Dead whales and dinosaur eggs: 7 fascinating images by researchers

See the world from a scientist's perspective.
Dead humback whale on beach from aerial view
Researchers from the University of Glasgow’s Scottish Marine Animal Stranding Scheme conduct a necropsy of a stranded humpback whale. Submitted by Professor Paul Thompson, photo captured by James Bunyan from Tracks Ecology

Oh, the wonders scientists see in the field. Documenting the encounters can be an integral part of the discovery process, but it can also pull others into the experience. These seven photos and illustrations are the winners of this year’s BMC Ecology and Evolution image competition, which gets submissions from researchers all around the world each year. It includes four categories: “Research in Action,” “Protecting our planet,” “Plants and Fungi,” and “Paleoecology.”

See the full gallery of winners and their stories on the BMC Ecology and Evolution website. And explore last year’s winners here.

Fruiting bodies of small orange fungi
An invasive orange pore fungus poses unknown ecological consequences for Australian ecosystems. Cornelia Sattler
Beekeepers holding honeycomb in Guinea
The Chimpanzee Conservation Center in Guinea to protect our planet and empower local communities is a sustainable beekeeping project, launched in the surrounding villages of Faranah, which showcases an inspiring solution to combat deforestation caused by traditional honey harvesting from wild bees. By cultivating their own honey, the locals avoid tree felling and increase production. Roberto García-Roa
Marine biologist releasing black-tip reef shark in ocean
A researcher releases a new-born blacktip reef shark in Mo’orea, French Polynesia. Victor Huertas
Hadrosaur egg with embryo. Illustration.
This digital illustration is based on a pair of hadrosauroid dinosaur eggs and embryos from China’s Upper Cretaceous red beds, dating back approximately 72 to 66 million years ago. It depicts an example of a “primitive” hadrosaur developing within the safety of its small egg. Submitted by Jordan Mallon. Restoration by Wenyu Ren.
Brown spider on wood parasitized by fungus
While it is not uncommon to encounter insects parasitised by “zombie” fungi in the wild, it is a rarity to witness large spiders succumbing to these fungal conquerors. In the jungle, near a stream, lies the remains of a conquest shaped by thousands of years of evolution. Roberto García-Roa
Marine biologists steering underwater robot in the ocean
Researchers from the Hoey Reef Ecology Lab deploy an underwater ROV at Diamond Reef within the Coral Sea Marine Park. Victor Huertas