The black mastiff bat (Molossus rufus) grows to be about 30 grams, but these little guys are just embryos, their bodies hairless, their eyes closed, and playing inadvertent tribute to two of the three wise monkeys.

This photo, taken by Dorit Hockman of the University of Cambridge, took 20th place in Nikon's annual Small World Photomicrography Competition, and it's probably the only one of the honorees that could be termed "cute." There are plenty of stunning images in the set, though: First place went to a photo of the blood-brain barrier in a live zebrafish embryo, rainbow pseduo-colored to add spatial information, making the image pretty trippy in the process. Dr. David Maitland's image of coral sand at 100x magnification would make a lovely desktop wallpaper. And, if you haven't had your requisite dose of arthropod nightmare fuel, here are a pair of newborn lynx spiderlings. Actually, those critters are a bit on the cute side as well.


Embryos of the species Molossus rufus, the black mastiff bat [Nikon Small World 2012 Photomicrography Competition via Geekologie]

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