Credit by Sperm whales in the Caribbean Sea off the Commonwealth of Dominica © Photograph: Franco Banfi
PICTURES: Winners of the BigPictures wildlife images competition 2017
NATURE Beyond

PICTURES: Winners of the BigPictures wildlife images competition 2017

The fourth annual BigPicture Natural World Photography Competition aims to celebrate the diversity of life on Earth, and encourages people to protect and conserve it. Thousands of entries were received for the competition held by the California Academy of Sciences, and here are the winners.

1. Confiscated:  Grand Prize WinnerThese elephant feet-turned-footstools are among some 1.3 million confiscated wildlife products housed in a U.S. Fish and Wildlife repository near Denver, Colorado Photograph: Britta Jaschinski
1. Confiscated: Grand Prize WinnerThese elephant feet-turned-footstools are among some 1.3 million confiscated wildlife products housed in a U.S. Fish and Wildlife repository near Denver, Colorado Photograph: Britta Jaschinski
2. Feather in the Flames:  Winged Life FinalistFarmers in Singur, West Bengal, India, burn off the stubble left after harvest, and black drongos swoop to eat the insects fleeing the flames Photograph: Kallol Mukherjee
2. Feather in the Flames: Winged Life FinalistFarmers in Singur, West Bengal, India, burn off the stubble left after harvest, and black drongos swoop to eat the insects fleeing the flames Photograph: Kallol Mukherjee
3. Synchronized Sleepers:  Human/Nature FinalistFranco Banfi and his fellow divers were following this pod of sperm whales in the Caribbean Sea off the Commonwealth of Dominica, when they suddenly seemed to fall into a vertical slumber. First observed in 2008, scientists have found that these massive marine animals spend about 7 per cent of their time asleep Photograph: Franco Banfi
3. Synchronized Sleepers: Human/Nature FinalistFranco Banfi and his fellow divers were following this pod of sperm whales in the Caribbean Sea off the Commonwealth of Dominica, when they suddenly seemed to fall into a vertical slumber. First observed in 2008, scientists have found that these massive marine animals spend about 7 percent of their time asleep Photograph: Franco Banfi
4. Kamokuna Lava Firehose 25:  Landscapes, Waterscapes, and Flora WinnerDuring a week in January, a steady stream of lava, called a firehose, suddenly gushed from an underground lava tube at the base of Hawai’i’s Kilauea volcano and spilled into the Pacific Ocean. As the molten rock met the cooler seawater, steam, sand, and chunks of cooled lava were thrown explosively into the air Photograph: Jon Cornforth
4. Kamokuna Lava Firehose 25: Landscapes, Waterscapes, and Flora WinnerDuring a week in January, a steady stream of lava, called a firehose, suddenly gushed from an underground lava tube at the base of Hawai’i’s Kilauea volcano and spilled into the Pacific Ocean. As the molten rock met the cooler seawater, steam, sand, and chunks of cooled lava were thrown explosively into the air Photograph: Jon Cornforth
5. Pandas Gone Wild:  Human/nature WinnerAt the Hetaoping Research and Conservation Center in China’s Wolong Reserve, captive-bred giant pandas have been raised with the hope of one day reintroducing them to the wild. To prevent young pandas from imprinting on and becoming attached to their human caregivers, the center’s staff wear costumes that mimic the animals’ characteristic black and white pattern Photograph: Ami Vitale
5. Pandas Gone Wild: Human/nature WinnerAt the Hetaoping Research and Conservation Center in China’s Wolong Reserve, captive-bred giant pandas have been raised with the hope of one day reintroducing them to the wild. To prevent young pandas from imprinting on and becoming attached to their human caregivers, the center’s staff wear costumes that mimic the animals’ characteristic black and white pattern Photograph: Ami Vitale
6. Snow Globe:  Winged Life WinnerBosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge in New Mexico is home to a huge population of snow geese, in part because of the sprawling fields of grain that have cropped up along their migration route over the past 60 years. Descending in vast flocks, the geese leave a wake of mowed-down plants and exposed ground that can take decades to recover Photograph: Denise Ippolito
6. Snow Globe: Winged Life WinnerBosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge in New Mexico is home to a huge population of snow geese, in part because of the sprawling fields of grain that have cropped up along their migration route over the past 60 years. Descending in vast flocks, the geese leave a wake of mowed-down plants and exposed ground that can take decades to recover Photograph: Denise Ippolito
7. Mantis Mom: Aquatic Life Winner  Surrounded by black volcanic sands, a peacock mantis shrimp stands guard over her ribbon-like mass of fertilized eggs in the Lembeh Strait, Indonesia Photograph: Filippo Borghi
7. Mantis Mom: Aquatic Life Winner Surrounded by black volcanic sands, a peacock mantis shrimp stands guard over her ribbon-like mass of fertilized eggs in the Lembeh Strait, Indonesia Photograph: Filippo Borghi
8. The Salmon Catchers:  Terrestrial WildlifeTo capture this view of a mother grizzly bear and her cub, photographer Peter Mather set up a camera trap on a log that he knew the bears tended to traverse while fishing for salmon, in the Yukon River watershed in Canada Photograph: Peter Mather
8. The Salmon Catchers: Terrestrial WildlifeTo capture this view of a mother grizzly bear and her cub, photographer Peter Mather set up a camera trap on a log that he knew the bears tended to traverse while fishing for salmon, in the Yukon River watershed in Canada Photograph: Peter Mather
9. Roundup at Revillagigedo: Aquatic Life Finalist  The nutrient and plankton rich waters of the Revillagigedo Archipelago, Mexico, create an unusually healthy ecosystem. Here over 1,000 top predators, including a variety of sharks and yellowfin tuna, gather to eat Photograph: Ralph Pace
9. Roundup at Revillagigedo: Aquatic Life Finalist The nutrient and plankton rich waters of the Revillagigedo Archipelago, Mexico, create an unusually healthy ecosystem. Here over 1,000 top predators, including a variety of sharks and yellowfin tuna, gather to eat Photograph: Ralph Pace
Ecosystem:  Terrestrial Wildlife WinnerA termite mound in Emas National Park, Brazil, glows with the light produced by the larvae of click beetles Photograph: Marcio Cabral
10. Ecosystem: Terrestrial Wildlife WinnerA termite mound in Emas National Park, Brazil, glows with the light produced by the larvae of click beetles Photograph: Marcio Cabral
The More the Merrier:  Terrestrial Wildlife FinalistMacaque monkeys huddle together on Shōdoshima Island, Japan, pooling body heat as temperatures drop Photograph: Alexandre Bonnefoy
11. The More the Merrier: Terrestrial Wildlife FinalistMacaque monkeys huddle together on Shōdoshima Island, Japan, pooling body heat as temperatures drop Photograph: Alexandre Bonnefoy
12. Sea Jewels:  Art of Nature WinnerDozens of by-the-wind sailors, measuring up to three inches long, viewed in a bucket of water at the Monteray Bay National Marine Sanctuary, California Photograph: Jodi Frediani
12. Sea Jewels: Art of Nature WinnerDozens of by-the-wind sailors, measuring up to three inches long, viewed in a bucket of water at the Monteray Bay National Marine Sanctuary, California Photograph: Jodi Frediani

Source : https://www.bigpicturecompetition.org | guardian.co.uk 

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