From microscopic organisms to beautiful birds, we've posted our fair share of amazing wildlife photographs from all corners of the planet ... but we're always on the lookout for more! And just recently, we got our first peek at some of the incredible images captured by finalists in the Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition.

The contest, which is developed and produced by the Natural History Museum, London, has been in existence for over half a century – and this year brought nearly 42,000 entries from 96 countries! Shortlisted and winning images will be featured in an exhibition that opens at the museum next month.

From Komodo dragons in battle to snow-covered bunnies chilling out (yes, pun intended), we love what we’ve seen so far. After the photographs go on show in London, the top 100 will embark on a tour of six continents, so be sure to keep an eye out if you want to see them in person.

Komodo Judo 2015 09 17
This battle between two male Komodo dragons (the largest lizards in the world) was caught on camera on Rinca Island. The dragons fought two consecutive bouts of a few seconds each until one overpowered the other, knocking him over backwards, and the pair walked off in different directions. Image: Andrey Gudkov/Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2015
Egret 2015 09 17
When the River Danube flooded into Hungary’s Gemenc Forest, more than a thousand great egrets flocked to the lake to feed on the stranded amphibians, fish and invertebrates. Image: Zsolt Kudich/Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2015
 Shark Surfer 2015 09 17
The many sharks to be found at Aliwal Shoal near Durban, South Africa, make it a popular dive site – the perfect place to test a prototype surfboard with an electromagnetic shark deterrent. When the new board was switched off, the curious blacktip sharks swam close, but when it was activated – stimulating their sensory organs – they stayed at a distance. Image: Thomas P Peschak/Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2015


Elephants 2015 09 17
Taken at a remote waterhole in Namibia’s Etosha National Park, this black-and-white snapshot captures the moment a mother elephant frames the shot with her legs just as her calf walks into view, framing a giraffe in the distance. Image: Morkel Erasmus/Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2015 
From The Deep 2015 09 17
Snapped at night in deep water off the coast of Tahiti, this tiny juvenile octopus is only around two centimetres across and has a transparent body (revealing its internal organs), which works as a camouflage strategy in the open ocean. The photo was taken about 20 metres (66 feet) below the surface, in water 1,000 metres (3,300 feet) deep. Image: Fabien Michenet/Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2015
Snow -hare _2015_09_21
A mountain hare in the snow, camouflaged in its winter coat. Native to Britain, mountain hares moult from brown to white or partially white in winter, depending on temperature. Image: Rosamund Macfarlane/Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2015

Top header image: CEBImagery, Flickr