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Amazing Ecology: Award-Winning Photos of Wildlife

Elephant Seal Battle

Male elephant seals fight.

(Image credit: Laetitia Kernaleguen)

Two male southern elephant seals clash over a harem. This photograph won the behavioral and physiological ecology category in the BMC Ecology photography contest of 2013.

Butterfly and Wasp

Butterfly, flower and wasp.

(Image credit: Michael Siva-Jothy)

This photo took first prize in the BMC Ecology Community, Population and Marcoecology category. A Polistine wasp approaches a Scarce swallowtail butterfly, which is in turn approaching a Scabius flower.

Why Did the Tortoise Cross the Road?

A Galapagos tortoise on Santa Cruz Island

(Image credit: Hara Woltz)

The winning BMC Ecology photograph for the Conservation Ecology and Biodiversity Research category. A Galapagos tortoise on a human road on Santa Cruz Island.

Scientist's Notebook

Notebook survey in Peru

(Image credit: Raf Aerts)

A peak into a scientist's notebook during a survey of secondary old-growth forest in Peru won Editor's Pick in the BMC Ecology photo contest.

Terraced Landscape

Rice paddy in China

(Image credit: Yulin Jia)

The winning photo in the 2013 BMC Ecology Landscape Ecology and Ecosystems category. Rice paddies in Yuanyang, China.

Wildflower Riot

subalpine flower meadow in Colorado

(Image credit: Benjamin Blonder)

The overall runner-up in the 2013 BMC photo competition depicts a subalpine flower meadow in Colorado.

BMC Ecology Winner

Camouflaged stick insect.

(Image credit: Moritz Muschick)

The stick insect Timema poppensis moves into camouflage position on a redwood tree (Sequoia sempervirens) in the winning image in the 2013 BMC Ecology photography contest.

Collecting Pollen

Flower pollen

(Image credit: Daniel Wisbech Carstensen (Instituto de Biociências, Brazil).)

BMC Ecology also chose 19 "highly commended" images, including this insect Vellozia flower in Serra do Cipó, Brazil”

Hummingbird Hover

Hummingbird at flower

(Image credit: David W. Inouye)

A male Broad-tailed Hummingbird (Selasphorus platycercus), visits a scarlet gilia (Ipomopsis aggregata) flower at the Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory in Colorado. This photo was highly commended in the 2013 BMC Ecology photo contest.

Blowfly Feast

Blowflies around an orchid

(Image credit: Ong Poh Teck (Forest Research Institute Malaysia))

Blowflies surround a Bulbophyllum lasianthum orchid, which attracts the flies with the smell of rotting meat. This photo was highly commended in the 2013 BMC Ecology photo contest.

Hovering Hoverfly

Hoverfly flying

(Image credit: Benjamin Blonder (University of Arizona))

A hoverfly doing what it does best (hovering) was highly commended in the 2013 BMC Ecology photo contest.

Stephanie Pappas
Live Science Contributor

Stephanie Pappas is a contributing writer for Live Science, covering topics ranging from geoscience to archaeology to the human brain and behavior. She was previously a senior writer for Live Science but is now a freelancer based in Denver, Colorado, and regularly contributes to Scientific American and The Monitor, the monthly magazine of the American Psychological Association. Stephanie received a bachelor's degree in psychology from the University of South Carolina and a graduate certificate in science communication from the University of California, Santa Cruz.