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Selected from more than 50,000 entries from 95 countries, the winners of the Natural History Museum's Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition were revealed today.

The intimate touch from Canadian Shane Kalyn is the winner in the category “Behaviour: Birds”. It was midwinter, the start of the ravens’ breeding season. Shane lay on the frozen ground using the muted light to capture the detail of the ravens’ iridescent plumage against the contrasting snow to reveal this intimate moment when their thick black bills came together.Shane Kalyn/Wildlife Photographer of the Year

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Spinning the cradle by Gil Wizen, dual nationality from Israel and Canada, winner in the “Behaviour: Invertebrates” category. Gil finds a fishing spider stretching out silk from its spinnerets to weave into its egg sac. He discovered this spider under loose bark. Any disturbance might have caused the spider to abandon its project, so he took great care. ‘The action of the spinnerets reminded me of the movement of human fingers when weaving,’ Gil says.Gil Wizen/Wildlife Photographer of the Year

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Photo head to head by Stefano Unterthiner from Italy Wins in the category “Behaviour: Mammals” . Two Svalbard reindeer battle for control of a harem. Stefano followed these reindeer during the rutting season. Watching the fight, he felt immersed in ‘the smell, the noise, the fatigue and the pain’. The reindeer clashed antlers until the dominant male (left) chased its rival away, securing the opportunity to breed.Stefano Unterthiner/Wildlife Photographer of the Year

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Road to ruin by Javier Lafuente from Spain wins in the category “Wetlands - The Bigger Picture”. Javier shows the stark, straight line of a road slicing through the curves of the wetland landscape. By manoeuvring his drone and inclining the camera, Javier dealt with the challenges of sunlight reflected by the water and ever-changing light conditions. He captured the pools as flat colours, varying according to the vegetation and mineral content.Javier Lafuente/Wildlife Photographer of the Year

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In the Young Wildlife Photographer of the Year award this high flying jay is photographed by Lasse Kurkela from Finland Winner in the “15-17 year old” category. Lasse wanted to give a sense of scale in his photograph of the Siberian jay, tiny among the old-growth spruce-dominated forest. He used pieces of cheese to get the jays accustomed to his remotely controlled camera and to encourage them along a particular flight path.Lasse Kurkela/Wildlife Photographer of the Year

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Sunflower songbird by Andrés Luis Dominguez Blanco from Spain wins in the “11-14 Year old” category. Andrés enjoys the splendour of the sunflowers and a melodious warbler singing its heart out. As light faded at the end of a warm May afternoon, Andrés’s attention was drawn to a warbler flitting from flower to flower. From his hide in his father’s car, Andrés photographed the singer, ‘the king of its territory’.Andrés Luis Dominguez Blanco/Wildlife Photographer of the Year

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Photo by Laurent Ballesta, from France wins in the “Underwater” category. Laurent peers into the depths as a trio of camouflage groupers exit their milky cloud of eggs and sperm. For five years Laurent and his team returned to this lagoon, diving day and night to see the annual spawning of camouflage groupers. They were joined after dark by reef sharks hunting the fish.Laurent Ballesta/Wildlife Photographer of the Year

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Where the giant newts breed by João Rodrigues from Portugal winner in the “Behaviour: Amphibians and Reptiles” category. João was surprised by a pair of courting sharp-ribbed salamanders in the flooded forest. It was João’s first chance in five years to dive in this lake as it only emerges in winters of exceptionally heavy rainfall, when underground rivers overflow. He had a split second to adjust his camera settings before the newts swam away.João Rodrigues/Wildlife Photographer of the Year

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Martin Gregus, dual nationality from Canada and Slovakia, shows polar bears in a different light as they come ashore in summer. The image wins in the “Rising Star Portfolio Award” category. Martin spent three weeks on his boat using various techniques to photograph polar bears around Hudson Bay. Polar bears are mostly solitary and, while living on sea ice, can be dispersed over vast areas. Coming ashore in summer, they live mainly off their fat reserves and, with less pressure to find food, become much more sociable.Martin Gregus/Wildlife Photographer of the Year

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American Zack Clothier winner in the “animals in their environment” category. Zack decided these bull elk remains were an ideal spot to set a camera trap. Returning to the scene was challenging. Zack bridged gushing meltwater with fallen trees, only to find his setup trashed. This was the last frame captured on the camera.ZACK CLOTHIER/Wildlife Photographer of the Year

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Angel Fitor from Spain provides an intimate look into the lives of cichlid fishes in Lake Tanganyika. The photo wins in the category “Portfolio Award”. Two male cichlid fish fight jaw to jaw over a snail shell. Inside the half-buried shell is a female ready to lay eggs. For three weeks Angel monitored the lake bed looking for such disputes. The biting and pushing lasts until the weaker fish gives way. This struggle was over in seconds but lasted just long enough for Angel to get his winning shot.Angel Fitor /Wildlife Photographer of the Year

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The spider room by Gil Wizen, dual nationality from Israel and Canada is the winner in the category “Urban Wildlife”. Imagine looking under your bed, only to find the 2nd most venomous spider in the world, which is also one of the world’s largest true spiders, sitting there guarding a thousand baby spiders that hatched from an egg sac. The mere thought of it would send chills down the spine of many people. The image taken while he was visiting a biological station in the Ecuadorian Amazon.Gil Wizen/Wildlife Photographer of the Year

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