Did you know that over 99% of all animal species are invertebrates (animals without a backbone)? Spineless creatures comprise more than 30 major animal groups and over 5 million species.
These remarkable and diverse critters are under the spotlight once again in the annual Up Close & Spineless photography exhibition at the Australian Museum, Sydney.
credit: Beautiful Scarab – Michael Richardson – 2008/2009 Up Close and Spineless Photography Exhibition
From beautiful butterflies to bizarre beetles and bugs – this unique collection of captivating images offers a fascinating insight into the secret lives of Australia’s most intriguing and unique invertebrates.
Now in its 7th year, the Up Close & Spineless photography exhibition – which is FREE with general Museum entry – showcases 28 stunning images chosen from 501 entered in the competition by amateur and professional shutterbugs from around Australia.
A highlight of the 2008/2009 exhibition is a particularly impressive range of images taken by secondary school students including the winning entry of a rare and extraordinary-looking Giraffe-necked weevil, snapped whilst holidaying in Madagascar by Axl Gad of Falls Creek NSW.
Martyn Robinson, Australian Museum Naturalist and member of the judging panel, was pleased to observe an increase in entries received this year. “It was exciting to see entries extend from as far as the US and to see people of all ages taking an interest in the frequently overlooked world of invertebrates,” he said.
“I hope the competition continues to raise awareness of the importance of invertebrates and the vital role they play in nature, in particular, their direct contribution to strengthening the environment.”
Martyn said there is growing worldwide concern for biodiversity loss and the demise of our ecosystems and “an easy way for people to help is to be aware of the spineless species and the role they fill in the world – or even better, not stamp on them if you don’t know what they are!” he said.
Martyn encourages everyone to look out for rare and unusual spineless species; to continue taking photographs as the weather warms up over spring and summer; and to look out for the 2009 entries call out.
There are four competition categories – Primary School, Secondary School, Open and Professional – with a winner and highly commended selected from each (see over page for details including residential suburb of each entrant).
The winners of the Professional, Open, Secondary and Primary School categories receive a $600 gift certificate.
The Up Close & Spineless photography exhibition is on display in the Birds and Insects Gallery (Level 2). For more information on Up Close & Spineless or to find out more about the invertebrates in your own backyard, please visit the Australian Museum website