Photography contest: Finalists, General Category

Note: Matt Young directed the selection of the finalists and wrote most of this text.

We received approximately 60 photographs from 20 photographers. Most of the pictures were excellent. Approximately half represented endangered or invasive species, very loosely defined. We therefore established 3 categories: general, threatened or endangered, and invasive.

Choosing finalists was difficult. We considered what we thought was the scientific and pictorial qualities of the photographs, and also attempted to represent as many photographers and present as much variety as possible.

Here are the finalists in the general category. The text was written by the photographers and lightly edited for style. Please look through them before voting for your favorite. We know it is possible to game these polls. Please act like adults and don’t vote more than once. If we believe that the results are invalid, the contest will be canceled. The photos and poll are below the fold.

The Talk Origins Archive Foundation will provide the winner with an autographed copy of Why Evolution Works (and Creationism Fails), by Matt Young and Paul Strode?

  • Anolis carolinensis, green anole, by Al Denelsbeck — Not endangered or even threatened at this point, they nevertheless are getting crowded out in Florida by the introduced and more aggressive brown anole. Florida seems to play host to more introduced species than any state I'm aware of. I was glad to capture the wide color variation of the species in one shot.
  • Pachydiplax longipennis, blue dasher (f), by Tom Faller.
  • Gobiodon okinawae, yellow clown goby, male, guarding its eggs in Caulastrea furcata, teal candy cane coral, by Kevin McCarthy — Neither of these specimens is rare or endangered, but they are both fascinating.
  • Robber fly (possibly Promachus rufipes, red-footed cannibalfly) eating a wasp that it has caught in flight, by Nicholas Plummer.
  • Gloriosa superba, glory lily — by Siromi Samarasinghe. All parts of the plant contain colchicine and related alkaloids and are therefore dangerously toxic if ingested. Yala National Park, Sri Lanka.
  • Gonatodes ocellatus, ocellated gecko, adult male by Daniel Scantlebury — This species is found only on rocky slopes on Tobago and Little Tobago Island. Fortunately, its status is secure for now, because it is abundant (although secretive) and protected by the oldest rainforest preserve in the Western Hemisphere.