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Wildlife Photographer of the Year gallery

The silent menace of a shark gliding through a shoal of tropical fish, a lion gnawing its way through a carcass, hundreds of butterflies descending on a pond – they’re just some of the stunning images put forward for the 2010 Veolia Environnement Wildlife Photographer Of The Year in association with BBC Wildlife Magazine and the Natural History Museum. And before you point and laugh – yes, we've spelt Environnement correctly.

And as good as they are, these aren’t the winners, they’re merely highly commended. The snaps taking home the prizes will be announced at a ceremony next Wednesday. And will be on ShortList.com the following morning for you to gape at.

(Pictures: 1. Andrew Parkinson/Veolia Environnement 2. Jürgen Ross/Veolia Environnement 3. Axel Gomille/Veolia Environnement Wildlife 4. Joel Sartore/Veolia Environnement Wildlife 5. Patrik Bartuska/Veolia Environnement)