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CAS Big Picture Natural World Photography Competition: Check out these incredible pictures of nature

The winners of California Academy of Science's Big Picture Natural World Photography contest have been announced, and the pictures are INCREDIBLE! Entrants were asked to submit images that showed the Earth’s biodiversity, but highlighting some of the increasing threats to the natural world.
Capturing this image wasn't a walk in the park for photographer Andy Parkinson. He endured weeks of Scottish winter storms and ferocious cold wins that drove shards of ice into his face - ouch! As much as that sounds painful, its an amazing snap - and the judges thought so too! This picture, entitled, "Shelter in place" was the Grand prize winner! Well done Andy!
A hare in a ball to protect itself from the cold - BigPicture Natural World Photography CompetitionBig Picture/Andrew Parkinson
Did you know that while hunting their prey, when they get within 60 meters of their target, cheetahs accelerate at a staggering pace, reaching up to 60 miles per hour in a matter of seconds? Amazing huh!? Their spotted fur helps them blend into the low grasses so they can sneak up on antelope or impalas. This amazing photo by Yi Liu won the Terrestrial Wildlife category.
Speed and strategyBig Picture/Yi Liu
This elephant was caught trying to steal a snack from this open-air kitchen by photographer Gunther De Bruyne. Unfortunately, after this was taken, the unhappy elephant damaged the roof of the kitchen in frustration. De Bruyne said these incidents were common, and the elephants were usually quite aggressive in heavily poached areas. This picture won the Art of Nature category.
BigPicture Natural World Photography CompetitionBig Picture/Gunther De Bruyne
Who wouldn't want a cuddle from a giraffe? The Samburu people in Kenya form strong bonds with the wildlife and their natural habitat. The photographer Ami Vitale has spent over ten years documenting the relationship between the Samburu people and the animals.
BigPicture Natural World Photography CompetitionBig Picture/Ami Vitale
French photographer Greg LeCoeur recently won the title of Underwater Photographer of the Year for this stunning image. During an expedition in Antarctica, Greg explored the hidden face of this iceberg where crab-eater seals had made their home. It's now a multi-award winning photograph, as he was handed the prize in the Aquatic Life category.
BigPicture Natural World Photography CompetitionBig Picture/Greg Lecoeur
This bat looks thirsty. Due to climate change, bat species, such as this Mozambique long-fingered bat, are having to travel further from their habitats to find sources of water. The photographer, Piotr Naskrecki, is also an entomologist - someone who studies the science of insects. This picture was the winner in the Winged Life category.
A bat takes a drink from a pool of water - BigPicture Natural World Photography CompetitionBig Picture/Piotr Naskrecki
Have a look at this very cramped hippo bath... They are all crammed into a small space because the of Botswana's Okavango River was left depleted after a severe drought in 2019.
BigPicture Natural World Photography CompetitionBig Picture/Talib Almarri
If you have a pet cat, you will be well aware that they can often be seen proudly presenting you with their days "catch", whether you wanted it or not! But this photographer, Jak Wonderly wanted to show the impact pets have on the natural wildlife around homes. All of these images originally appeared on bioGraphic, an online magazine about science and sustainability.
BigPicture Natural World Photography CompetitionBig Picture/Jak Wonderly