

Stuck in

The good life

Giant gathering

Memorial to a species

The grip of gulls

The jellyfish jockey

Tapestry of life

Contemplation

Crab surprise

The night raider

Palm-oil survivors

The ice monster

The ancient ritual

This is Caco, a western lowland gorilla living in a national park in the Republic of Congo. 

Daniël Nelson's photo is the grand title winner of the Young Wildlife Photographer of the Year division of the Natural History Museum of London's wildlife photography competition. It also took top honors in the 15-17 age category.

Published: / Caption: / Photo: Daniël Nelson/Wildlife Photographer of the Year / Read the article
4
of 15

The incubator bird

Polar pas de deux

Stuck in

The good life

Giant gathering

Memorial to a species

The grip of gulls

The jellyfish jockey

Tapestry of life

Contemplation

Crab surprise

The night raider

Palm-oil survivors

The ice monster

The ancient ritual

This almost surreal-looking photograph of sperm whales comes from photographer Tony Wu, who entered it into the Natural History Museum of London's 2017 Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition. Wu photographed these whales in the Indian Ocean near Sri Lanka.

Published: / Caption: / Photo: Tony Wu/Wildlife Photographer of the Year / Read the article
5
of 15

The incubator bird

Polar pas de deux

Stuck in

The good life

Giant gathering

Memorial to a species

The grip of gulls

The jellyfish jockey

Tapestry of life

Contemplation

Crab surprise

The night raider

Palm-oil survivors

The ice monster

The ancient ritual

Poachers killed this black rhino in a game reserve in South Africa in 2016 to remove its horns, and photojournalist Brent Stirton captured the horrific image shortly after the animal's death. The museum chose it as the winning image.

"Brent's image highlights the urgent need for humanity to protect our planet and the species we share it with," Natural History Museum Director Michael Dixon said. 

Published: / Caption: / Photo: Brent Stirton/Getty Images Reportage for National Geographic Magazine/Wildlife Photographer of the Year / Read the article
6
of 15

The incubator bird

Polar pas de deux

Stuck in

The good life

Giant gathering

Memorial to a species

The grip of gulls

The jellyfish jockey

Tapestry of life

Contemplation

Crab surprise

The night raider

Palm-oil survivors

The ice monster

The ancient ritual

This whimsical view of herring gulls comes from young photographer Ektarina Bee, who won the 10-years-and-under division of the Natural History Museum of London's 2017 Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition. 

Bee captured this shot as the hungry gulls followed her on a boat trip off the coast of Norway.

Published: / Caption: / Photo: Ektarina Bee/Wildlife Photographer of the Year / Read the article
7
of 15

The incubator bird

Polar pas de deux

Stuck in

The good life

Giant gathering

Memorial to a species

The grip of gulls

The jellyfish jockey

Tapestry of life

Contemplation

Crab surprise

The night raider

Palm-oil survivors

The ice monster

The ancient ritual

This spectral image of a lobster larva on top of a jellyfish won the underwater category of the London Natural History Museum's wildlife photography competition. This fascinating combination of sea creatures happened in the open ocean near Tahiti.

Published: / Caption: / Photo: Anthony Berberian/Wildlife Photographer of the Year / Read the article
8
of 15

The incubator bird

Polar pas de deux

Stuck in

The good life

Giant gathering

Memorial to a species

The grip of gulls

The jellyfish jockey

Tapestry of life

Contemplation

Crab surprise

The night raider

Palm-oil survivors

The ice monster

The ancient ritual

Mountain birches hang onto a precarious spot in this image taken in Norway. The shot comes from Romanian photographer Dorin Bofan and won the plants-and-fungi category of the 2017 Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition.

