Friday, May 6, 2016

Planktonic



Plankton are marine creatures that drift. Ocean drifters. I like them. A crab zoea is about the most Sesame Street thing in the sea.



So I've joined the citizen science project called Plankton Portal (which sounds so Sci-Fi, like through the wardrobe door) in which I mark "images of plankton taken by an underwater imaging system."

You can, dear reader, probably imagine how impossibly happy I am to perform this service.

I might be in body in suburban Baltimore in-the-captain's-chair in front of my computer where it's dreary (it's been raining for five days straight. I'm praying to the the ocean sunfish) but scientifically I'm in the Mediterranean, because that's where the underwater imaging system is imaging ctenophores, salps, larvacean houses, medusa, and solamaris. Oh, the names! My heart, the poetry!

I heart all you plankton, especially you medusa ephyrae and pteropods, with your "very opaque body with wing-like extensions of one end that can be more or less contracted, and a triangular-shaped shell on the other end" like this one:




The ocean sunfish, the biggest bony fish on Earth was once considered a plankton. That was before it was discovered that the ocean sunfish is a boss diver. 

In German it's English translation is swimming head.  Notjustaswimminghead, from larvae to adult it "increases in size 60 million times." BLAMMO. Plankton Hulksmash.














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