The winners of this year's Zoological Society of London Animal Photography Prize have been announced - and this action shot of a chameleon as it snares its prey with its extended tongue has scooped top prize in a world class selection of beautiful photos.
The image of the panther chameleon in mid-catch, taken by Simone Sbaraglia, beat thousands of entries to win the third annual Zoological Society of London (ZSL) Animal PhotographyPrize.
Images of a gentoo penguin jumping over the waves and a black-and-white portrait of an orangutan are among the category winners in the competition, which awarded adult and junior winners for each of six categories and then overall winners.
Categories include the "weird and wonderful", "last chance to see" and "the perfect moment", which was won by Mr Sbaraglia. Words:PA
The photographer from Rome, Italy, said he waited days to capture his winning shot, which scooped him £1,000 for his category win and another £1,000 for coming top overall in the competition.
"I spent a significant amount of time trying to learn the animal's behaviour to try and anticipate this moment. After several days I was able to achieve the picture that I was looking for.
"I hope that when people see it, they are amazed by this animal, connect with nature and learn to love and respect it."
ZSL's photography exhibition project manager Sarah Barron said: "The winning pictures in the 2014 ZSL Animal Photography Prize are quite simply some of the most incredible images we've seen yet.
"We deliberately choose categories that will encourage photographers to really delve into the natural world, and the winning images capture this perfectly."
The winners were chosen by a panel of judges including TV presenter and ZSL honorary conservation fellow Kate Humble and ornithologist Bill Oddie.
The best images from the competition are going on display at London Zoo from Friday, when ZSL also launches the 2015 awards.
Take a look at all the winners in the gallery below
Zoological Society of London (ZSL) Animal Photography Prize winners 2014
'This photograph shows a very young Egyptian gosling. I remember sitting on the bus coming back home looking through the photos I’d taken and this one made me smile; it’s exactly how I wanted it. It means lying in marsh type land being completely drenched wasn’t for nothing!' Danielle Connor
'I chose the Amur Leopard bearing its teeth as it demonstrates its fierce nature and alluring eye contact towards the viewer, the tight crop adds a dramatic feel and brings out the raw emotion of the leopard. Look further into the image and you are confronted with the animals beautiful markings, eyes and whiskers.' Jason Brown
'I picked this image because I've always been fascinated by frogs, but most people I know really dislike them. When I first saw the frog on the leaf, I thought about how cute it was and I wanted to capture that to show others how beautiful frogs are. I was also struck by the size of it: I could have easily fit it on my thumb as it was so small!' Bex Saunders
'This photo captures an intimate encounter with a Giant leaf-tailed gecko (Uroplatus fimbriatus), an endemic species from the island of Madagascar. During the day, this superbly adapted animal flattens itself upside down against tree trunks and uses its effective camouflage to blend into the bark. The picture shows how every aspect of the animal’s body, including the head, the hands and the tail in the background, contribute to it being practically invisible. I like to think the view up the trunk gives an idea of what it must be like to spend days on end flattened against a tree.' Jeremy Cusack
'Chickaboo is a curious baby gorilla. She was fascinated by the camera and although she looks as though is taking a picture, she is actually looking at her reflection in the back of the screen.' Lucy Ray
'This is a gharial (aka gavial), a critically endangered narrow-snouted crocodilian, reflected in shallow waters near sunset.' Robert Heischman
'This is an adult and calf manatee at sunrise. It was an amazing experience to be able to swim with and interact with these, frankly adorable, creatures.' Ibrahim Roushdi
'With the many insects in the world, we often forget how significant they are in our lives simply because they are small. But they are enormously varied, and often quite beautiful. This shot, at least for me, is meant to expose some of that beauty.' Jeremy Cai
'At first sight it’s not clear what the great mass of undulating lines in fact are. It takes a closer inspection for them to transform and the immense scale of what you behold to become reality. The blue whale is the largest creature ever to have existed on our planet.' Matthew Coutts
'I like birds and don't see Ostrich that often. I like the way this was looking and the way it was standing.' Celtic Meredith