Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2015 finalists showcase the astonishing wonder of nature

From wrestling komodos to snow hares, this year's selection is worth admiring

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The Independent Culture

Creatures from the deep, wrestling komodo dragons and the stunning Patagonia landscape are among the animals and scenes captured by this year's bunch of talented Wildlife Photographer of the Year finalists.

Professionals and amateurs from 96 countries have submitted more than 42,000 entries themed around the natural world's most awe-inspiring sights.

The images are judged by a panel of professionals recognised in the photography industry and selected based on their creativity, artistry and technical complexity.

31. Andrey Gudkov, Komodo judo.jpg
'Komodo Judo' was taken by Andrey Gudkov on a December morning on Rinca Island. He found two large males hissing angrily at each other and to his surprise the confrontation escalated.

Categories include Mammals, Underwater, Birds, Reptiles, Land, Urban Wildlife and Black & White.

There is also a 10 Years and Under group for child photographers.

74. Morkel Erasmus, Natural frame.jpg
'Natural Frame' was taken by Morkel Erasmus in Namibia's Estosha National Park. His view was limited to the viewing slit of a cramped bunker sunk into the ground beside a remote waterhole.

43. Fabien Michenet, It came from the deep.jpg
'It Came From the Deep' was snapped by Fabien Michenet who spends many hours diving at night in deep water off the coast of Tahiti. One night some juvenile octopuses swam into view and one stopped in front of him.

The exhibition opens on 16 October at the Natural History Museum in London and runs until 10 April next year. Tickets cost £12.60 for adults and £6.30 for children.

26. Zsolt Kudich, Great egret awakening .jpg
'Great Egret Awakening' was photographed by Zsolt Kudich as he worked on a project documenting the last untouched regions of the Danube. He found a sixth of Hungary's great egret population in one place.

The 100 shortlisted images will also embark on an international tour across six continents so that millions of people worldwide can enjoy them.

Last year's competition was won by Michael Nichols for his striking photograph of resting lions. Take a look at the other 2014 entries here.

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