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The “primary subject matter” of acceptable Nature images can be divided into two broad categories—organisms (such as mammals, birds, reptiles, insects and plants) and inanimate things (such as geological features and natural phenomena). Some of these subjects are not acceptable in Wildlife images.

The definition limits the subject matter of Nature images to “natural history”.

There is no universally accepted definition of “natural history”, although it is often considered to be the study of plants and animals in their natural environment. However, the Nature definition allows images from “all branches of natural history” so it permits images from fields such as botany, zoology, geology and astronomy.


However, the Nature definition specifically excludes images from the fields of anthropology and archaeology. Anthropology is the study of humankind (including culture, society and difference). Archaeology is the study of human activity in the past. So any image that is a study of humankind, past or present, is not acceptable in Nature competitions.

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