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Show us your best science & nature photos of 2013!

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.


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An artist's depiction of Alex Wild having fun in 2013. (Photinus pyralis - Illinois, USA)

Judging from the discarded boxes, the shredded gift paper, the frozen sidewalks, and the pile of new calendars, we must have arrived at the end of the year. Even the cats seem a bit worn. Here at Compound Eye global headquarters, we are drinking coffee and reviewing our photographs from the year. We are also aware that many of you have been curating your own lists, and we’d like to help you broadcast your work.

If you are a science or nature photographer and have made a Best-Of-2013 gallery of your own images, blogged your best effort, facebooked your favorites, or otherwise reported your prime captures in an online medium, share your link in the comments below!

Alternately, if Sci Am’s comment system is giving you trouble, you may email your link to alwild -at- myrmecos.net with “Sci Am 2013 Best” in the subject line.

The rules are as follows:

1. The subject matter must cover a science/nature theme.
2. The work must be your own.
3. The content must be hosted publicly online – lone photos emailed to me won’t be considered.
4. The content should be collected as a single “best-of” synopsis; examples- a flickr “My top photos of 2013″ gallery, or single blog post. I will not link general websites.
5. You permit me to post a 600 pixel-width copy of one of your photographs in the resulting post on Compound Eye. The photo will be credited and linked, of course.

Once a list has accrued I will curate your links in a new post. For way of comparison, here is the 2012 selection. I know many of you are brimming with talent- I am excited to see your best!

Alex Wild About the Author: Alex Wild is an Illinois-based entomologist who studies the evolutionary history of ants. In 2003 he founded a photography business as an aesthetic complement to his scientific work, and his natural history photographs appear in numerous museums, books, and media outlets. Follow on Twitter @myrmecos.

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.





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  1. 1. chelzer 2:16 pm 12/28/2013

    The Prairie Ecologist: http://prairieecologist.com/2013/12/19/best-of-prairie-ecologist-photos-2013/

    Link to this
  2. 2. JamesK 3:06 pm 12/28/2013

    Singapore Nature:
    http://singaporenature.wordpress.com/2013/12/29/2013-in-13-photos/

    Link to this
  3. 3. nemertea 3:12 pm 12/28/2013

    I’ve been terrible at keeping up with my blog this year, so here’s a flickr gallery for you: http://www.flickr.com/photos/medusasnail/sets/72157639126423433/

    Link to this
  4. 4. margarethe brummermann 3:14 pm 12/28/2013

    Here is my year end blog: http://arizonabeetlesbugsbirdsandmore.blogspot.com/2013/12/my-most-interesting-arthropod-photos-of.html

    Link to this
  5. 5. alankotok 5:23 pm 12/28/2013

    Thanks Alex for creating this collection. Here’s my Flickr set … http://www.flickr.com/photos/runneralan/sets/72157639125247706/

    Link to this
  6. 6. bsilvermanUCF 7:35 pm 12/28/2013

    Here’s a flickr gallery with some of my photos from this year. I’m still new to photography, but having a blast! These pics are from both my back yard and a recent trip to Guyana.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/112849277@N08/sets/72157639132255234/

    Link to this
  7. 7. zenmindmaterialworld 10:43 pm 12/28/2013

    thank you for this opportunity.

    http://zenmindmaterialworld.wordpress.com/2013/12/28/nature-photos-2013/

    Link to this
  8. 8. DanteFenolio 1:15 am 12/29/2013

    Here is a blog post of some fun shots from 2013 (Anotheca Blog):

    http://anotheca.com/wordpress/2013/12/29/fun-shots-from-2013/

    Link to this
  9. 9. Dave Huth 6:40 am 12/29/2013

    Thanks for doing this! I love seeing how other people are imaging the natural world.

    Here’s a flickr gallery of some of my own favorite amphibian photographs from the past year: http://www.flickr.com/photos/davemedia/sets/72157639148418043

    Link to this
  10. 10. SethBurgess 7:45 am 12/29/2013

    My favorite dozen ant shots of the year in a Google+ album

    https://plus.google.com/photos/109160838219006874574/albums/5962557705752832705

    Link to this
  11. 11. Capularis 9:31 am 12/29/2013

    Thanks for this! It is great to see the variety and quality of photographic work being done by others. Your post from last year still feeds hits to my blog! Here is my 2013 selection: http://bugs.adrianthysse.com/2013/12/top-10-macro-photographs-of-2013/

    Link to this
  12. 12. mattcole 2:34 pm 12/29/2013

    Thanks Alex, here is a blogpost providing my top 10 images of 2013

    http://mattcolephotography.blogspot.co.uk/2013/12/top-10-images-of-2013.html

    Link to this
  13. 13. bertonemyia 4:12 pm 12/29/2013

    Here’s a Flickr set of my favorites of this year (more than the usual dozen or so – hard to choose my favorites). Thanks for inviting everyone to share and Happy New Year!

