Gallery of National Geographic's best images of the year 2016
# 45. Kirill Vselensky perches on a cornice in Moscow as Dima Balashov gets the shot. The 24-year-olds, risktakers known as rooftoppers, celebrate their feats on Instagram.
# 44. As an evening storm lights up the sky near Wood River, Nebraska, about 413,000 sandhill cranes arrive to roost in the shallows of the Platte River.
# 43. A diver keeps a close watch on a tiger shark in the Bahamas. But the scene may not be as dangerous as it looks: Tigers rely on surprise to hunt prey and are unlikely to attack divers who keep them in sight.
# 42. Ye Ye, a 16-year-old giant panda, lounges in a wild enclosure at a conservation center in China’s Wolong Nature Reserve.
# 41. Tempted by the fruit of a strangler fig, a Bornean orangutan climbs 100 feet into the canopy. With males weighing as much as 200 pounds, orangutans are the world’s largest tree-dwelling animals.
# 40. A pet saddleback tamarin hangs on to Yoina Mameria Nontsotega as the Matsigenka girl takes a dip in the Yomibato River, deep inside Peru’s Manú National Park.
# 39. A refugee family lives amid the rubble in Ramadi, an Iraqi city leveled by ISIS’s destruction and bloodshed.
# 38. Parts of the Yellowstone region are wilder now than they’ve been in a century. Grizzlies are spreading. This one, in Grand Teton National Park, fends off ravens from a bison carcass. Workers moved it away from the road to keep scavengers and tourists apart.
# 37. Twilight bathes the sanctuary of Athena Pronaia at Delphi. Pilgrims in ancient Greece may have offered sacrifices here before consulting the oracle of Delphi.
# 36. A baby African white-bellied tree pangolin hitches a ride on its mother at Pangolin Conservation, a nonprofit organization in St. Augustine, Florida.
# 35. In Flint, Michigan, siblings Julie, Antonio, and India Abram collect their daily allowance of bottled water from Fire Station #3, their local water resource site.
# 34. Tortoises jockey for shelter from the sun. They will cook in their shells if they remain in the heat for too long.
# 33. A harvested bull elk and its prized antlers are transported the old-fashioned way—by mule. More than 72,000 hunters came to the lands around Yellowstone and Grand Teton in 2014.
# 32. Igor Voronkin surfaces at the Barentsburg coal mine on Spitsbergen, in Norway’s Svalbard archipelago. Like most of the 400 other miners, he’s from eastern Ukraine.
# 31. Photographs and paintings of sights such as this—the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone— inspired Congress to create the park in 1872. It was a revolutionary step.