These are the best wildlife photos of 2018

The winners of the prestigious Wildlife Photographer of the Year Competition have been revealed, with Dutch photographer Marsel van Oosten taking the top prize for his extraordinary image, titled The Golden Couple.

The image shows a pair of golden snub-nosed monkeys in the temperate forest of China’s Qinling Mountains, the only habitat for these endangered primates. 

Competition judge Roz Kidman Cox said: "This image is in one sense traditional – a portrait. But what a striking one, and what magical animals. It is a symbolic reminder of the beauty of nature and how impoverished we are becoming as nature is diminished. It is an artwork worthy of hanging in any gallery in the world."

Young Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Skye Meaker picked up the Young Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2018 award for his shot of a leopard waking from sleep in Mashatu Game Reserve in Botswana. Commenting on Skye's images the judges said "with precisely executed timing and composition, we get a coveted glimpse into the inner world of one of the most frequently photographed, yet rarely truly seen, animals".

We picked out some of our favorite images from this year's contest below, and you can see all the winning and commended images at the Natural History Museum website. An exhibition featuring the winning images opens on October 19 at the Natural History Museum in London, and will tour the UK and overseas next year.

Phil Hall

Phil Hall is an experienced writer and editor having worked on some of the largest photography magazines in the UK, and now edit the photography channel of TechRadar, the UK's biggest tech website and one of the largest in the world. He has also worked on numerous commercial projects, including working with manufacturers like Nikon and Fujifilm on bespoke printed and online camera guides, as well as writing technique blogs and copy for the John Lewis Technology guide.