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They are the antithesis of the posed photos, the winning shots of the international competition GDT European Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2010. Stolen moments, surprising effects, unexpected details that recount the environment, its difficulties and its protagonists. Unique requirements to be able to participate, love animals and wildlife and be European citizens. The photos, however, can be taken anywhere in the world.

When Britta Jaschinski, author of the shot, arrived in the Ngorongoro nature reserve in Tanzania, she found the entire area devastated by fire. This cheetah that wandered lost among the ashes attracted his attention. "Impala and dik-dik ran around in confusion and without a hiding place, a manna from heaven, for a predator. Yet the mammal seemed alienated, frightened, "said the German photographer. "I immortalized it and then watched it disappear into the undergrowth." The photo was chosen as the absolute winner of the competition.

More spectacular shots of cheetahs (watch)
Photo: © Britta Jaschinski, GDT EWPY 2010
Texts and photographic research: Elisabetta Intini

An otter dinner with the one that looks like a frog. This mammal needs to stuff itself with food to survive the cold. European otters (Lutra lutra) for example, consume about a kilo of delicacies (amphibians, fish, crustaceans, worms and insects) per day. The specimen in the photo was photographed in Estonia: the shot was among the most appreciated in the "Mammals" category.

The most beautiful pictures of frogs in this slideshow
Photo: © Sven Zacek, GDT EWPY 2010

A very close encounter between a hummingbird and a green pit viper (Trimeresurus trigonocephalus). These poisonous snakes use the prehensile tail to cling to tree branches, where they spend most of their time. Among the most appreciated in the "Other animals" category.

Photos, videos and many other curiosities about snakes
Photo: © Bence Máté, GDT EWPY 2010

A starfish stands strong to avoid being dragged away by the undertow: for a moment the photographic effect obtained recalls the "tail" of a comet. Second classified in the "Other animals" category.

Find out more about starfish and comets
Photo: © Asier Castro de la Fuente, GDT EWPY 2010

A snail moves towards a ray of light in an original shot that took first place in the "Other animals" category. The competition, now in its tenth edition, was attended by over 11, 000 registered shots made in 29 countries around the world.

The most beautiful photos of the Veolia Environnement Wildlife Photographer of the Year
Photo: © Gönye Csaba, GDT EWPY 2010

It might seem that this deer has nothing in common with the flock of cranes surrounding it. Yet, in Tibetan culture, both animals you see are considered a symbol of longevity.

Is it true that deer lose their horns?

Photo: © Marek Kosinski, GDT EWPY 2010

Fascinated by the winter landscapes of his country, the Polish photographer Michal Budzynski focused on patterns and graphic motifs offered by common natural glimpses, rendered original by particular plays of light. This shot won the first prize in the "Junior" category named after Fritz Pölking, one of the founders of the recently deceased competition.

Don't miss the photo gallery dedicated to the masterpieces of the cold
Photo: © Michal Budzynski, Fritz Pölking Award / GDT EWPY 2010

A young olive tortoise (Lepidochelys olivacea) takes off after hatching to reach deeper waters. This species, widespread in the tropical regions of the Pacific and the Indian Ocean, is known for mass nesting, with hundreds of females rushing to the shore at the same time to lay their eggs.

Many other photos, news and curiosity about turtles
Photo: © Solvin Zankl, Fritz Pölking Award / GDT EWPY 2010

After 10 days of work in the Serengeti National Park, the French photographer Grégoire Bouguereau noticed that every morning, at sunrise, a group of spotted hyenas (Crocuta crocuta) gathered to drink in this small body of water. One morning Bouguereau arrived late and the pack had already dispersed. Only one left, the specimen in the photo.

Photo: © Grégoire Bouguereau, GDT EWPY 2010

The plunge of a kingfisher (ord. Coraciiformes) at lunch time: once the prey has been captured - fish or small crustaceans - the bird stuns it by banging it violently against a branch ( to deepen it ). Among the most appreciated in the "Underwater" category.
Photo: © Manfred Delpho, GDT EWPY

Among the categories in the competition, also one dedicated to landscapes. This photo of the Veliki Prstvaci waterfalls, in Plitvice National Park, Croatia, was taken early in the morning by the Italian Maurizio Biancarelli.

More spectacular photos of waterfalls (look)
Photo: © Maurizio Biancarelli, GDT EWPY 2010

The palmate paws of a mute swan (Cygnus olor) dominate a bank of chub (Squalius cephalus) in the Rhine river, Switzerland. The photo won the second prize in the "Birds" category.

What does "swan song" mean?
Photo: © Michel Roggo, GDT EWPY 2010

With its soft plumage in shades of white, when the snowy owl (Nyctea scandiaca) rises in flight it resembles a snow-white "bow". The shot was the most appreciated by the public.
Photo: © David Allemand, Christophe Sidamon-Pesson, GDT EWPY

A block of ice sails freely in the Arctic Ocean. The Swiss Olivier Seydoux, author of the photo, called the shot "The End", the end, referring to the fact that the polar regions are threatened by global warming.

All our ice and glacier related content (watch)
Photo: © Olivier Seydoux, GDT EWPY 2010

You may also be interested in: Natural photos What strengths this nature! Wild Europe Here comes the Biodiversity Carnival These are the antithesis of the posed photos, the winning shots of the international competition GDT European Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2010 Stolen moments, surprising effects, unexpected details that recount the environment, its difficulties and its protagonists. Unique requirements to be able to participate, love animals and wildlife and be European citizens. The photos, however, can be taken anywhere in the world.
When Britta Jaschinski, author of the shot, arrived in the Ngorongoro nature reserve in Tanzania, she found the entire area devastated by fire. This cheetah that wandered lost among the ashes attracted his attention. "Impala and dik-dik ran around in confusion and without a hiding place, a manna from heaven, for a predator. Yet the mammal seemed alienated, frightened, "said the German photographer. "I immortalized it and then watched it disappear into the undergrowth." The photo was chosen as the absolute winner of the competition.
More spectacular shots of cheetahs (watch)
Photo: © Britta Jaschinski, GDT EWPY 2010
Texts and photographic research: Elisabetta Intini