Seven images including one taken by 14-year-old Fergus Gill and one taken by 17-year-old Luke Marazzi have today been highly commended in this year's Shell Wildlife Photographer of the Year Competition.
These diverse images were selected from nearly 18,000 entries in the world's largest and most prestigious wildlife photographic competition.
The highly commended images will join the Natural History Museum's Shell Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition, which displays all 92 winning photographs from the 2006 competition.
An exclusive selection of the highly commended pictures are previewed in the October issue of BBC Wildlife Magazine .
'This is a fabulous opportunity to have a first glimpse of some of the best photographs from this year's competition,' said Deborah Sage, Competition Manager. '
The winning images celebrate the beauty and diversity of nature caught through the artistry and dedication of each photographer.'
Every picture tells a story, and each image is captioned to reveal the tale of how and why it was taken.
For most wildlife photographers, raising awareness of the threats faced by animals, plants and habitats is just as important as capturing the beauty of a moment with perfect composition and timing.
The Shell Wildlife Photographer of the Year Competition, owned by the Natural History Museum and BBC Wildlife Magazine and sponsored by Shell, is the most successful event of its kind.
It is open to amateur and professional photographers, and this year a panel of wildlife and photography experts scrutinised entries from over 55 countries for their composition and originality.
The Shell Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition opens on Saturday 21 October 2006 and runs until 29 April 2007 . It will then tour across the country and five continents after its London debut.