Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Finalists of the UK’s Natural History Museum competition


Romance among the angels – Andrey Narchuk, Russia

Romance among the angels – Andrey Narchuk, Russia

The finalists in London’s Natural History Museum Wildlife Photographer of the Year have been announced. Dive magazine publishes four of the finalists from the underwater world.

The Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition is to showcase the world’s best nature photography and photojournalism with the stated aim “to ignite curiosity about the natural world while shining a spotlight on wildlife photography as an art form.”

This year’s competition attracted almost 50,000 entries from professionals and amateurs across 92 countries. Overall winners will be announced on 17 October 2017 at an awards ceremony in the Natural History Museum’s Hintze Hall.

Winning images are selected for their creativity, originality and technical excellence. After the flagship exhibition in London the images will embark on a UK and international tour.

The next Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition, WPY54, will open for entries from 23 October to 14 December 2017.

The insiders – Qing Lin, China

Technical details: Canon EOS 5D Mark III + 100mm f2.8 lens; 1/200 sec at f25; ISO 320; Sea & Sea housing; two Inon strobes.

Technical details: Canon EOS 5D Mark III + 100mm f2.8 lens; 1/200 sec at f25; ISO 320;
Sea & Sea housing; two Inon strobes.

The bulbous tips of the aptly named, magnificent anemone’s tentacles contain cells that sting most fish. But the clown anemonefish goes unharmed thanks to mucus secreted over its skin, which tricks the anemone into thinking it is brushing against itself. Both species benefit. The anemonefish gains protection from its predators, which daren’t risk being stung, and it also feeds on parasites and debris among the tentacles. At the same time it improves water circulation (fanning its fins as it swims), scares away the anemone’s predators, and may even lure in prey for it.

While diving in the Lembeh Strait in North Sulawesi, Indonesia, Qing noticed something strange about this particular cohabiting group.

Each anemonefish had an extra pair of eyes inside its mouth – those of a parasitic isopod (a crustacean related to woodlice). An isopod enters a fish as a larva, via its gills, moves to the fish’s mouth and attaches with its legs to the base of the tongue. As the parasite sucks its host’s blood, the tongue withers, leaving the isopod attached in its place, where it may remain for several years. With great patience and a little luck – the fish darted around unpredictably – Qing captured these three rather curious individuals momentarily lined up, eyes front, mouths open and parasites peeping out.

Check out the latest issue of Dive New Zealand for more on each finalist.

Competition page: http://www.nhm.ac.uk/visit/wpy/competition.html

Facebook: www.facebook.com/wildlifephotographeroftheyear

Twitter: @NHM_WPY

Instagram: @nhm_wpy

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