Terrifying ‘zombie fly’ wins the 2022 Evolution and Ecology photo award
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This somewhat grim scene was recorded by Roberto García-Roa, an evolutionary biologist at the University of Valencia (Spain), while conducting research at Tambopata National Reserve in southeastern Peru. The photo won this year’s BMC Evolution and Ecology photography competition.
The judges rated the photo as “impressive when portraying the intersection of life and death, strongly showing the evolution of creatures”, specifically here the death of the fly. and the spread of new spores of the “zombie” fungus.
The spores of the “zombie” fungus penetrated the fly long ago and “manipulated” it, forcing it to move to a location more favorable for fungal growth. Mushroom branches will then grow, slowly draining the fly’s life force, causing it to die and then penetrate outside, spreading new spores.
Although it is only the second year of its organization, the BMC Evolution and Ecology photography contest organized by the scientific magazine BMC Ecology and Evolution The organization attracted hundreds of thousands of entries from ecologists and evolutionary biologists around the world. All are eager to use their photographic creativity to highlight the wonders of nature, highlight the challenges facing our planet, and their research work.
With four competing categories: “Relationships in nature”, “Biodiversity at risk”, “Close-ups of life” and “Research work”, the competition produced a collection of Giant images capture the beauty of the natural world and the need to protect nature as human impact on the planet increases.