Call me Sandy: The moment a 4 ton elephant shakes the dust of his back during a stroll through the Kalahari Desert

Call me Sandy: The moment a 4 ton elephant shakes the dust of his back during a stroll through the Kalahari Desert

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UPDATED:

12:38 GMT, 29 November 2012

Breathtaking photographs capturing animals in their natural habitat are among the top picks from the editors from National Geographic magazine as part of their annual photo contest.

The favorites among the thousands of submissions so far include stunning shots of sea creatures, a touching photograph of a mother bear with her young and an elephant charging through the Kalahari Desert.

The travel magazine is
still accepting submissions from professional photojournalists to
amateur shutterbugs for their photo competition.

In 2011, they received more than more than 20,000 entries from over 130 countries.

'Send
us your best shots in any of these three categories: people, places,
and nature. Please submit images that accurately reflect the captured
moment in time. In other words, keep it real,' the entry guidelines stated on the National Geographic website.

The
winner of the contest will receive a $10,000 price in addition to an
all-expense paid trip to National Geographic headquarters in Washington,
D.C.

At HQ, the winner will take part in publication's annual National Geographic Photography Seminar in January 2013.

Dusty:

The Godfather: Brian Lam shot this image of a huge elephant who is four metres tall and weighs more than four tons. It took ten minutes to get this shot of the animal filling his trunk with the dust of the Kalahari desert before spraying his forehead

Prey: Tonya Heron took this picture of a white shark snapping up a seal on a still morning in July when she says there was barely a ripple on the water

Prey: Tonya Heron took this picture of a white shark snapping up a seal on a still morning in July when she says there was barely a ripple on the water

Intriguing

Intriguing: Scott Trageser was able to get very close to this mountain big horn sheep before the animal lost interest and rejoined his herd

Keeping watch

Keeping watch: Gandalf the Great Grey Owl is scared of flying in the open so his owners built him an aviary inside a brick shed, photographer Mark Bridger explained. He now spends his days watching the world go by

Reflection

Reflection: The Black Drongo bird skims low over the water to pick off insects before returning to its perch and was photographed by Vinayak Parmar


Mama bear

Mama bear: Ruth Steck captured this brown bear nursing her triplet cubs in the Lake Clark National Park in late July

Hanging on

Hanging on: The precise patterns on the small red eye frog as it clung to a leaf caught the eye of Shikhei Goh

Deep blue sea:

Underwater: John Peterson swam along with the turtle for several minutes to get this image of its dark shell against an electric blue sea

Swarming

The swarm: Fishermen lit a fire on their boat to attract a huge haul in this image shot by Chang Ming Chih

Deep in the Colombian Amazon

Culture: Piers Calvert's arresting entry shows Yucuna Indians dressed in traditional tribal attire for the Baile del Mueco, or puppet dance, a celebration of the abundance of the Chontaduro fruit in the Colombian Amazon

Attack

Attack: Easily identified by their bleeding hearts, Gelada baboons can be found in large troops in the Ethiopian highlands. Thomas Alexander travelled to the Simien Mountains to get this shot

Gliding

Gliding: Endurance: This spear fisherman is around 80 years old and still works even though he earns only two or three dollars a day from his catch. Photographer Caine Delacy says that the time in the water keeps the man young and he is still able to hold his breath for two minutes. Delacy could barely keep up with him even though he was wearing fins and his subject was not