The predator-prey cycle starts small. Unaware as we might be of the millions of microorganisms around us, there is a lot going on in that parallel world. To honour this micro-world Nikon hosts an annual "small world in motion" competition. The video above, which shows one single-celled organism consume another, won this year. The film, titled, "Trachelius ciliate feeding on a Campanella ciliate", was shot at a visual magnification of 250X, by Wim van Egmond of the Netherlands.
Egmond said in a statement reported by Popular Science website, "Wildlife is so close to us, yet most of us never look close enough to see it. A pool in your garden is actually a miniature underwater jungle teeming with life. If you want to see the world, your backyard is a great place to start."
If not your backyard, perhaps your furniture? The second place prize went to a video (below) which shows the visually perplexing activity inside a termite gut. Shot by Danielle Parsons from Wonder Science TV, the video reveals hundreds of species of single-celled parabasalid microorganisms, known as Trichonympha. These organisms help termites breakdown wood.
In third place is the creepy video (below) of a parasitic wasp larva, breaking out of its caterpillar host and then spinning itself into a cocoon to start pupation. The process takes several hours, the video shot at a 10X magnification, has been sped up for your viewing pleasure. The parasitic moths actually help control the population of a breed of invasive moths, the caterpillar would have grown to become. It was shot by Gonzalo Avila from the University of Auckland, New Zealand.
More entries can be seen on the official website. And here is a combined video of all of this year's winners and honourable mentions: