The winners of the Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition have been revealed at a ceremony at the Natural History Museum in London.

Dutch photographer Marsel van Oosten won the prestigious Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2018 title for his image, The Golden Couple, which frames a pair of golden snub-nosed monkeys in the temperate forest of China's Qinling Mountains, the only habitat for these endangered primates.

Chairwoman of the judging panel 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."

Sixteen-year-old Skye Meaker won the award for Young Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2018 with a portrait of a leopard waking from sleep in Mashatu Game Reserve, Botswana.

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The stars of overall winner The Golden Couple by Marsel van Oosten (Netherlands) were a male Qinling golden snub-nosed monkey and a female from his group.
The stars of overall winner The Golden Couple by Marsel van Oosten (Netherlands) were a male Qinling golden snub-nosed monkey and a female from his group.

The two images were selected from 19 category winners, depicting the diversity of life, from displays of rarely seen animal behaviour to hidden underwater worlds. Images from professional and amateur photographers were selected by a panel of industry-recognised professionals for their originality, creativity and technical excellence.

Arsheep Singh (India) won the 10 years and under category with this shot.
Arsheep Singh (India) won the 10 years and under category with this shot.

The images by Meaker and van Oosten beat more than 45,000 entries from 95 countries and will be on show along with 98 other photographs.

A Sargassum fish among litter on the Indonesian archipelago of Raja Ampat in the highly commended Life among litter by Greg Lecoeur, France.
A Sargassum fish among litter on the Indonesian archipelago of Raja Ampat in the highly commended Life among litter by Greg Lecoeur, France.

The exhibition at the Natural History Museum, which runs the international competition, opens this week before touring across the UK and internationally.

Highly commended was Cool cat by Isak Pretorius, South Africa, depicting a lioness drinking in Zambia's South Luangwa National Park.
Highly commended was Cool cat by Isak Pretorius, South Africa, depicting a lioness drinking in Zambia's South Luangwa National Park.

The next Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition, open to photographers of all ages and abilities, opens for entries next week.

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