Plankton

FEATURES

Slideshow
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...
Overview MORE STORIES Overview MORE AUDIO / VIDEO
Jellyfish and comb jellies are gelatinous animals that drift through the ocean'...
Slideshow MORE STORIES Slideshow MORE AUDIO / VIDEO
Holozooplankton are animals that live adrift in the ocean waves for their...
In the icy waters of the Arctic , a deep-water larvacean (aka “sea tadpole”...

LATEST POSTS

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...

LEARN MORE

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 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 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 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...
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...
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 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...
Amanda Feuerstein with a nesting olive ridley ( Lepidochelys olivacea ). Feuerstein is a co-author of a study that surveyed algae, crustaceans, mollusks, and other epibionts that live on olive ridley...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
Subscribe to Plankton