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/76790273@N07/sets/72157639161473736/

    Link to this
  14. 14. dydmddydmd 9:03 am 12/30/2013

    Excellent stuff here. I took some many photos in 2013, it was very hard to pick my favorites. I hope you all enjoy mine as much as I enjoyed viewing what is here so far.
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/44988140@N03/sets/72157639192197345/

    Link to this
  15. 15. DragonflyWoman 9:31 am 12/30/2013

    I love looking through the images everyone else has posted! Here is my blog post containing my best of 2013:

    http://thedragonflywoman.com/2013/12/30/best-of-the-dragonfly-woman-2013/

    Link to this
  16. 16. Sean McCann 10:08 am 12/30/2013

    Ibycter: http://wp.me/p2SUYU-1bm
    Somewhat of a haul, as it is also a bit of a “year in review” post.

    Link to this
  17. 17. vfung 11:35 am 12/30/2013

    Looks like lots of insect people in this list – great detailed photos everyone! My photos are less macro and about ‘looking up and out’ from 2013: http://www.vincentfung.ca/blog/looking-up-and-out-for-2013/

    Link to this
  18. 18. claybolt 1:53 pm 12/30/2013

    As always, thanks Alex! Happy New Year. http://claybolt.photoshelter.com/gallery/Best-of-2013/G00006soUGRaAuM8

    Link to this
  19. 19. Riccardo 2:12 pm 12/30/2013

    Hi! here is my ‘best of 2013′ nature photography gallery:
    http://www.nikonphotographers.it/riccardopolini/index.php?module=site&method=gallery&id=43837
    Happy New Year!

    Link to this
  20. 20. babsjeheron 2:13 pm 12/30/2013

    There are some gorgeous photos published by others in the comments here!

    Here’s my submission.

    Favorite Photos Posted In 2013

    http://babsjeheron.wordpress.com/2013/12/30/favorite-photos-posted-in-2013/

    Link to this
  21. 21. artimony 2:25 pm 12/30/2013

    Capturing Angels Gangnam Style: Best Wild Light Photographs of 2013.

    http://www.bugdreams.com/archives/best-of-2013/

    Thanks, Alex!
    Rick Lieder

    Link to this
  22. 22. stone2@illinois.edu 2:41 pm 12/30/2013

    What a great end of year tradition you’ve developed, Alex. Lemming that I am, here’s my contribution: http://thingsbiological.wordpress.com/2013/12/30/the-best-of-things-biological-2013/

    Link to this
  23. 23. WhySharksMatter 4:14 pm 12/30/2013

    Here is my entry

    https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.616816808377807.1073741833.490180947708061&type=1

    Link to this
  24. 24. UK Wildlife 4:17 pm 12/30/2013

    Mine is in 2 parts but there is a link to the 1st half in the 2nd post here: http://www.uk-wildlife.co.uk/my-best-photos-of-2013-part-2/

    Link to this
  25. 25. mjmahoney 7:55 pm 12/30/2013

    Thanks for doing this. I discovered so many good photographers last year.
    Here is my flickr set:
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/salamandrella/sets/72157639118312585

    Link to this
  26. 26. Candace Lynn 10:13 pm 12/30/2013

    Thank you, I have a blog post up of my best bird shots of 2013:

    http://maccandace.wordpress.com/2013/12/29/2013-year-of-the-birds/

    I’ll enjoy looking at the other links.

    Link to this
  27. 27. nashuagoats 11:03 pm 12/30/2013

    Hey Alex, here is my ‘Best of 2013′ album :)

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/nashturley/sets/72157639218606375/

    Link to this
  28. 28. Tetragnathid 11:13 pm 12/30/2013

    My favorites this year come from Belize and the San Francisco(CA)Peninsula. Jack Owicki.

    http://symbiote.smugmug.com/Nature/Best-of-2013

    Link to this
  29. 29. tomhouslay 9:50 am 12/31/2013

    Hi Alex, glad to see you’re doing this again! Here are mine:

    http://tomhouslay.com/2013/12/31/best-pics-of-2013/

    Link to this
  30. 30. devonjerothe 12:59 pm 12/31/2013

    here is my top 15 photos of 2013. i just started nature photography this year and love any ways here is the link.
    http://flic.kr/s/aHsjPRpZ2T

    Link to this
  31. 31. ajblake05 5:09 pm 12/31/2013

    A little late (my host was down) but here is my best photo of 2013
    http://www.ajblake.info/photo-of-the-year-2013/

    Link to this
  32. 32. Gilliganification 5:51 pm 12/31/2013

    https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10200305818432774&set=a.3653629344027.133288.1373343154&type=3&theater

    Common Whitetail Dragonfly [adult male]
    (Plathemis lydia)

    You can tell its a male by the pattern on its wings.

