WILDLIFE PHOTOGRAPHER OF THE YEAR 2017 FINALISTS IN PICTURES

WILDLIFE PHOTOGRAPHER OF THE YEAR 2017 FINALISTS IN PICTURES

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Photograph: Ashleigh Scully/2017 Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Thirteen final images from the Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition have been released. This year’s competition saw almost 50,000 entries from 92 different countries, with photographers all competing for the top prize of over $6,500. Here are the finalists along with their details and captions:

Photograph: Laurent Ballesta/2017 Wildlife Photographer of the Year
Photograph: Laurent Ballesta/2017 Wildlife Photographer of the Year

A mother introduces her pup to the icy water in east Antarctica in early spring. The pair slide effortlessly between the sheets of the frozen water. Finalist 2017, Behaviour: Mammals

Photograph: Andrey Narchuk/2017 Wildlife Photographer of the Year
Photograph: Andrey Narchuk/2017 Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Sea angels are molluscs related to slugs and snails, with wing-like lobes used as swimming paddles. They are both male and female and here they prepare to insert their copulatory organs into each other to transfer sperm in synchrony. Finalist 2017, Behaviour: Invertebrates

Photograph: Sergey Gorshkov/2017 Wildlife Photographer of the Year
Photograph: Sergey Gorshkov/2017 Wildlife Photographer of the Year

An arctic fox carries its egg trophy from a raid on a snow goose nest and heads for a suitable burial spot.Finalist 2017, Animal Portraits

Photograph: Mats Andersson/2017 Wildlife Photographer of the Year
Photograph: Mats Andersson/2017 Wildlife Photographer of the Year

On a cold February morning, the red squirrel encapsulates the spirit of winter as it closes its eyes for a moment, paws together, fur fluffed, then resumes its search for food.Finalist 2017, Black and White

Photograph: Qing Lin/2017 Wildlife Photographer of the Year
Photograph: Qing Lin/2017 Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Each anemone fish has an extra pair of eyes inside its mouth – those of a parasitic isopod which enters as a larva via the fish’s gills moves to its mouth and attaches its legs to the base of the tongue. Finalist 2017, Under Water

Photograph: Steve Winter/2017 Wildlife Photographer of the Year
Photograph: Steve Winter/2017 Wildlife Photographer of the Year

The back leg of this Sumatran tiger cub was so badly mangled by a snare it had to be amputated. He was trapped for four days before being discovered in a rainforest on the Indonesian island of Sumatra. It is likely the snare was set by oil-palm plantation workers. Finalist 2017, The Wildlife Photojournalist Award: Single Image

Photograph: Klaus Nigge/2017 Wildlife Photographer of the Year
Photograph: Klaus Nigge/2017 Wildlife Photographer of the Year

After several days of constant rain, the bald eagle was soaked to the skin. Full concentration on the eagle’s expression created an intimate portrait, enhanced by the overcast light of the rainy day. Finalist 2017, Animal Portraits

Photograph: Justin Hofman/2017 Wildlife Photographer of the Year
Photograph: Justin Hofman/2017 Wildlife Photographer of the Year

This tiny estuary seahorse ‘almost hopped’ from one bit of bouncing natural debris to the next, bobbing around on a reef near Sumbawa Island, Indonesia. As a brisk surface wind picked up, the seahorse took advantage of something that offered a stable raft: a waterlogged plastic cottonbud. Finalist 2017, The Wildlife Photojournalist Award: Single Image

Photograph: Jack Dykinga/2017 Wildlife Photographer of the Year
Photograph: Jack Dykinga/2017 Wildlife Photographer of the Year

These emblematic saguaro cacti in Arizona’s Sonoran Desert National Monument tower at more than 12 metres. The roots weave a maze just below the surface, radiating as far as the plant is tall, to absorb precious rainfall. The saturated limbs are vulnerable to hard frost – their flesh may freeze and crack, while the mighty arms twist down under their loads. Finalist 2017, Plants and Fungi

Photograph: Ashleigh Scully/2017 Wildlife Photographer of the Year
Photograph: Ashleigh Scully/2017 Wildlife Photographer of the Year

After fishing for clams at low tide, a mother brown bear leads her spring cubs back across the beach to the nearby meadow. But one young cub wants to stay and play. Finalist 2017, Young Wildlife Photographer of the Year, 11-14 Years

Photograph: Laura Albiac Vilas/2017 Wildlife Photographer of the Year
Photograph: Laura Albiac Vilas/2017 Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Laura travelled to the Sierra de Andújar natural park in Spain in search of the lynx and struck lucky on her second day – a pair were relaxing not far from the road. Finalist 2017, Young Wildlife Photographer of the Year, 11-14 Years

Photograph: David Lloyd/2017 Wildlife Photographer of the Year
Photograph: David Lloyd/2017 Wildlife Photographer of the Year

In Kenya’s Maasai Mara national reserve, a herd of elephants trekked to their evening waterhole. The mellow light from the fast-setting sun emphasised every wrinkle and hair. The female leading the herd looked straight at the photographer, her eye a glowing amber dot in the heavy folds of skin. Her gaze was full of respect and intelligence. Finalist 2017, Animal Portraits

Photograph: Tyohar Kastiel/2017 Wildlife Photographer of the Year
Photograph: Tyohar Kastiel/2017 Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Tyohar watched the pair of resplendent quetzals for more than a week as they delivered fruits to their two chicks. Resplendent quetzals usually nest in thicker forest, but this pair had picked a tree in a partly logged area in the Costa Rican cloud forest of San Gerardo de Dota. The additional light made it easier for Tyohar to catch the iridescent colour of the male’s dazzling emerald and crimson body plumage and tail streamers. Finalist 2017, Behaviour: Birds

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