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The comb jelly (ctenophore) Thalassocalyce inconstans is found in shallow to deep water in the Atlantic Ocean, Mediterranean Sea, and sometimes in warmer Pacific Ocean waters off the coast of California -- although this...
Found in Arctic waters, this rare deep-water species of larvacean , Oikopleura...
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Jellyfish and comb jellies are gelatinous animals that drift through the ocean'...
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Holozooplankton are animals that live adrift in the ocean waves for their...

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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 in the colony) cannot survive...
This foraminifera was collected as it floated about 3 meters below the...
In the icy waters of the Arctic , a deep-water larvacean (aka “sea tadpole”...

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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 beautiful marine diatom Chaetoceros debilis was caught in the North Sea. Not only are diatoms one of the most important oxygen producers on earth, they are also a vital link in the food chain...
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...
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...
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...
This is another view of Phromina from the side. The eyes take up most of the head, with one pair looking to the side (the red spot) and one pair facing upwards. Phronima live anywhere from 200-1100...
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...
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 ,...
In many species of copepods , males are rare and short-lived. This male of Scaphocalanus acrocephalus is readily distinguished from the female by features of his antennae and tail. View the “Under...
The comb jelly (ctenophore) Thalassocalyce inconstans is found in shallow to deep water in the Atlantic Ocean, Mediterranean Sea, and sometimes in warmer Pacific Ocean waters off the coast of...
Scypholanceola aestiva looks like an armored alien of the deep. It doesn’t have compound eyes like other hyperiids, but instead sees variations in light using reflective cups embedded in the...
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...
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...
Now that the Census of Marine Life is over, we’re checking in with some of its researchers to hear about their favorite expeditions, what they learned, and how the Census and its findings continue to...
These Themisto hyperiids live in the top 200 meters of cold waters around the world. Each of their two large eyes has an upward-looking zone and a downward-looking zone. Each zone can see at...
Ari Daniel Shapiro is joined for this episode of The Podcast of Life by science contributor Josh Kurz, who tells the story of dinoflagellates through "music from the bottom of the food chain." There...
Scientists use a multinet to collect Arctic zooplankton samples from different depth layers in the water column .
The ocean is home to a phenomenal diversity of marine organisms. They have evolved to inhabit warm waters near the equator and the icy waters of the Earth’s poles. Marine life takes advantage of the...
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...
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