Thousands of photos highlighting the breadth of the planet's wildlife flood the British Natural History Museum every year for a shot at winning Wildlife Photographer of the Year.
A magazine started the competition in 1965, according to the Natural History Museum's website, with little more than a few hundred submissions. The magazine, which later became BBC Wildlife, hoped to promote the budding field of wildlife photography, according to the museum website.
The Natural History Museum became involved in the 1980s and helped launch an international exhibition showcasing the submitted work, according to its website.
"Whether they highlight the abuse of animals in places where the public might expect them to be protected … or subtly comment on the impact of humans on the natural world," the museum website reads. "The photojournalism images entered into the competition are often thought-provoking and moving, and they can also be vital for conservation efforts."
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This year's top submissions, released ahead of the award ceremonies next month, include riveting images of fish, sloths and polar bears coping in one way or another with the changing conditions around them.
Christian Ziegler records this unusual sight of a young male bonobo gently holding a mongoose pup, deep in the rainforest near Salonga National Park, Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Photographer Brandon GÃ¼ell documented a rare breeding frenzy of frogs in Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica, by wading chest-deep into mosquito-infested, murky water where a gathering of male gliding treefrogs were calling.
Britta Jaschinski uses torchlight to highlight the impact of coltan mining at the Leibniz Institute for the Analysis of Biodiversity Change in Hamburg, Germany.
When Dmitry Kokhâs boat approached the small island of Kolyuchin, in the Russian High Arctic, which had been abandoned by humans since 1992, he was surprised to spot movement in one of the houses.
Heikki Nikki witnesses two dippers fighting over prime position.
Jasper Doest provides a portrait of Lubinda Lubinda and his new house (right) â revealing the impact of drought on the Zambezi flood plain.
Jo-Anne McArthur shows American mink kits fighting for space in a small cage on a Swedish fur farm.
Keeping his camera steady in the moving vehicle, Jose Fragozo followed the giraffe.
Joshua Cox frames a red deer stag standing majestically as the snow falls in Richmond Park.
Morgan Heim reveals an intimate encounter between a beetle and a rabbit.
Richard Robinson becomes the object of fascination for a young whale.
Coconut Octopus (Amphioctopus marginatus) in Lembeh Strait, Sulawesi, Indonesia.
Suzi Eszterhas captures an encounter between a sloth and a dog.
Srikanth Mannepuri takes a sobering look at the scale of unsustainable fishing.
Tiina TÃ¶rmÃ¤nen floats through sheets of cloud-like algae in search of fish.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2022: Gallery of stunning photos