lunes, 25 de marzo de 2013

The wonders of nature: Camouflaged stick insects and fighting seals among winners of ecological photography competition

Two bloodied seal battle it out for supremacy in front of 127 females, and a stick insect almost, but not quite, camouflaged.
These are just two of the stunning pictures illustrating some of the wonders of nature that were winners in the journal BMC Ecology's annual image competition.
The overall winner was the snap of the stick insect - or Timema poppensis - pictured against its host, the redwood tree (Sequoia sempervirens).

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This brutal photograph of two male southern elephant seals (Mirounga leonina) fighting over a harem of 127 females was taken by Laltitia Kernal Eguen, a PhD student at Deakin University, Australia

Overall winner Moritz Muschick, from the University of Sheffield, depicts the startling camouflage of a Timema poppensis stick insect against its host tree, the redwood Sequoia sempervirens

Community, Population and Macroecology category winner Michael Siva-Jothy, from University of Sheffield, said: 'I was taking pictures of scarce swallowtails on Scabius flowers when I heard a Polistine wasp buzzing around'

Landscape Ecology and Ecosystems category winner Yulin Jia depicts a rice paddy in Yuanyang, China

Highly commended: Nesting gannets is a portrait of practical conservation in action

Ralph Aerts, a postdoctoral researcher from the University of Leuven (Belgium) and University of Utah (U.S.), took this in an area of high-shade tree cover in the Peruvian Andes

A bird on the jawbone of a farm animal. This picture was highly commended

This man serves as an awe-struck yardstick, emphasizing the sheer scale of the tree Ceiba pentandra

The runner up was Benjamin Blonder, a PhD student from University of Arizona with this stunning snap

An iridescent green bee collecting bright yellow pollen from a purple Vellozia flower

A hoverfly in mid flight. This was another picture that was highly commended

A male broad-tailed hummingbird (Selasphorus platycercus), visits a scarlet gilia (Ipomopsis aggregata) flower at the Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory, in Colorado

Interactions between a crab and its biotic shelter

The Arabian babblers lining up together

The diaphanous tentacles of a squid give this image a soft, aesthetic quality which sits in edgy contrast to the killing which has just taken place

The efficient dispatching of a bee by a well hidden spider

Communication in bulldog ants (Myrmecia nigriscapa), Sydney, Australia
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