    Not yet fully pruinose. As the male matures his tail will be covered with a white pigment that reflects ultraviolet light as a warning to other dragonflies and giving this species its descriptive moniker.

    Link to this
  33. 33. Gilliganification 5:53 pm 12/31/2013

    https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10200338214162647&set=a.3653629344027.133288.1373343154&type=3&theater

    Female paper wasp pampering pupae progeny.

    Notice the three dots between her large compound eyes? Those are simple eyes called ocelli [singular is 'ocellus'].

    Ocelli function isn’t perfectly understood. They have very poor focus but exquisite light sensitivity. Some people think they tell the wasp the length of a day. Some believe the ocelli aid in flight navigation. Others believe the ocelli aid in evading predators. Needless to say its very difficult to sneak up on a wasp.

    Link to this
  34. 34. Gilliganification 5:58 pm 12/31/2013

    https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10200644134090454&set=a.3653629344027.133288.1373343154&type=3&theater

    House Centipede in my morning shower.
    [of the Class Chilopoda]

    These particular species of centipede is harmless to humans.

    Centipedes are not insects. They are arthropods. Centipedes differ from insects in several ways: they have more than three body segments, more than six legs, and attend university rather than community colleges.

    Alas, there are no vegan centipedes. Centipedes are carnivorous and as such tend to eat meat-containing organisms like insects and earthworms. As the saying goes never eat the centipede rather eat its food. Actually, no one ever says this. I made it up. Lots of other animals eat centipedes; birds, mice, rats, beetles, salamanders, and spiders – as the saying goes never fear the centipede but rather fear its predators. Actually no one ever says that either.

    Centipedes do have venomous glands inside their forcipules that can inject a small amount of venom to paralyze or kill their prey. What are forcipules? Forcipules are a unique pair of modified legs just behind the head that extend to the mouth found only in centipedes. I guess, if you’ve got extra legs you can afford to modify a few. Do not worry. There has never been a report of death caused by a house centipede. Please read carefully, I said HOUSE centipedes are mostly harmless. There are exotic creatures found in far away lands, zoos, and pet stores for which I cannot vouch.

    Some one who studies centipedes is called a myriapodologist.

    Fear of centipedes is called myriapodophobia.

    Love of centipedes is called myriapodophilia.

    How do you say ‘CENTIPEDE’ in other languages?
    Arabic: حريش [hareesh]
    Chinese: 蜈 [ooh]
    Dutch:duizendpoot
    French:centipède
    German:Tausendfüßler
    Greek:σαρανταποδαρούσα
    Hebrew: מרבה רגלים
    Hungarian:Czázlábú
    Italian:Centopiedi
    Latin:Scolopendra
    Norwegian:Tusenbein
    Polish:Stonoga
    Portuguese:Centopeia
    Russian: сороконожка
    Spanish:Ciempiés
    Swedish:Tusenfoting
    Turkish:Kirkayak

    Link to this
  35. 35. Gilliganification 6:01 pm 12/31/2013

    Ok, I said I was only going to submit three, but I love this wheel bug.

    https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10200660549940840&set=a.3653629344027.133288.1373343154&type=3&theater

    Wheel Bug
    [Arilus cristatus]

    This bug gets its name from the cogwheel-shaped dorsal armor. Wheel bugs are beneficial to humans in that they eat other insects considered to be pests to humans. They are beneficial but not harmless. Do you see the red beak? If threatened the Wheel bug will stab its attacker with it the same way it attacks its prey. Considering that this insect is about 2-inches long that is one painful bite. As it stabs it also injects digestive juices into its prey [attacker]. Wheel Bug bites can take months to heal. Respect the bug!

    Link to this
  36. 36. DerekHauffe 6:13 pm 12/31/2013

    Thanks for doing this, Alex! Here are my favorites from 2013:

    http://gallery.derekhauffe.net/2013-Favorites/

    Link to this
  37. 37. TJApics 6:22 pm 12/31/2013

    Thanks for doing this, Alex. Many inspirational shots here. Here are a few of my efforts… http://www.flickr.com/photos/themagiccity/sets/72157639236664986/

    Link to this
  38. 38. starshade 7:02 pm 12/31/2013

    Thank you Alex! All pictures in this gallery are taken in 2013:

    http://www.microworldsphotography.com/Galleries/Macro-of-corals

    A small story behind some of the photos is here:
    http://notes-from-dreamworlds.blogspot.com.au/2013/06/fluorescent-colors-of-reef-coral.html

    Link to this

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