National Geographic's Best Wild Animal Photos of 2008 - CONTAINS GRAPHIC IMAGES (7 photos)

"Animal Behavior: All Other Animals" Winner
I guess these guys just can't get along. "Deadlock" was captured in the dead of night in a Belizean rain forest by David Maitland of the UK. A rare Morelet's tree frog doggedly refused to become dinner for a cat-eyed snake. "I would love to have seen them go their separate ways, but I was exhausted," the photographer said. "The frog was all the time trying to pull the snake off, but the snake just wouldn't let go."

"Animal Portraits" Winner
No, this is not me on a bad hair day. This picture was taken in Indonesia by Stefano Unterthiner. The black-crested macaque of Indonesia are rare animals that spend 99 percent of their time foraging in the forest and rarely venture along the shore. Until recently the local tradition was to eat them for Christmas dinner.

Overall Winner
This photo of a a snow leopard at India's Hemis National Park must have taken a lot of patience and dedication. "This is the hardest story I have ever done because of the altitude and the steepness of the mountains," Steve Winter told National Geographic. "At night it was 30 below zero [Fahrenheit]." As few as 3,500 snow leopards remain in the wild.

One Earth Award Winner - "Seeking to highlight the interaction between humans and the natural world."
A black colobus monkey has its fur singed in preparation for sale at an illegal bush-meat market in Gabon's capital city, Libreville. Sea turtles, crocodiles, porcupines, antelopes, and other protected animals were openly on sale there. "They singe the fur off, then sell the animals naked but intact," UK photographer David Maitland explained. "It was only afterwards that I realized how strong this image was. It was very upsetting to be there."

"Underwater World" Winner
Watch out for the whale dude!! This photo was taken by Brian Skerry off New Zealand's Auckland Islands, where a "pristine population" of southern right whales was discovered only ten years ago. The US photographer said he had deployed his assistant Mauricio Handler (pictured) as bait for this friendly 70-ton giant. "The whales were highly curious of us. Many of these animals had never seen a human before."

"Animal Behavior: Mammals" Winner
Remind me not to pet chimps. French photographer Cyril Ruoso pursued the screams of hunting chimpanzees through dense forests in Tanzania's Gombe National Park. The central and dominant figure, unwilling to share his half of a wild pig, is a 31-year-old male known as Frodo, lead hunter of his group. "Frodo is a warrior," Ruoso said. "He catches the prey 80 percent of the time." Such a large catch is rare for Gombe's chimpanzees, which usually target small monkeys, Ruoso said.

"Animal Behavior: Birds" Winner
Aren't these birds simply majestic? After finding a dead moose next to a rail track in Poland, photographer Antoni Kasprzak waited five hours until the two white-tailed eagles, a juvenile and an adult, descended and began fighting over the carcass. "The old, more experienced bird won, forcing the immature eagle to wait its turn more than an hour," Kasprzak said.

Oorganized by BBC Wildlife Magazine and London's Natural History Museum.
Courtesy of National Geographic.

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Tags: Animal, Best, Geographic, National, Photos, Wild, animals

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Comment by rp {|} // .MrPresident___++ on November 7, 2008 at 7:44pm
@Kara If you are talking about giving oral attention to a primate I will never speak to you
Comment by Kara on November 7, 2008 at 7:39pm
Since monkey's anatomy is so similar to a humans, does monkey taste like human?
Comment by rp {|} // .MrPresident___++ on November 7, 2008 at 7:38pm
@jennu - that was a whole monkey and I think he was still alive wasn't he? SAD
Comment by PANDA JU on November 7, 2008 at 3:35pm
You know Colbert already bid on the last one.
Comment by jenni on November 7, 2008 at 11:06am
=X no more burning monkey heads pleasE!
Comment by Eugene on November 7, 2008 at 10:31am
haha...didn't even see that.
Comment by rp {|} // .MrPresident___++ on November 7, 2008 at 9:26am
The poor burning monkey makes me sad a little.

He's sitting on his NUTS!!! AAAARRRGGGGG

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