Laurent Ballesta, Roz Kidman Cox, Wildlife Photographer, Brent Stirton, Vidyun R Hebbar, Wpy, Adam Oswell, Stefano Unterthiner

Laurent Ballesta, Roz Kidman Cox

Wildlife Photographer of the Year: 'Explosive sex' wins top prize

An image of a bursting cloud of eggs and sperm as groupers mate in the Pacific is the judges' pick.

17/10/2021 10:00:00 AM

It's like an explosion underwater – Several camouflage groupers rush to release their sperm as a female fish drops a burst of eggs.

An image of a bursting cloud of eggs and sperm as groupers mate in the Pacific is the judges' pick.

SpiderTen-year old Vidyun R Hebbar from India is the Junior Wildlife Photographer of the Year for this picture of a tent spider in its web. The image is called Dome Home.The blurred green and yellow colours in the background belong to one of those three-wheeled tuk-tuk taxis.

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"Its focusing is pin sharp," Roz Kidman Cox told BBC News. "You can actually see the little fangs if you blow up the picture. I love the way it's been framed and the way you can see all the texture of the web, its lattice structure."

Story continuesVidyun recalled: "It was challenging to focus the tent spider because the web shook every time a vehicle passed by."Started in 1964, WPY is organised by London's Natural History Museum.The competition attracts tens of thousands of entries each year. Scroll down to see some of the individual category winners. headtopics.com

Elephant in the room by Adam Oswell, AustraliaElephantwins thePhotojournalismaward for this picture which shows zoo visitors in Thailand watching a young elephant perform underwater. Elephant tourism has increased across Asia. In Thailand, there are now more elephants in captivity than in the wild.

The healing touch, from Community care by Brent Stirton, South AfricaChimpswas awarded thePhotojournalist Story Award. His sequence of images profiles a rehabilitation centre caring for chimpanzees orphaned by the bushmeat trade in Africa. The director of the centre is seen introducing a newly rescued chimp to others in her care.

Head to head by Stefano Unterthiner, ItalyReindeerWPY always has some great snow pictures and this one wins theBehaviour: Mammalscategory.Stefano Unterthinerwatches two Svalbard reindeer battle for control of a harem. Watching the fight, Stefano said he felt immersed in "the smell, the noise, the fatigue and the pain".

Reflection by Majed Ali, KuwaitGorillaMajed Alitrekked for four hours to meet Kibande, an almost-40-year-old mountain gorilla in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park in southwestern Uganda. "The more we climbed, the hotter and more humid it got," Majed recalls. This picture, which shows Kibande as cooling rains begin to fall, wins the headtopics.com

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Animal PortraitsRoad to ruin by Javier Lafuente, SpainRoadJavier Lafuente'spicture shows the stark, straight line of a road slicing through the curves of a wetland landscape that hosts more than a hundred species of birds, with ospreys and bee-eaters among many migratory visitors. The road, constructed in the 1980s to provide access to a beach, divides the wetland in two. The picture wins the

Wetlands: The Bigger PictureSpinning the cradle by Gil Wizen, Israel/CanadaSpiderGil Wizenis an entomologist and an expert photographer. This fishing spider is stretching out silk from its spinnerets to weave into its egg sac. Such spiders are common in wetlands and temperate forests of eastern North America. The image wins the

Behaviour: Invertebratescategory.The Wildlife Photographer of the Year annual exhibition at the NHM opens on Friday, 15 October, before touring across the UK and internationally to venues in Australia, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Germany, the US and more.

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