TS Picks: Life Science Photos of the Year

Selected Images of the Day

By | December 20, 2016

This year, amid the muddle of grainy micrographs and dimly lit photos of test subjects, readers of life science news were treated to some truly beautiful imagery. We at The Scientist often feature such visuals in our daily newsletter and on Facebook and Twitter. Here are eight of our favorite Image of the Day posts from the last 12 months.

Disappearing Act 
Global land-use changes have put more bird species at risk of extinction than previously estimated, including this purplish-mantled tanager, which could disappear as a result of deforestation.
AAAS, NATALIA OCAMPO-PEÑUELA

Head Start 
The marine worm Schizocardium californicum starts its life cycle as little more than a swimming, translucent head.
HOPKINS MARINE STATION, PAUL GONZALEZ

Sea-Dwelling Symbionts 
Scientists date the origin of symbiosis between coral and algae to 210 million years ago.
POLISH ACADEMY OF SCIENCES, JAROSLAW STOLARSKI; NATIONAL MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY, ISABELLE DOMART-COULON

Spinal Stretch 
Even the embryo of a snake has an unusually long body, seen here coiled into a spiral. The Oct4 gene responsible for this elongated shape stays active far longer than in other vertebrates, including mice.
UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA, FRANCISCA LEAL

Staying Warm 
Japanese macaques (Macaca fuscata) huddle close in a snowstorm.
ROYAL SOCIETY, ALEXANDRE BONNEFOY

Bygone Battle 
Two fighting ants from different species have been trapped in this Burmese amber for 100 million years.
AMNH, D. GRIMALDI AND P. BARDEN

Light Ray 
Engineers designed a soft-bodied robot shaped like a stingray, which—powered by rat heart muscle cells—can swim toward light.
KARAGHEN HUDSON AND MICHAEL ROSNACH

Beetle Brain 
The nervous system of a horned dung beetle (Onthophagus sagittarius) just before the completion of metamorphosis.
FASEB 2016 BIOART CONTEST, ZATTARA ET AL.

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