Highlights of The Royal Society of Biology’s Photography Competition 2021, from Ants Feasting on Honeydew to Zebras Drinking in The Savannah

Winner: Mutualism. Thane, India

The mutualistic relationship between ant and aphid. The ants consume honeydew excreted by a yellow aphid, and in return the ants protect the aphid from other organisms such as red mites. (Vishwanath Birje/Royal Society of Biology)

More: Royal Society of Biology h/t: guardian

Runner-up: Fractals. UK

The patterns in this image are of Bacillus subtilis being grown on a dextrose agar plate. The patterns form depending on the conditions of the bacteria’s environment and how bacterial cells move after coming into contact with each other. (Alice Feng/Royal Society of Biology)

Shortlisted: The hunt. West Bengal, India

The interaction between the jewel wasp and cockroach is anything but friendly. The jewel wasp injects venom into the cockroach’s brain, paralysing the latter. The wasp then lays an egg in the zombified cockroach. (Ripan Biswas/Royal Society of Biology)

Shortlisted: Bite for survival. Bangkok, Thailand

The tokay gecko bites back despite being held in the coils of the golden tree snake. (Wei Fu/Royal Society of Biology)

Highly commended: Watering hole antics. Kenya

A pair of Grevy’s zebra drink from a watering hole. (Hayden Wood/Royal Society of Biology)

Winner: Submerged. Somerset, UK

A tyre being reclaimed by nature in the Vallis Forest, Somerset, showing the connection between people and the natural world. (Roan Jones/Royal Society of Biology)

Shortlisted: Solar power plant. Zhejiang province, China

A large group of night herons perch on solar power panels at dusk. (Gu Guanghui/Royal Society of Biology)

Shortlisted: Spiderman of our body. Missouri, USA

Immune cells communicate with each other to protect our body from invading foreign particles or micro-organisms. Here, neutrophil cells (light blue) release web-like structures (yellow) to defend against tuberculosis bacteria (pink). (Chanchal Sur Chowdhury/Royal Society of Biology)

Shortlisted: A tiny gathering. Pampanga, Philippines

A small group of thief ants are gathered to enjoy a few drops of syrup on top of a wax apple leaf. (John Ishide Bulanadi/Royal Society of Biology)

Shortlisted: The plague. Borana, Kenya

In 2019, Kenya and most of east Africa saw its worst locust outbreak in 70 years. Varying weather due to climate change and travel and shipping restrictions have meant the outbreaks are getting larger and harder to control. (Henry Harte/Royal Society of Biology)

Shortlisted: Family quarrel. Córdoba, Spain

Bee-eaters are easily spotted birds because of their colours. They spend most of their time flying in search of insects. (Alfonso Roldán Losada/Royal Society of Biology)

Runner-up: Hon Yen marine ecosystem. Phu Yen, Vietnam

Every year between May and August, the coral of this rich and diverse ecosystem becomes exposed at low tide. (Truong Hoai Vu/Royal Society of Biology)

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