As the end of 2019 approaches, we're looking back at another fantastic year of nature photography. Over the last 12 months, our photographers have been busy pointing their cameras in all directions to bring us their views of the natural world. Here, we present a selection of our favourite nature images of 2019, as well as some of the hardest-hitting images made this year.
Eduardo Blanco / European mantis (Mantis religiosa) hunting swarming Pale burrower mayfly (Ephoron virgo), mayflies recently hatched. Tudela, La Ribera de Navarra, Navarre, Spain. August.
Neil Anderson / Red squirrel (Sciurus vulgaris), two curled up asleep in drey inside nest box. Nest of lichen and Pine needles. Highlands, Scotland, UK.
Sven Zacek / Frozen bends and flood plain of Halliste River, aerial view. Soomaa National Park, Viljandimaa County, Estonia. Febraury 2019.
Tony Wu / Bowhead whale (Balaena mysticetus), group socialising in shallow water, aerial view. Part of larger group of more than 50 whales congregating, Sea of Okhotsk sub-population, Russia.
Yashpal Rathore / Indian leopard (Panthera pardus fusca) on rock with forested hills beyond. Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve, India. Camera trap image. 2019.
Phil Savoie / Smeathman's furrow bee (Lasioglossum smeathmanellum) feeding on Wallflower (Erysimum sp.) Monmouthshire, Wales, UK. April.
Alex Mustard / RF - Denise's pygmy seahorse (Hippocampus denise) looks out from its home in a sea fan (Annella sp.). Misool, Raja Ampat, West Papua, Indonesia. Ceram Sea. Tropical West Pacific Ocean. (This image...
Ann & Steve Toon / Ostrich (Struthio camelus) silhouetted in dust storm. Kalahari Gemsbok National Park, Kgalagadi Transfrontier National Park, Northern Cape, South Africa.
Jack Dykinga / Burrowing owl (Athene cunicularia) male covering fledgling with wings to protect from danger. Fledgling flapping wings in protest. Marana, Arizona, USA. May. Sequence 1/2.
Shane Gross / Flying fish (Exocoetidae) in Sargasso Sea, Atlantic Ocean.
Oscar Dewhurst / Mute swan (Cygnus olor), two cygnets sheltering under parent's wing. Richmond Park, London, England, UK. April.
Klein & Hubert / Long-eared hedgehog (Hemiechinus auritus) on dune bordering the Gobi Desert at sunset. Mongolia.
Alex Mustard / Snorkeller looking down on a Blue whale (Balaenoptera musculus) passing beneath. Indian Ocean, off Sri Lanka.
Andy Rouse / Polar bear (Ursus maritimus) standing on pack ice at sunset. Svalbard, Norway.
Klein & Hubert / Long-eared jerboa (Euchoreutes naso) at sunrise. Gobi Desert, Mongolia.
Shane Gross / Lined seahorse (Hippocampus erectus) clinging to algae in a land locked alakaline lagoon on Eleuthera Island, Bahamas.
Doug Gimesy / Silhouette of the head of a Grey-headed Flying-fox (Pteropus poliocephalus) through its wings. On hot days when resting in trees, flying-foxes will spread their highly vascular wings, thereby allowing...
Ingo Arndt / Snow blowing in wind, over cracks in the clear ice of Lake Baikal. Siberia, Russia. February.
Eric Baccega / Eastern white-bearded wildebeest (Connochaetes taurinus), four running in line, on migration, Masai Mara National Reserve, Kenya.
Ann & Steve Toon / Hippo (Hippopotamus amphibius) charging in aggression with open mouth. Chobe River, Chobe National park, Botswana.
Alex Mustard / Southern stingray (Dasyatis americana) two swimming over sand bar, under stormy sky. Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands. British West Indies.
Christophe Courteau / Hyacinth macaw (Anodorhynchus hyacinthinus), close up of eye. Bioparc Doue-la-Fontaine, France. Native to Brazil. Captive.
Andy Rouse / African Lion (Panthera leo) cubs age two months playing, Masai Mara, Kenya Medium repro only