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Gorgeous Photos Reveal The Hidden Lives Of Animals

From more than 1,000 entries, Britain's Royal Society Publishing recently announced the 10 winners and runners-up of its first photography competition. The results are nothing short of stunning.

The contest was conceived to celebrate "the power of photography to communicate science," but the pictures also serve as a moving tribute to the animals we share our world with.

A baboon gets lost in his thoughtsRoyal Society Publishing/Davide Gaglio

A baboon gets lost in his thoughts
A baboon gets lost in his thoughts | Royal Society Publishing/Davide Gaglio

"I noted this baboon sitting and facing the sun with his eyes closed," wrote photographer Davide Gaglio of his entry, A baboon gets lost in his thoughts. "Once I was close enough, and without distracting him, he put one hand under his face, posing as though he was lost in his thoughts."

Other competition finalists say just as much about our relationship with animals as they do about the natural world itself. According to Martha M. Robbins, her photo Ancestry. Dominance. Endangered. shows both "the strength and power of gorillas" and "their vulnerability due to the pressures put on their world by humans."

Ancestry. Dominance. Endangered.Royal Society Publishing/Martha M. Robbins

Ancestry. Dominance. Endangered
Ancestry. Dominance. Endangered. | Royal Society Publishing/Martha M. Robbins

"I observed the gorillas walking to the eucalyptus trees outside of the Volcanoes National Park and watched them strip the bark with their teeth," said Robbins. "Within a few minutes, the silverback of the group sat down to eat bark and faced out towards the farmland - almost as if he was contemplating the human society that lives next to the gorillas' habitat."

Check out more of the competition winners below, or see them all on Royal Society Publishing's Flickr page.

Sand has scalesRoyal Society Publishing/Fabio Pupin

Going with the flow: schooling to avoid a predatorRoyal Society Publishing/Claudia Pogoreutz

Going with the flow: schooling to avoid a predator
Going with the flow: schooling to avoid a predator | Royal Society Publishing/Claudia Pogoreutz