Published: / Caption: / Photo: Dorin Bofan/Wildlife Photographer of the Year / Read the article
9
of 15

The incubator bird

Polar pas de deux

Stuck in

The good life

Giant gathering

Memorial to a species

The grip of gulls

The jellyfish jockey

Tapestry of life

Contemplation

Crab surprise

The night raider

Palm-oil survivors

The ice monster

The ancient ritual

This portrait highlights the photogenic face of Totti, a chimpanzee living in a national park in Uganda. Photographer Peter Delaney followed the chimp and his troop through a rain forest, which made for a challenging photography environment. This is one of the category winners of the 2017 Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition.

Published: / Caption: / Photo: Peter Delaney/Wildlife Photographer of the Year / Read the article
10
of 15

The incubator bird

Polar pas de deux

Stuck in

The good life

Giant gathering

Memorial to a species

The grip of gulls

The jellyfish jockey

Tapestry of life

Contemplation

Crab surprise

The night raider

Palm-oil survivors

The ice monster

The ancient ritual

This huge swath of giant spider crabs marched across the ocean floor off the coast of Tasmania. The octopus is hunting for crab snacks. The photo took top honors in the invertebrates category of the 2017 Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition.

Published: / Caption: / Photo: Justin Gilligan/Wildlife Photographer of the Year / Read the article
11
of 15

The incubator bird

Polar pas de deux

Stuck in

The good life

Giant gathering

Memorial to a species

The grip of gulls

The jellyfish jockey

Tapestry of life

Contemplation

Crab surprise

The night raider

Palm-oil survivors

The ice monster

The ancient ritual

This unreal-looking view shows a termite mound in Brazil. The glowing spots are bioluminescent click beetle larvae working to lure in flying termites. Photographer Marcio Cabral was fortunate enough to also capture a hungry anteater raiding the mound. 

This image topped the Animals in Their Environment category of the 2017 Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition.

Published: / Caption: / Photo: Marcio Cabral/Wildlife Photographer of the Year / Read the article
12
of 15

The incubator bird

Polar pas de deux

Stuck in

The good life

Giant gathering

Memorial to a species

The grip of gulls

The jellyfish jockey

Tapestry of life

Contemplation

Crab surprise

The night raider

Palm-oil survivors

The ice monster

The ancient ritual

Three generations of elephants appear in this photo taken at an oil-palm plantation in Borneo. The growth of the palm oil industry has brought elephants into conflict with humans. This haunting view comes from photographer Aaron "Bertie" Gekoski.

"With the light fading fast, Bertie acted quickly to frame an image that symbolizes the impact that our insatiable demand for palm oil (used in half of the products on supermarket shelves) has on wildlife," London's Natural History Museum notes in a description of the image.

Published: / Caption: / Photo: Aaron "Bertie" Gekoski/Wildlife Photographer of the Year / Read the article
13
of 15

The incubator bird

Polar pas de deux

Stuck in

The good life

Giant gathering

Memorial to a species

The grip of gulls

The jellyfish jockey

Tapestry of life

Contemplation

Crab surprise

The night raider

Palm-oil survivors

The ice monster

The ancient ritual

This otherworldly view from east Antarctica shows the underwater portion of an iceberg. The photo from France's Laurent Ballesta is a category winner in the 2017 Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition run by London's Natural History Museum.

Published: / Caption: / Photo: Laurent Ballesta/Wildlife Photographer of the Year / Read the article
14
of 15

The incubator bird

Polar pas de deux

Stuck in

The good life

Giant gathering

Memorial to a species

The grip of gulls

The jellyfish jockey

Tapestry of life

Contemplation

Crab surprise

The night raider

Palm-oil survivors

The ice monster

The ancient ritual

This magnificent leatherback turtle is seen crossing the sand at St. Croix in the US Virgin Islands. Photographer Brian Skerry used a handheld camera and a long exposure that took advantage of the moonlight. 

This image won the Behavior: Amphibians and Reptiles category of the 2017 Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition.

Published: / Caption: / Photo: Brian Skerry/Wildlife Photographer of the Year / Read the article
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