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Ten shortlisted entries have been released for this year’s Royal Society of Biology Photography Competition, from both amateur photographers and also aspiring photographers under the age of 18.

The shortlisted photos showcase wide variety of species from across the globe, from stunning Brahminy starlings in India to an alpha male of a wild chimpanzee community in Uganda. This diversity of images was also reflected in the behaviours they captured, including, but not limited to, wolves playing in the snow and wrestling polar bears.

The theme of this year’s competition was ‘Communication’, which saw entries capturing interactions between the same and different species, such as sharing information via the colouration of feathers, flowers and fur, as well as courtship behaviour and territorial displays.

This year the competition saw more than 1,200 photos submitted between two categories. The Young Photographer of the Year category asks of photographers below the age of 18 to submit a photo and be in with a chance of winning £500, whilst the Photographer of the Year category is open to adult photographers who can snatch up to £1000.

The winners will be announced at the annual Royal Society of Biology Annual Awards Ceremony on 6th October at Carlton House Terrace, as part of Biology Week.

The competition was judged by Alice Campain, CABI; Tim Harris, Nature Picture Library and Bluegreen Pictures; Tom Hartman, The University of Nottingham; Alex Hyde, natural history photographer and Linda Pitkin, underwater photographer.

Young Photographer of the Year shortlist (three)

PC09 Sun Bathed Brahminy Anushree Parihar 680 510

Anushree Parihar: Sun-bathed Brahminy         

Anushree took this photo in India of this couple of Brahminy starlings enjoying the first rays of sun and communicating with one another.

PC08 Puffins Billing on Skomer George Lanstone Futcher 662 510

George Lanstone-Futcher: Puffins billing on Skomer

George snapped this photo of these two Puffins, captured in the early evening on The Wick on Skomer Island. They are engaged in Billing, a part of their mating and courtship ritual.


Rosie Curry: The comfort of otters

Rosie discovered two otters finding joy in hugging each other, capturing the moment where they show each other that they are comfortable and happy to be together.

Photographer of the Year shortlist (seven)

polar bears

Ian Stone: Dominance fight on the ice

Ian captured this photo of two male polar bears 'sparring' on the ice on the edge of Hudson Bay, Churchill, Canada. As the Bay freezes over, the bears wait for total sea freeze and giving the opportunity for the male bears to show others that they are the most powerful in the area.


Maciej Wontorowski: Loneliness in Yorkshire

The photograph shows a Black-Browed Albatross amongst Northern Gannets - a very unusual sight in Great Britain. Maciej captured the moment when the albatross tried to interact with the gannet bird colony at Bempton Cliffs.


Robin James Backhouse: Montane egg-eater

Robin took this photo on the outskirts of Nairobi in Kenya, where this Montane Egg-Eater snake is displaying its rather unique combination of defence strategies. Despite this, it is in fact a completely harmless species which exclusively eats eggs and therefore has no actual defences.


Ian Stone: Dominant male wolf

Ian captured this photo of three wolves running in the snow for fun in Montana, USA. The interaction also shows the dominance of the alpha male, often showing aggression to subdue the subordinates, as he is the one that has to win.


Agnieszka Florczyk: Talks at dawn

Agnieszka took this photo at dawn on an overgrown pond in the Barycz valley, where grebes communicate vividly with each other by tooting, dancing and offering gifts in the form of aquatic plants.


Adrian Soldati: Morning call

Adrian captured this image of the alpha male of a wild chimpanzee community who is producing a long distance vocalisation early in the morning to coordinate movements with the other group members that are scattered in the forest and out-of-sight.


Polwatta Siriyalage Chamara Sulakkhana: Everlasting love

Polwatta snapped this image in Sri Lanka of long-jawed Orbweavers that interlock their jaws when mating, which creates a frame of four jaws. The jaws of these species are extra-long, which allow the male and female to grip each other’s jaws during mating.