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In the icy waters of the Arctic , a deep-water larvacean (aka “sea tadpole” because it looks like a tadpole) drifts through the water in its 'house.' This house is made of protein and...
This copepod ( Gaussia princeps ) was collected deeper than 1000 meters in the...
This colony of Rosacea may look like a single jellyfish, but it is actually a...
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The ocean is home to a phenomenal diversity of marine organisms. They have...

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These star-shaped grains of sand, collected from southern Japan, look like miniature works of art -- but they were not sculpted by an artist. They are the shells of microscopic organisms called foraminifera , which build...
This colony of Rosacea may look like a single jellyfish, but it is actually...
This foraminifera was collected as it floated about 3 meters below the...

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Imagine if a fish at the market could tell you where it came from; what would it say? "I came from a world of drifters,"...
This female hyperiid ( Phronima sedentaria ) is surrounded by her young, residing in the hollowed out barrel-shaped body cavity of a salp. It is thought that the mother Phronima captures and kills...
Scientists describe the amazing bioluminescent creatures they encounter as they descend into the deep--siphonophores, ctenophores, and viperfish--in this Smithsonian/History Channel "Deep Ocean...
Seasons in the Ross Sea are marked by ice freezing and melting, and these processes mix the seawater and redistribute salt and nutrients. The influx of nutrients cause phytoplankton to bloom, forming...
This much smaller hyperiid (in the genus Paraphromina ) has eyes that make up 45 percent of its body! Its many retinas, which researchers believe are used to maximize light detection, are the small...
This hyperiid (in the genus Cystisoma) has only one pair of eyes—but they are very big. You can see them here as the entire surface of its head and the convex orange sheet of retinal cells in the...
Found in Arctic waters, this rare deep-water species of larvacean , Oikopleura gorskyi , eats by filtering particles from the seawater it drifts through. Larvaceans build 'houses' around themselves...
You may have seen the sparkle of fireflies on a summer’s night. The fireflies produce light through a chemical reaction in their glowing abdomens, a process known as bioluminescence. But did you know...
How do you explain a scientific paper in three minutes or less? What if you were being judged by a bunch of middle-schoolers in classrooms around the world… and you only had a month to do it? The...
In the icy waters of the Arctic , a deep-water larvacean (aka “sea tadpole” because it looks like a tadpole) drifts through the water in its 'house.' This house is made of protein and creates almost...
Hyperiid amphipods are small crustaceans related to sand fleas and distantly related to shrimp. They range in size from very tiny to more than 7 inches long, and are found at all depths of the ocean...
Dinoflagellates are an important group of phytoplankton that produce oxygen in marine and freshwater. Some species form symbiotic relationships with larger animals, including corals (zooxanthellae),...
This foraminifera was collected as it floated about 3 meters below the surface off the coast of Puerto Rico. The central dark area is the shell surrounded by spines. The tiny yellow dots are...
These star-shaped grains of sand, collected from southern Japan, look like miniature works of art -- but they were not sculpted by an artist. They are the shells of microscopic organisms called...
This colony of Rosacea may look like a single jellyfish, but it is actually a large group of smaller siphonophores clustered and living together. In fact, the zooids (individual siphonophores living...
Microscopic, single-celled organisms called foraminifera have a fossil record that extends from today to more than 500 million years ago. Although each foram is just a single cell, they build complex...
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 ,...
This copepod ( Gaussia princeps ) was collected deeper than 1000 meters in the Sargasso Sea by Census of Marine Zooplankton (CMarZ) researchers in April 2006, as part of the 10-year Census of Marine...
Bull sharks cut a threatening figure with the largest recorded bull shark reaching 11.5 feet and 500 pounds. They prey on dolphins, birds, turtles, bony fish, and other species of shark. Catching...
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