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Who's walking on the wild side? Footprints by Robert Friel

At this very moment, the most outstanding wildlife images from photographers around the world are being mounted for display in their new bigger gallery for this year’s Veolia Environnement Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2009 exhibition. The popular exhibition of the competition winners, now in its 24th year, opens to the public on 23 October.

 

The Museum's iconic Waterhouse Gallery (home to previous sell-out Darwin exhibition) will enable us to show off the winning wildlife photographs in larger format than was possible in the exhibition's former Jerwood Gallery. This year's event also features an atmospheric new design themed on a pavilion of shadows. Very intriguing. Hopefully I can take a peak soon.

 

Another new highlight of the exhibition experience this year is an audio guide with judges, photographers and scientists comments, and an audio guide for the visually impaired (the latter is a first for the UK).

 

We are also very proud that this exhibition is the most eco-friendly one staged yet, boasting the latest power-saving LED light panel technology.

 

To whet your wildlife appetite, get a preview of the highly commended winners on our website from Monday, 5 October. You can find out who the overall winners are on 21 October.

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Algae, leaf, forest? Think again

Personally, I love the brilliant green image on the website banner. But do you know what the 'filter-feeding forest' - the image's name - really is? Most people reckon it's algae, I think it looks like a weirdly lit under-water jungle, but it is in fact the inside of a sea squirt's mouth. This species of sea squirt, photographed in the Philippines by Lawrence Alex Wu, is fairly common in tropical waters. Alex spent years looking inside the little creatures' mouths to get this ghostly image. It's the chlorophyll of the microbes inside the food-trapping, tree-like water filters that cause the vivid green colour that Alex captured. I just wonder how he managed to get the 3-cm long squirters to be still enough to get his open-mouth shot?