Dazzling Miniatures: View Highlights from BioScapes Photo Contest

Small worlds writ large under the microscope
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Radiolarian skeleton:

Radiolaria, single-celled, amoebalike creatures that inhabit all the world’s oceans, sport radially arranged protrusions called axopodia that here resemble buttons. The axopodia help the critters to float and ingest food.....[ More ]

Bay scallop:

Kathryn R. Markey has a thing about scallop eyes. So she set about recruiting a spat bay scallop from the Luther H. Blount Shellfish Hatchery at Roger Williams University in Bristol, R.I., to show the rest of the world their “majestic eyes”—the blueberrylike circles at the borders of the shell.....[ More ]

Immune cell:

A single mast cell has infiltrated the eye surface in response to a perceived invasion by a foreign substance. Mast cells, which contain vesicles of histamine ( red specks ), are among the immune system’s first responders, attracting other immune cells to the site of an infection.....[ More ]


Two lobes of the corona of the rotifer Floscularia ringens , spanning 300 microns, emerge from a protective tube. The cilia at the edge of the corona move in a fast, steady, wavelike motion called a metachronal wave, creating water currents that move food to the rotifer’s mouth.....[ More ]

Slime molds:

Ultraviolet light causes the mushroomlike fruiting bodies of myxomycetes, or slime molds, to luminesce with a ghostly aura. Dalibor Matýsek, a mineralogist at the Technical University of Ostrava in the Czech Republic who images biological objects as a hobby, used “focus stacking,” combining more than 100 scanned images to form a three-dimensional picture of the 4.4-millimeter-tall Arcyria stipata.....[ More ]

Prickly scorpion's tail:

This thin, twisted, five-centimeter-long pod resembles the tail of a scorpion, giving the plant that produced the pod its name. Viktor Sykora of Charles University’s First Faculty of Medicine in Prague does microphotography of plants as a hobby and has published a book on the topic. ....[ More ]

Hoverfly leg:

A section of the leg of a female hoverfly, stretching several hundred microns across, bears two pulvilli, adhesive structures that enable the insect to stick to a surface. The pulvilli, seen here as large, orange appendages at the upper right that form a V shape, are connected to the leg by a spring system ( blue areas ), which consists mainly of the protein resilin.....[ More ]

Stinkbug eggs:

Amateur photographer Haris S. Antonopoulos found these eggs on top of a mountain near Athens, Greece. He took a series of images of the 1.2-millimeter-diameter eggs and combined them with photo-editing software.....[ More ]

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