bees swarm in a ball on the ground
Karine Aigner/Wildlife Photographer of the Year
  • The winners of the Wildlife Photographer of the Year contest were announced.

  • More than 38,000 entries were entered into the contest.

  • A ball of bees, a dancing sea star, and a whale are some of the winning photos.

Aigner trained her camera on the spectacle as a ball of bees rolled across the sand.

The cacti bees are in danger due to habitat loss, pesticides, and climate change. A group of insects are trying to multiply. A single female bee was swarmed around by all but one of the males in that ball. Aigner's camera lens clicked as they clamored for a chance to marry.

This year's Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition was held at the Natural History Museum in London and the photo above won the grand title.

Aigner's photo was one of the category winners.

There is a ball of buzzing bees that is rolling into the picture. According to the statement, the sense of movement and intensity is shown at bee level magnification and transforms small cacti bees into big competitors for a single female.

Animals, birds, and sea creatures are in the throes of life: hunting, being hunted, wandering, dying, dancing, and struggling to survive as their world gets smaller.

The Grand Title winner for young photographers captured the contrast inside a whale's mouth

whale mouth
Katanyou Wuttichaitanakorn/Wildlife Photographer of the Year

A 16-year-old from Thailand is on a whale-watching tour. He snapped a picture of the whale's teeth, pale pink gums, and dark skin. Wuttichaitanakorn received his first award.

Cox said the photo was "dazzling."

Cox said that the pin-sharp detail of the tiny anchovies is set against an abstract of color with the weave of brown baleen hair rimmed by a cascade of water drops.

In another winning photo, a snake captured a spooky snack

Fernando Constantino Martínez Belmar/Wildlife Photographer of the Year

The Cave of the Hanging Snakes is located in Mexico and has a Yucatn rat snake inside. As thousands of bats swarmed out of the cave, the resident snakes waited for the right time to leap from their hiding places and grab a meal.

Martnez Belmar used a red light that would be less disruptive in the dark to capture the hunt.

A snow leopard pursued its own, much bigger, prey

Anand Nambiar/Wildlife Photographer of the Year

The leopard moved uphill from the herd of ibex, then charged towards the cliff.

Due to hunting, climate change, and mining, the snow leopard is at risk of extinction.

A vulnerable spectacled bear surveyed its disappearing territory

Daniel Mideros/Wildlife Photographer of the Year

TheSpectacled bears are the only bears native to South America. They have been culled to a few thousand due to the disappearance and destruction of their environment.

A photographer captured one of the bears with a camera he set up on a wildlife corridor.

A beloved mountain gorilla died in her caretaker's arms

Brent Stirton/Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Ndakasi was saved at two months old. 13 years later, as she lay in the arms of her long time companion, the photographer came back to take her picture, and she died at the park.

Bauma said after her death that she loved her very much. She brought a smile to my face every time she spoke to me.

Polar bears raided a long-abandoned town

Dmitry Kokh/Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Humans have left the island in the Chukchi Sea. There are now wandering polar bears in the abandoned settlements.

The bears were seen moving in and out of buildings on the distant island by Dmitry Kokh. He flew a camera out to take pictures.

One small bird listened to the earth...

Nick Kanakis/Wildlife Photographer of the Year

A young grey-breasted wood wren was being photographed. The ground-dwelling bird hopped through the leaf litter in the national park to listen to the small insects on the ground.

...while a showy bird puffed out its chest feathers

José Juan Hernández Martinez/Wildlife Photographer of the Year

The Canary Islands houbara is in love with another person. He watched the whole thing from a spot he dug out. The houbara raises its head, throws it's head back, sprints forward, circles back, and pauses for a second before starting over again. The photo shows its full glory.

A sea star performed its own eerie mating dance

Tony Wu/Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Birds can impress their mates, but sea stars can't. They need to dance to get their spawns up and running. It's possible to release the eggs and sperm by sending them into currents of water. As clouds of sea-star sperm and eggs filled the water, photographer TonyWu captured this otherwordly invertebrate in the throes of its dance.

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