Snapshots of an ever-changing world: Photographers capture incredible moments in nature that will shock and delight you
These incredible photographs show nature”s beauty and brutality in equal measure.
Some will delight, others will shock, but all capture the stunning variety that exists in the animal kingdom and the interactions that go on there.
In one, an eagle lunges at a hungry fox, while another shows a terrified baboon struggling to free itself from its shackles among a group of children.
Get off my lunch: This eagle was eating a carcass in Bulgaria”s Sinite Kamani National Park when the fox tried to snatch the meal. But the bird was having none of it
Distressing: A terrified yellow baboon tries to break free from its shackles as it is carried by a group of children in north-eastern Mozambique, Africa
Fly-by drinking: This picture of a bat swooping on the water”s surface for some much-needed hydration was commended in the endangered species category of the Veolia Environnement Wildlife Photographer of the Year Competition
Sad: A tiger and its two tiny cubs walk among the tourists at a Buddhist forest monastery and animal sanctuary in Kanchanaburi province in Thailand, now better known as Tiger Temple
Others provide a snapshot of intimate moments between two cheetahs surveying the savannah for lions and two flies appearing to kiss.
They are among more than 100 pictures commended in the Veolia Environnement Wildlife Photographer of the Year Competition which were shortlisted from more than 48,000 entries from 98 countries.
Jim Brandenburg, chairman of the judging panel, said: “It amazes me to discover new and startling moments that have never been seen before.
“Secret moments in nature combined with a talented eye have given us rare photographs that we will truly be enjoyed forever and I am honoured to play a role in such an important competition.’
Moment of reflection: Two cheetahs form a symmetrical image while looking out for lions in the Gol Kopjes area of the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania. The picture was shot in infra-red on a specially converted camera
In the heat of battle: Two neriid long-legged flies appear to kiss, but are in fact engaging in a combat dance before flying off to mate with nearby females
High-quality: The pictures are among more than 100 commended in the Veolia Environnement Wildlife Photographer of the Year Competition which were shortlisted from more than 48,000 entries from 98 countries
Duel: Around 30 of best images from the contest, co-owned by the Natural History Museum and BBC Worldwide, will debut in the acclaimed London exhibition in October, before embarking on an international tour
Some also cast a light on our ever-changing relationship with the natural world.
One of those was taken by African photographer Jabruson who exposes the shocking cruelty that some wildlife face in our hands as a terrified baboon vies for freedom from a group of children.
Jabruson explains: “This young animal was caught during a troop crop raiding on the highway in north-eastern Mozambique. I realised that if I could take an image I could help highlight the situation.”
From the opposite corner of the globe, a cheeky fox learns his lesson as an eagle attacks it for attempting to steal its prey, while Klaus Tamm”s Sizing up appears to depict the intimate caress of two flies.
Caught in the act: This fox wasn”t as cunning as he thought as he is pictured with the evidence of his misdeeds plain to see. This image was commended in the 10 years and under category
Top quality: The competition is open to photographers, both professional and amateurs alike, and is judged by a panel of industry-recognised professionals
In the spotlight: A lion poses up a tree in Queen Elizabeth National Park, Uganda, in one of the more artistic offerings in the shortlisted images for the competition
How cheeky is that! A bird tries to snatch a fish from the jaws of its dining rival in a snapshot that reveal just how competitive nature can be
The two male neriid long-legged flies were, in fact, engaged in a combat dance which finished with them stretching up to their full height, before flying away and mating with nearby females.
Tamm said: “I was so impressed by the harmony in the combat dance that I ended up photographing them for several hours.”
The competition is open to photographers, both professional and amateurs alike, and is judged by a panel of industry-recognised professionals.
Around 30 of best images from the contest, co-owned by the Natural History Museum and BBC Worldwide, will debut in the acclaimed London exhibition in October, before embarking on a UK and international tour.
Overall winners are expected to be named in October.