Photograph by Christopher Michel, National Geographic Your Shot
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When Penguins Fly, An emperor penguin emerges from the water in Gould Bay, Antarctica.
Photograph by Christopher Michel, National Geographic Your Shot

The Best of Your Shot: Eight Awesome Animal Photos

Every day at National Geographic, our photo editors look through somewhere between 4,000 and 8,000 images that are uploaded to our photo community, Your Shot. Of those images, 12 are selected to shine in what we call the Daily Dozen. And from those photos, only one is chosen. And by chosen, I mean voted on by you, the community. That photo receives the Top Shot honor.

This month, I wanted to feature animal photos that have made Top Shot during July. But not because it’s rare for so many wildlife images to end up in the winning spot. Acutally, it’s the opposite. Wildlife photography is a staple of the Your Shot community. Your Shot editor Marie McGrory says Your Shot is “a very international community. They travel to see animals all around the world. They spend hours and days waiting for their subject to enter their frame. Like us at National Geographic, they care about animals, animal conservation, and giving a voice to our fellow species.” So feathers or fur, whatever you prefer, please enjoy this glimpse into the varied splendor of the animal kingdom. (And don’t forget that you can share your own images with the community by uploading to Your Shot!)

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Fox Family Portrait A family of red foxes gathers in Grand Teton National Park. Photographer Jim Chagares spent three and a half weeks photoraphing fox dens in Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons. Photograph by Jim Chagares, National Geographic Your Shot
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Monochrome Crocs Two crocodiles cruise around a lake in North Queensland, Australia. Photographer Amy Shire says she was drawn to the “juxtaposition of the two powerful and menacing creatures framing the delicate nature play above them.” Photograph by Amy Shire, National Geographic Your Shot
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The (Big) Catwalk Sightseers gather at Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve in Maharashtra, India, to catch a glimpse of this tiger. Photographer Gaurav Kalbhor says this image “shows who is the boss.” Photograph by Gaurav Kalbhor, National Geographic Your Shot
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Full House A female skull spider guards her eggs for a few days after they hatch. After that, the spiderlings are on their own. Photograph by I. Dan, National Geographic Your Shot
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Au Naturel Nap A grizzly rests on a tree in the rain at the Khutzeymateen Grizzly Bear Sanctuary in British Columbia, Canada. Photograph by Michelle Valberg, National Geographic Your Shot
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Monitoring for Lizards A monitor lizard dragon swims through a small lake in Kandy, Sri Lanka. Photographer Michael Haluwana visited the lake four days in a row hoping to catch this moment. This frame was captured after three hours spent sitting in a tree when the lizard finally swam through the waters below. Photograph by Michael Haluwana, National Geographic Your Shot
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Why Hello, Bear! Polar bears congregate on the barrier islands of Kaktovik in northern Alaska every fall to partake in leftovers from Inupiat whaling before the Beaufort Sea freezes and they move on to hunt seal. “It was a surreal experience,” says photographer Laura Keene, “to be in the presence of these magnificent creatures.” Photograph by Laura Keene, National Geographic Your Shot

See more featured content from Your Shot on our Editors’ Spotlight, and be a part of our photo community—where you can upload images, participate in assignments, and even attend meetups—by joining Your Shot. And don’t forget to help your favorite image from the Daily Dozen become Top Shot by voting every weekday.