See Past Winning Photographs From the Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Smithsonian hosts specially curated exhibition of evocative images featuring unforgettable animal behavior.

A Japanese macaque holds a stolen cellphone while shoulder deep in hot spring.
A Japanese macaque holds a stolen cellphone at a tourist hot spring in this winning photograph from the 2014 Wildlife Photographer of the Year. Marsel van Oosten/Unforgettable Behavior

It's said a picture is worth 1000 words, but some images can make you speechless — like those in the latest exhibition at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History.

“Unforgettable Behavior: Wildlife Photographer of the Year” is a photography show put together by the Natural History Museum in London, spotlighting 38 photographs that have captured unique aspects of animal behavior.

“[These photos] show an extraordinary range of surprising and often deeply moving acts of animal behavior that inspire us to care about the world around us,” said Michael Lawrence, assistant director for exhibitions at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History.

From dueling flies to lodge building beavers, the exhibition’s pictures reveal hidden moments from animal life. The photographers are winners of past Wildlife Photographer of the Year competitions and their photo captions share important stories behind these images.

By capturing the beauty and fragility of wildlife, “Unforgettable Behavior” will inspire museumgoers to think more about their relationship with the natural world. Visitors can see “Unforgettable Behavior” at the National Museum of Natural History through summer 2022.

A plucky domestic cat faces off against a local fox in 2009, captured when the cat’s owner and image’s photographer was a ranger in the Russian Far East. Igor Shpilenok/Unforgettable Behavior
Hatchling gharials, a member of the crocodile family native to India, rest on their parent’s head in 2013. Udayan Rao Pawar/Unforgettable Behavior
A European beaver drags a branch to build its underwater lodge in 2011. Louis-Marie Préau /Unforgettable Behavior
Monarchs drink from a puddle and warm up for another day in their Northern migratory journey in 2010. Axel Gomille/Unforgettable Behavior
Muskoxen flee from the scent of wolves, by charging towards the camera in 2011. Eric Pierre/Unforgettable Behavior
In this snapshot from 2012, two neriid long-legged flies fight on the surface of gecko droppings. Klaus Tamm/Unforgettable Behavior
A swimming Grizzly bear swipes for salmon in this 2011 photograph that took 4 days to capture. Paul Souders/Unforgettable Behavior
Deep-sea majid spider crabs piling over each other during their march to shallower South Australian waters in 2010. Pascal Kobeh/Unforgettable Behavior
Two leaf-cutter ants work in tandem to transport a leaf. The smaller fights off parasitic flies, while the larger carries the leaf in 2011. Bence Máté/Unforgettable Behavior