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Winning images from Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2023

A pod of orcas plot their assault on a Weddell seal in this image by Bertie Gregory, one of 19 category winners in the 2023 Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition. In the waters around Antarctica, these orcas (Orcinus orca) hunt seals by charging towards ice floes, creating a wave that washes their prey into the water.

In another winning image, taken by Lennart Verheuvel, a sick and malnourished orca is stranded on a beach in the Netherlands. Rescuers initially managed to refloat the whale, but she soon became stranded again and died.

Amit Eshel’s image shows two Nubian ibexes (Capra nubiana) clashing on a clifftop in Israel’s Zin desert. During the mating season, rival males rise up on their hind legs and ram their heads together, sometimes breaking each other’s horns. The duel lasted for about 15 minutes before one male surrendered, and the pair parted without serious injury.

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Laurent Ballesta clinched the Wildlife Photographer of the Year title for the second time with this image of a tri-spine horseshoe crab (Tachypleus tridentatus), taken in the waters off Pangatalan Island in the Philippines. Horseshoe crabs, which are protected by a large, thick carapace, aren’t actually crabs but rather are arachnids, related to spiders and scorpions. This individual is escorted by three juvenile golden trevallies (Gnathanodon speciosus), which are alert for scraps of food stirred up by the horseshoe crab as it moves over the mud.

Mike Korostelev captured this photo of a hippopotamus (Hippopotamus amphibius) and her two offspring resting in a shallow lake in iSimangaliso Wetland Park, South Africa. Hippos produce one calf every two to three years. Korostelev visited the lake for over two years, so the animals were accustomed to his presence, and took photos from a safe distance and to avoid alarming the mother.

This shot by Agorastos Papatsanis shows a fungus releasing its spores in the forests of Mount Olympus in Greece, illuminated by his camera flash. Parasol mushrooms (Macrolepiota procera) are an edible species found in temperate regions across the world. They reproduce by releasing billions of spores from the gills under their cap, which disperse in the air currents.

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