"I captured this image during the migration of sardines along the wild coast of South Africa. Sardines are preyed upon by cape gannet birds and common dolphins. The hunt begins with common dolphins that have developed special hunting techniques. With remarkable eyesight, the gannets follow the dolphins before diving in a free fall from 30 to 40 meters high—piercing the surface of the water head-first at a speed of 80 kph to get their fill of sardines."

Grand Prize Winner: Sardine Run

"I captured this image during the migration of sardines along the wild coast of South Africa. Sardines are preyed upon by cape gannet birds and common dolphins. The hunt begins with common dolphins that have developed special hunting techniques. With remarkable eyesight, the gannets follow the dolphins before diving in a free fall from 30 to 40 meters high—piercing the surface of the water head-first at a speed of 80 kph to get their fill of sardines."
Photograph and caption by G. Lecoeur, 2016 National Geographic Nature Photo Contest

2016 National Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year Winners

See the photo contest finalists and learn who won the competition.

Which photo won grand prize in the 2016 National Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year Contest? Photographers submitted images of scenes from around the world, from sardine hunts to powerful tornadoes. Nat Geo editors and expert judges reviewed thousands of images before selecting the finalists. Browse this gallery of winners to find out which images won top prizes and visit our contest homepage to explore even more photography.

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