GELATINOUS PLANKTON

Itchy jellyfish, appendicularians with luxury chalets, filtering barrels, and other extraordinary creatures Jellyfish is perhaps the most popular plankton group, although I am not sure everybody would classify it as plankton. Jellyfish clusters together with other organisms to form what we call gelatinous plankton. In this hodgepodge, we can find chordates, such as appendicularians orContinue reading GELATINOUS PLANKTON

Phronima: a plankton organism that came to Hollywood

Today, I want to introduce you to some small crustaceans, the Phronima. They belong to the order Amphipods and have a rather curious life; in addition, they are very famous, but we should not advance events. The Phronima do not exceed four or five centimeters (a couple of inches), have long legs, very thick compound eyes,Continue reading “Phronima: a plankton organism that came to Hollywood”

When the eyes do not stay in place: the peculiar case of sole larvae

I bet you know most fishes have larval stages belonging to the plankton (actually, to the ichthyoplankton). This is not surprising, considering many marine organisms pass part of their live in the plankton (we call this group meroplankton). What is indeed surprising is the peculiar behavior of some fish larvae. An extreme and very characteristicContinue reading “When the eyes do not stay in place: the peculiar case of sole larvae”

Why are there no insects in the sea?

Before I start this post, I would like to clarify that I am not an entomologist, so I apologize if I say anything very wrong; I hope not. Although I am sure many of you, indeed connoisseurs of the subject, are already thinking, “there are insects in the sea”. Certainly, several species of Halobates live on theContinue reading “Why are there no insects in the sea?”

PLASTIC: You are plankton and to plankton you shall return

Today, I’m going to talk about public enemy number 1, plastic; and more specifically, I’ll tell you about their interaction with marine plankton. Plastic, from the Greek plastikos: which can be shaped, is a word that includes a multitude of products of different origin and chemical composition. Some are more or less natural, but most areContinue reading “PLASTIC: You are plankton and to plankton you shall return”

Sapphirina, an astonishing show of light and color

Today I present to you a copepod that has been called the most beautiful animal in the world, the Sapphirina. Sapphirins are parasites of gelatinous plankton, especially doliolids, into which they enter and devour. While this is terrifying and would make them worthy of a post within this blog, this copepod also has other peculiaritiesContinue reading “Sapphirina, an astonishing show of light and color”

The sexual life of copepods

For those of you who haven’t read my post “Copepods: Good things come in small packages”, I recommend you do so before you delve into the exciting reading of this new one. In any case, for the laziest, copepods are small crustaceans of vital importance in marine food webs, as they are the food of manyContinue reading “The sexual life of copepods”

Plankton, mussels with french fries, and diarrhea

The Belgians have the culinary tradition of eating mussels with French fries; it is all a matter of taste. In Catalonia we serve them alone, in sauce, or in paellas or other equally delicious dishes. Mussels, apart from being a gastronomic delight, available to everyone, are incredibly efficient filtering machines. In their daily activity, theyContinue reading “Plankton, mussels with french fries, and diarrhea”

Global warming and plankton

Today, it is undeniable that the earth is warming at a faster rate than it should due to merely natural causes. From the anthropogenic point of view, that is to say purely human, one might think that nothing happens if the temperature rises a couple of degrees. We could even believe that global warming isContinue reading “Global warming and plankton”

Are there carnivorous plants in the sea?

Whether because of Audrey from Frank Oz’s musical Little Shop of Horrors, or because of The day of the Triffids of John Wyndham’s, or even because of the little venus fly trap plants sold in the flower shops, everybody knows what carnivorous or mixotrophic plants are. You may even have tried to grow one at home, probablyContinue reading “Are there carnivorous plants in the sea?”