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Stunning imagery of pelagic mesoplankton

By Leonard Ho - Posted Oct 04, 2012 08:00 AM
Photographer Solvin Zanki captures some of the most amazing photos of plankton we've ever seen. We share some of his amazing work. If these photos do not instill a sense of awe and wonder for the diversity of life in our oceans, we give up.
Stunning imagery of pelagic mesoplankton

Recognize me?

These extraordinary macro-photography of pelagic plankton come from Solvin Zanki's Flickr photo set. The only thing more awe-inspiring than Solvin's photographic skills are his photo subjects.

The first three photos are of the amphipod Phronima sp. - AKA the pram bug.  Does the top photo look familiar?  It's because the pram bug served as an inspiration for the creation of the xenomorph monsters in James Cameron's science fiction classic Aliens.

Phronima sp. This amphipod was the inspiration for the character in the movie

Pram bugs latch onto and feed on the innards of free-living salps (planktonic tunicates), eating their prey from the inside out ... no doubt further inspiration for the Aliens' monster design team.


Phronima sp. This amphipod was the inspiration for the character in the movie

The better to eat you with!  The pram bug is one sinister looking plankton.


Sapphirina sali

A beautiful copepod (Sapphirina sali)


Gaussia princeps female

And another copepod (Gaussia princeps).  Pods come in all shapes, sizes, and colors!


Euchirella sp.

One more copepod (Euchirella sp.) just in case you didn't believe us.



This is an alciopid polychaete (segmented worm) extending its proboscis.  In other words, it's sticking out its inner throat/tongue to snag its prey.



Another polychaete: The Tomopteris produces yellow luminescence when it is disturbed.


Gigantocypris muelleri

A balled up ostracod (Gigantocypris muelleri)



Believe it or not, this critter will one day grow up to become a crab.  This is its planktonic larval stage.


Flohkrebs Lanceola sp.

A splash of red: A deep sea amphipod, Lanceola sp.

Clio recurva

Another deep sea denizen, Clio recurva. While it may resemble a miniature squid, it's actually a gastropod.


Octopus defilippi

But this is a cephalopod!  Hello Octopus defilippi

[via echinoblog]

Author: Leonard Ho
Location: Southern California

I'm a passionate aquarist of over 30 years, a coral reef lover, and the blog editor for Advanced Aquarist. While aquarium gadgets interest me, it's really livestock (especially fish), artistry of aquariums, and "method behind the madness" processes that captivate my attention.


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