From sea mullets to feeding rotifers: Top 20 Nikon Small World images of 2015
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1. Honey bee eye
Every year, Nikon hosts its Small World competition for microscopic scientific images. Here are the top 20 images from 2015, including photos of plants, animals, and their most interesting tiny bits.
Hailing from Queensland, Australia, Grimm captured this image of a honey bee’s eye covered in dandelion pollen using reflected light.
2. Mouse colon
From the Stanford University School of Medicine, this image of a mouse colon colonized with human microbiota was captured using confocal microscopy.
3. Humped bladderwort
Also captured using confocal microscopy, this image shows the intake of a humped bladderwort plant. This freshwater carnivorous plant typically feeds on small invertebrates.
4. Mammary gland organoid
This human mammary gland organoid was actually grown in a lab.
5. Mouse brain vasculature
Here we have the vascular system of a mouse brain with glioblastoma, a malignant brain tumor.
6. Moss spore capsule
Using reflected light, Henri Koskinen of Helsinki, Finland captured this image of a spore capsule of a moss.
This starfish image was also captured using confocal microscopy, showing a fascinating amount of detail.
8. Blood vessels
What you’re looking at is a mouse’s ear. Using microscopic imaging techniques, we are able to see the nerves and blood vessels in the skin of this mouse’s ear.
9. Arabidopsis buds
These are the buds of an Arabidopsis plant, sometimes referred to as rockcress.
10. Clam shrimp
Clam shrimp are a type of crustacean, similar to the mollusc. This photo was taken in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
11. Fern sorus
A sorus produces spores for a fern. Here we see it at different levels in the maturation process.
12. Sea mullet embryos
This image of developing sea mullet embryos was captured using brightfield imaging.
13. Carnivorous plant tentacles
These tentacles belong to a plant in the Drosera, also known as sundew.
14. Australian grass seed
Sykora, of Prague, Czech Republic, took this image of Australian grass seed using dark field microscopy, which helps enhance the contrast.
The anther is the part of a flower’s stamen that actually produces the pollen. This image shows the anther of a plant that is in the process of flowering.
16. Feeding rotifers
Rotifers, also known as wheel animals, are a form of pseudocoelomate animals.
17. Black witch-hazel
This image shows a black witch-hazel leaf producing crystals to defend itself against herbivores. It was captured using differential interference contrast, which helps to enhance the contrast of the sample.
18. Hairyback worm and algae
Switzerland’s Roland Gross caught this image of a hairyback, which is also known as a gastrotrich.
19. Horseshoe worm larva
This image of a planktonic larva of a horseshoe worm was captured using dark field microscopy.
20. Diving beetle
Here we see the suction cups on the foreleg of a diving beetle. On average, diving beetles are only 25 mm long.