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.
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
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
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