All these pictures are winners in The Veolia Environnement Wildlife Photographer Of The Year 2009 competition, organised by the Natural History Museum and BBC Wildlife Magazine.
The best 100 images in the competition will go on show from October 23 at the Natural History Museum in London - the venue for last night's awards ceremony.
This year is apparently a bumper year with 43,135 entries from 94 countries – up 33 per cent on 2008.
At first it looks like a pencil drawing. In fact, this impressive black cloud contains thousands of starlings, swerving and diving in panic as they avoid a marauding peregrine falcon. Photographer Danny Green used a slow-shutter speed to emphasise the swooping movement of the birds' flight. The effect is extraordinary and shows Nature is the greatest artist of all
It took two freezing days for 16-year-old Fergus Gill to capture this remarkable picture (left) of yellowhammers fighting over a sheaf of oats and (right) a red ant sips from a raindrop, delicately balanced on a flowering common mallow petal, oblivious to Andras Meszaros and his powerful zoom lens
Cats are highly territorial, but the one that photographer Igor Spilenok found standing up to a fox three times its size is brave - even a little foolhardy
This wolf looks more like a spring-heeled horse as it leaps over a wooden fence with its two front paws clutched under its head in this remarkable action shot
The competition manager, Gemma Webster, said: "While the UK and the U.S. remain our major source of entrants, the greatest growth in entries is happening in China and Russia.
'This year we had the first-ever entries from photographers in Bangladesh, Guatemala, Macedonia, Oman, Qatar, Tunisia and Bahrain, and we've had our first category winners from Estonia, Zambia and the Czech Republic.'
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1222063/Mother-natures-masterpiece-revealed-winning-pictures-Wildlife-Photographer-Year-2009-contest.html#ixzz0UcfrEtPC