Winners of the 2012 Wildlife Photographer of the Year Announced

The winning images from the 2012 Veolia Environnement Wildlife Photographer of the Year were just announced, and they are truly incredible. The coveted first place title went to Canadian Paul Nicklen for his photo of emperor penguins swimming near a frozen area of the Ross Sea, Antarctica. To capture the image, Paul had to lower himself into the water through the only exit hole, remaining motionless as he breathed through a snorkel careful not to scare away any penguins that arrived.

Take a look at some of our favourite winners and honourable mentions below. The 100 prize-winning wildlife photographs from the competition are now on show at the Natural History Museum in London, UK and you can also view the entire gallery online.

Overall winner: Bubble-jetting emperors by Paul Nicklen (Canada)wildlife photography of the year (1)

Winner: Photo by Gregoire Bouguereau (France)wildlife photography of the year (2)

Winner: Photo by Larry Lynch (USA)wildlife photography of the year (3)

Winner: Photo by Anna Henly (UK)wildlife photography of the year (4)

Runner-up: Photo by Brent Stirton (South Africa)wildlife photography of the year (5)

Winner: Photo by Paul Nicklen (Canada)wildlife photography of the year (6)

Winner: Photo by Owen Hearn (UK)wildlife photography of the year (7)

Winner: Photo by Eve Tuckerwildlife photography of the year (8)

Winner: Photo by Thilo Bubek (Germany)wildlife photography of the year (9)

Winner: Photo by Luciano Candisani (Brazil)wildlife photography of the year (10)

Photo by Jasper Doestwildlife photography of the year (11)

Urban Wildlife Winner: Photo by Kai Fagerström (Finland)urban wildlife photography

Photo by Vladimir Medvedevwildlife photography of the year (12)

Photo by Sergey Gorshkov

Photo by Joel Sartore

Photo by Ofer Levy