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The shortlist for the 52nd annual ‘Wildlife Photographer of the Year’ competition is finally out.

From a brightly coloured cuttlefish trying to attract a partner during their brief mating season, to cute and curious fox cubs and erupting volcanoes, these astonishing photographs are the finalists in the Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition 2016. Dedicated to the best of wildlife photography, this year’s competition is set to be one of the most fierce to date, attracting almost 50,000 entries from professionals and amateurs across 95 countries. The stories behind the photographs are often as fascinating as the images themselves.

The overall winning image will be announced on the evening of 18 October with the exhibition opening shortly afterwards Friday 21 October at London’s Natural History Museum. Take a look at the shortlist.

Collective courtship by Scott Portelli

Collective courtship by Scott Portelli

Crystal precision by Mario Cea

Crystal precision by Mario Cea

Golden relic by Dhyey Shah

Golden relic by Dhyey Shah

Nosy neighbour by Sam Hobson

Nosy neighbour by Sam Hobson

Playing pangolin by Lance van de Vyver

Playing pangolin by Lance van de Vyver

Swarming under the stars by Imre Potyó

Swarming under the stars by Imre Potyó

Termite tossing by Willem Kruger

Termite tossing by Willem Kruger

The disappearing fish by Iago Leonardo

The disappearing fish by Iago Leonardo

Thistle plucker by Isaac Aylward

Thistle plucker by Isaac Aylward

More info: competition