This is Australia’s best science photograph for 2015

The image above by the Queensland Museum’s Gary Cranitch has been awarded Australia’s top award for science photography, the New Scientist Eureka Prize presented by the Australian Museum.

It’s called Soft Coral.

Soft corals are more diverse and widespread than hard corals but less is known about their contribution to reef biodiversity.

About one-third of the world’s soft coral species are found on Australia’s Great Barrier Reef.

“Gary’s striking image highlights the need to understand the Great Barrier Reef’s often-ignored soft corals,” says Kim McKay, CEO of the Australian Museum.

This is Gary’s second year as a finalist and his first as the winner.

Taking out second place is Murdoch University’s Aileen Elliot with this photograph:

Thorny-Headed Worm

While dissecting a cyst from an eel tailed catfish, Tandanus tropicanus, Aileen Elliot was surprised when out popped this little worm (phylum Acanthocephala).

Saltwater Crocodile

Justin Gilligan got third place with this image of a saltwater croc he found when exploring the coral reefs of Kimbe Bay in Papua New Guinea.

The juvenile saltwater crocodile presented the perfect opportunity for a close encounter.

Now read The best Australian science photos of 2015

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