The winners of the second BioMed Central Ecology and Evolution Image Competition have been announced. They are incredibly scary.

The winning image shows the fruiting body of a parasitic fungus erupting from a fly’s body in Peru’s Tambopata National Reserve and was taken by Roberto García-Roa of the University of Valencia, Spain.

“The image depicts a conquest shaped by thousands of years of evolution. Spores of the so-called ‘zombie’ fungus invade the fly’s exoskeleton and mind, migrating to sites suitable for fungal growth.” I was forced to,” says Garcia-Roa.

“The fruiting bodies are then erupted from the fly’s body and dumped to infect more victims.”

You can see the winning image above.

Read more: Ebola’s molecular landscape wins award

In addition to the winning entries, the jury will select winners and runners-up in four categories: Relationships in Nature, Threatened Biodiversity, Close-Ups of Life, and Research in Action. We have selected three excellent works.

A white bird with spread wings holds a small red fruit in its mouth. It clings to more fruit-bearing branches. The background is blurred, but it's snowing.
A waxwing that flies away with a rowan fruit. Credit: Alwin Hardenbol.

Alwin Hardenbol of the University of Eastern Finland captured the winning entry in the Nature Relations category. The photo depicts a bohemian his waxwing eating fermented rowan berries, demonstrating the strong relationship between the species.

Rowan berries influenced the locomotion of waxwings, which can eat hundreds of berries a day, and have evolved larger livers to process the ethanol produced by fermenting the berries.

A brown bat hangs upside down on a black background with its back to the camera. The head is tilted back so that the face can be seen. It has a white and black spotted frog on its wing and is eating it. It looks cute.
Bats identify their dinner locations to the mating calls of frogs. Credit: Alexander T. Baugh

Also keep an eye on the runners-up. In the Nature Relationships category, Swarthmore College behavioral biologist Alexander T. Boe photographed a bat devouring a frog in the middle of a meal.

The runner-up for Threatened Biodiversity was awarded to Lindsay Sweek, Assistant Professor at Binghamton University. It depicts a tree frog holding an egg. Sadly, “false spring” meant that these eggs shouldn’t have been taddy.

“The brown frog (Rana sylvatica) breeds in early spring in temperate regions of North America, gathering in spring ponds as soon as the ice melts to mate and lay eggs. Wood frogs breed earlier in the year because of the unseasonably warm weather,” says Swierk.

“Unfortunately, winter storms can still catch frogs unexpectedly and trap them under ice. Both were recently trapped under ice.The frog survived, but not many of the eggs.”

A brown frog on the water with hundreds of eggs in the foreground in front of you. Since the photo is underwater, you can see that the frogs and eggs are reflected on the surface of the water.
A male brown frog clings to an egg mass. Credit: Lindsey Swierk

See all winning images here.

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