Today we will sample plankton

Those of you who follow my posts will know that plankton comprise many organisms of different sizes, from viruses about 0.00001 mm to large jellyfish up to a meter in length. It is logical, then, to think that there should be different systems for sampling plankton according to the size of the group of interest.Continue reading Today we will sample plankton

Feeding mechanisms in zooplankton

Strange numbers and viscous media Who doesn’t remember the famous movie “Fantastic voyage” 1966, starring the iconic Raquel Welch and Stephen Boyd? The plot is about a scientist from the East who falls into a coma because of an attack. The only way to save this character, who keeps tremendously important secrets in his mind, is to miniaturize a submarine to the sizeContinue reading “Feeding mechanisms in zooplankton”

Holoplankton and meroplankton: two strange names to describe ordinary creatures

We, biologists, tend to use Greek or Latin roots when choosing a name. This habit leads to some very curious and strange cases, such as the two that concern us today, holoplankton and meroplankton. From previous posts, we already know that plankton refers to something that it is drifting. But what do the two lastContinue reading “Holoplankton and meroplankton: two strange names to describe ordinary creatures”


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”