Nikon’s annual Small World Competition has been awarding prizes to the country’s best microscope-aided photography since 1977. The contest winners always present a reliably fascinating and freakish slice of life at a Lilliputian level. Last week, this year’s 115 winners were announced.
Since this is a column about reproduction—and since everyone loves to gaze upon an embryo every now and then—here’s a selection of the best of the unborn, ranging from the merely small to the seriously minuscule.
Loligo pealei (squid embryos), 5 days (80x),
Embryonated eggs of Oryzias latipes (Japanese rice fish) in Java moss (12x)
Earthworm embryo, ciliary band at the ventral midline (25x)
Newly fertilized Fundulus heteroclitus (killifish) embryos (30x)
E13.5 mouse embryo (40x)
Chick embryo (6x)
Rat embryo cortical neuronal network on nanolayered self-assembled monolayers (4x)
Mouse blastocyst (630x)