The town hall of Großbottwar, a town in the Ludwigsburg district of Baden-Württemberg, Germany. The town sits within the Neckar River basin and is located on a tourist route through the Württemberg wine region. It was founded sometime during the mid-13th century by an alliance of prominent families. Unlike most towns in the region, Großbottwar was neither heavily damaged by war nor by urban fires, so there are many old buildings from the 15th through the 17th centuries with the original timber framing. The town hall itself is noted for its half-timber construction and decoratively carved façade.Photo: Felix König
A pair of Mallards, an easily recognized species of dabbling duck that is found throughout the temperate and subtropical Americas, Europe, Asia, and North Africa, as well as Australia and New Zealand. The male birds have a bright green head (during breeding season) and are grey on wings and belly, while the females are brown all over. Both sexes have blue speculum feathers. Mallards live in wetlands, eat water plants and small animals, and are gregarious. This species is the ancestor of almost all of the breeds of domestic ducks.Photo: Richard Bartz
Plate 5 from Ernst Haeckel's Kunstformen der Natur, showing a variety of calcareous sponges, a class of about 400 marine sponges that are found mostly in shallow tropical waters worldwide. Calcareous sponges vary from radially symmetrical vase-shaped body types to colonies made up of a meshwork of thin tubes, or irregular massive forms. The skeleton has either a mesh or honeycomb structure.
Portrait of a Maasai woman, with shaved head, stretched earlobes, and beaded adornments, typical of the Maasai culture. The Maasai are a Niloticethnic group of semi-nomadic people located in Kenya and northern Tanzania. They are among the best known of African ethnic groups, due to their distinctive customs and dress and residence near the many game parks of East Africa. Their primary language Maa (ɔl Maa) is a member of the Nilo-Saharan language family that is related to Dinka and Nuer.Photo: William Warby
A panoramic view of Prague, the capital city of the Czech Republic, as viewed from the Petřín Lookout Tower. The view is approximately 180 degrees, from north on the left to south on the right. The area on which Prague was founded was settled as early as the Paleolithic age. By the year 800 there was a simple fort with wooden buildings, occupying about two-thirds of the area that is now Prague Castle. Prague was an important seat for trading where merchants from all of Europe settled, and it especially flourished during the reign of Charles IV, Holy Roman Emperor.Photo: David Iliff
The Tasmanian devil (Sarcophilus harrisii) is a carnivorousmarsupial found in the wild only on the Australian island of Tasmania. It is characterised by its stocky and muscular build, black fur, pungent odour, extremely loud and disturbing screech, keen sense of smell, and ferocity when feeding. Its large head and neck allow it to generate the strongest bite per unit body mass of any living mammal.Photo: JJ Harrison
The larva of a scaldfish (Arnoglossus laterna), one of the many species that are considered to be ichthyoplankton, a blanket term for fish eggs and larvae that cannot swim effectively under their own power, but must drift with the ocean currents. Fish larvae are part of the zooplankton that eat smaller plankton, while fish eggs carry their own food supply. Both eggs and larvae are themselves eaten by larger animals.Photo: Hans Hillewaert
A vertical, end view, and cross-section of a carambola, the fruit of Averrhoa carambola, a species of tree native to Southeast Asia and South Pacific islands. The fruit has ridges running down its sides (usually five, but the number may vary); in cross-section, it resembles a star, inspiring the alternative name starfruit. The entire fruit, including the slightly waxy skin, is edible.Photo: S. Masters
At Breakfast (1898) by the Danish artist L. A. Ring. Ring was one of the foremost painters of Danish symbolism. As a painter, he made his humble origins the dominant theme of his paintings. This painting shows his wife, Sigrid Kähler, surrounded by subtle symbols indicating his love for her, such as the myrtle branches above her head, a symbol of Aphrodite according to the Ancient Greeks, and used in Denmark to adorn the bride at weddings.
Panellus stipticus is a common and widely distributed species of fungus that grows on decaying deciduous trees, especially beech, oak, and birch. In some areas, it is bioluminescent, and the fruit bodies of these strains will glow in the dark—an effect known as foxfire—when fresh or sometimes when revived in water after drying.Photo: Ylem
Richea scoparia is a species of flowering plantendemic to Tasmania, Australia. It is a compact, often rounded shrub branching mostly from the base and which can grow to 2 metres (6.6 ft) high. The plant is spiny to touch and can make impenetrable thickets where it is common. Branches are clothed with stiff, curved, sharp pointed, awl shaped leaves, and the flowers are eaten by wallabies.Photo: JJ Harrison
The castle on Eilean Donan, a small island in Loch Duich in the western Scottish Highlands. The castle, which was built in the 13th century and destroyed in the 18th century, is widely familiar from many photographs and appearances in film and television. The present buildings are a 20th-century reconstruction.Photo: David Iliff
An 1805 depiction of a Khoikhoi family dismantling their huts, preparing to move to new pastures. The Khoikhoi are a native people of southwestern Africa, closely related to the Bushmen. Most of the Khoikhoi have largely disappeared as a group, except for the largest group, the Namas.Artist: Samuel Daniell
A Dusky Woodswallow (Artamus cyanopterus) feeding a wasp to its chicks. The Dusky Woodswallow is found in eastern and southern Australia. It is medium sized and swallow-like, although it is not related to true swallows. It is an omnivore, with its diet consisting of insects, various forms of foliage, and nectar from flowers.Photo: JJ Harrison
The Italian wall lizard (Podarcis sicula) is native to southern and southeastern Europe. As the name suggests, it is the most abundant lizard species in southern Italy. The species is known for having been subject to "rapid evolution": In 1971, ten adult specimens were brought to the Croatian island of Pod Mrčaru from a neighbouring island, where they founded a new bottlenecked population. After the Yugoslav Wars, scientists found that the Pod Mrčaru population differed greatly from the original group, although the two are genetically identical. The most surprising difference was that individuals on Pod Mrčaru had developed cecal valves, "a brand new feature not present in the ancestral population".Photo: Richard Bartz
Two workers, c. 1908, use plaster to create a mold of a deceased person's face. This mold will then be used to make that person's death mask. Death masks may be mementos of the dead, used for creation of portraits, or placed on the face of the deceased before burial rites. The best known of the last are those used by ancient Egyptians as part of the mummification process, such as the one for Tutankhamun.Photo: Bain News Service; Restoration: AutoGyro