Photographer Mark Cowan was honored with a special tribute at the 2016 Royal Society Publishing photography competition for the stunning photo below.
He took the photo while traveling in the Amazon studying amphibian diversity for the University of Michigan’s Herpetology Division.
It is a photo showing a surprisingly calm caiman with a crown of beautifully colored butterflies.
These stunning winged insects use the water collated on the caiman’s skin to extract salt and other minerals needed to survive.
Clearly, the caiman doesn’t mind the attention from the butterflies, especially since it doesn’t gain any nutritional benefit from the relationship.
You can see three species of butterflies on the caiman, and because of this unique organization, the photo received a special award.