See 44 Breathtaking Photos of Wild Animals

You've sent us photos of wildlife from every continent on the planet, and we've chosen some of our favorites.

In a word, the photographs we publish at National Geographic are breathtaking. Our goal is to help readers look at the world from a different perspective, and sometimes that's through the lens of a camera.

Last year, we received thousands of submissions to the Nature Photographer of the Year contest, which ended Nov. 17. With the theme of wildlife in mind, we curated a gallery of our favorite shots. You showed us lone polar bears marching through Norway and spotted leopards getting ready to pounce in South Africa. You brought us to Russia to witness brown bears duking it out and to Louisiana to see alligators lurking below murky waters. The photographs in this gallery, well, they take our breath away.

That contest may be over, but have you seen the images from 2018's Travel Photographer of the Year contest? The contest ended May 31, and we'll announce with the winners at the end of June.

This article was originally published on November 3, 2017. It has been updated with information about the 2018 Travel Photographer of the Year Contest.