Tawny owl, historical artwork
Tawny owl. Historical artwork of a tawny owl (Strix aluco). This is a nocturnal predator that inhabits forests and sparse woodland across much of Eurasia. It hunts at night, and finds its prey by sound. It feeds mainly on small mammals such as mice and voles, although it also takes smaller birds, frogs, fish and insects. By day it sleeps, camouflaged against branches or in a tree hole. It may reach a length of up to 40 centimetres. It has two calls: a harsh "ke-wick" and the "hoo-hoo" that is often but incorrectly assumed to be produced by all owls. This artwork was drawn by Archibald Thorburn (1860-1935).
© SHEILA TERRY/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Tyrannosaurus rex hunting
Tyrannosaurus rex hunting. Computer artwork of a Tyrannosaurus rex dinosaur hunting an Ornithomimus dinosaur. T. rex was among the largest carnivorous dinosaurs. It was about 6 metres tall and weighed about 7 tonnes. T. rex lived in North America and Asia during the late Cretaceous period, between 85 and 65 million years ago. The head is heavily built and has the sharp teeth of a predator. T. rex is thought to have scavenged as well as hunted for food. The Ornithomimus dinosaur was about 6 metres long and 2 metres tall. It was an omnivore. It was fast and agile, thought to have been capable of speeds of up to 70 kilometres per hour. It lived from 76-65 million years ago.
© Mark Garlick/Science Photo Library
Constellation of Orion with halo effect
The constellation Orion (the Hunter). Orion is one of the most famous constellations, lying on the celestial equator. The bright star near top left is Betelgeuse, a red supergiant 600 light years (l.y.) away. At bottom centre is the blue supergiant Rigel (900 l.y.). Just left of centre are the three stars that form 'Orion's Belt', Alnilam, Alnitak and Mintaka. Below these is 'Orion's Sword', including the pinkish patch of the Orion Nebula, M42 (1,650 l.y.). Orion is visible as a whole from most parts of the Earth, and may be used to find the position of a great number of other stars. The images of the stars of Orion have been enhanced photographically.
© John Sanford/Science Photo Library