Holozooplankton are animals that live adrift in the ocean waves for their entire lives. The researchers who took part in the Census of Marine Zooplankton, a project of the Census of Marine Life, spent a decade surveying and photographing holozooplankton biodiversity around the world. Here is a sampling of what they found.
Transparent Sea Cucumber
Census researchers discovered this sea cucumber (Enypniastes sp.) in the Gulf of Mexico.
Laurence Madin, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution/CMarZ, Census of Marine Life
Jellyfish, or Siphonophore Colony?
This colony of Rosacea may look like a single jellyfish, but it is actually a large group of smaller siphonophores clustered and living together.
L. Madin, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (www.cmarz.org)
A Ctenophore Feeds
The comb jelly (ctenophore) Thalassocalyce inconstans was photographed in the Sargasso Sea by Census of Marine Zooplankton researchers.
Close-up View of Salps
This close-up view of salps, which have aggregated together into a long chain, have brilliant red guts from eating red plankton.
Amphipod: Salp Invader
The animal in the middle, surrounded by her own eggs, is an amphipod -- inside a sac that once was the "barrel" of a salp until she ate out its insides.
R. Hopcroft, University of Alaska - Fairbanks (UAF) (www.cmarz.org)