Here are the Animal Nominees-
I was quite torn going through this set. There were a TON of great shots of cats and dogs, nearly all of which were very adorable. There were also a ton of butterflies and insects, which I had to be pretty brutal on as many of them were very similar to many macro shots. In both these cases, I had to be really, really nit picky.
The images that made it were the ones that showed the strongest technical skill combined with a secondary aspect, such sense of emotion, awe, cuteness, danger, action, serenity, etc.
I hated cutting so many great shots, but these are the nominees.