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laz217

Macro plankton

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Photographed this little critter this weekend while doing my safety stop. It was round, gelatinous in form (more or less) and about 1/4-inch in diameter. Any ideas?

 

Anyone know of any good jelly / plankton ID book(s) of the Atlantic they would recommend?

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I am no expert on anything

 

but i doubt thats plankton or jellyfish

 

looks like a Zygote to me or a Oocyte or one of those types of words.

 

basically an ebryo for something like a jelly fish or sea star or possibly even a sea cucumber. could even be something like a scallop or sea urchin.

 

Thats my guess and i love guessing ...

I dont know what other people know here .. myself I would hand this over to the small stuff man mr Alex Mustard. comon buddy this is your life !! you must know !

 

Giles

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I am no expert on anything

 

but i doubt thats plankton or jellyfish

 

looks like a Zygote to me or a Oocyte or one of those types of words.

 

basically an ebryo for something like a jelly fish or sea star or possibly even a sea cucumber. could even be something like a scallop or sea urchin.

I think the world "plankton" encapsulates small animals and plants, including zygotes and oocytes and the other stuff you mentioned. If that thing is floating around in an aggregation of tiny organisms, you can call it uh.. one unit of plankton.

 

right?

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It isn't an oocyte of a zygote! I am not sure what this is. It may be anything from an egg mass to a large (single-celled) protozoan. I do like the UFO in outer space feel of this image.

 

An individual from the plankton is a plankter.

 

There are many ways to catagorise plankton:

1) size: pico(0.2-2 um), nano(2-20 um), micro(20-200 um), meso(0.2mm-20mm), macro(>20mm)

2) nutrition: phyto(plants), zoo(animals) - however species that do both are not uncommon, plus bacteria and viruses are also very numerous members of the plankton!

3) life cycle: holo(whole life cycle as plankton), mero(part of life cycle as plankton)

4) systematic groups: major taxonomic groups

5) protozan and metazoan

 

So I work on metazoan holoplanktonic mesozooplankton, mainly crustacea. See how quickly we get lost in jargon. I prefer to say bugs!

 

Hope that all that useless info hid the fact I couldn't ID the blob!

 

Alex

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2) nutrition: phyto(plants), zoo(animals) - however species that do both are not uncommon, plus bacteria and viruses are also very numerous members of the plankton!

 

AFAIK the Zoo- and Phyto- Plankton Systematic is not based on what they eat (nutrition) but what they are.

 

Simon

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Yeah, you are right, Simon. It is definitely right for divers to think of it that way.

 

Zooplankton can be distinguished from phytoplankton from their morphology and/or mode of nutrition. Most of the time this can be assumed from their systematic groups.

 

The problem with always using systematic groups is that many protozoan groups contain both species of plants (synthesise food using solar power) and animals (don't use the sun, but eat other organisms). For example, there are many dinoflagellate species that are common phytoplankton in waters around coral reefs (and zooxanthellae are also dinoflagellates), however there are species such as Noctiluca, which is a dinoflagellate, but cannot photosynthesis and feeds on other life (and non-living organic particles). So not all dinoflagellate plankton are phytoplankton. There are also many species of planktonic flagellates, ciliates, radiolarians and pelagic foraminiferans that get their nutrition simultaneously as plants (from the sun) and animals (by eating).

 

From a photography point of view you need to use a microscope to get pictures of these guys - so I guess we don't need to worry.

 

Alex

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From a photography point of view you need to use a microscope to get pictures of these guys - so I guess we don't need to worry.

well we dont need to worry yet ... but what happens if someone houses a microscope camera ..

 

.. would it not be best to be prepared ?

 

giles :D

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Wow! Lots of great info here guys. Although the ID of this creature is unknown, doing searches for Oocyte, metazoan, holoplanktonic, and GoonyGooGoo have provided me with plenty of reading material. Thanks for the 'Plankton For Dummies' introduction, guys.

 

BTW.. My plans to house my Olympus 5050 with the attachment microscope are on its way to Ike.

 

:D

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Thanks for the 'Plankton For Dummies' introduction, guys.

 

BTW.. My plans to house my Olympus 5050 with the attachment microscope are on its way to Ike.

 

:D

The book's called 'Plankton for Plonkers' published by Plonkertons in NY NY.

Also look out for Microscopes for UW photographers by Yaggodabee Kiddinski :D

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Bob, have you had your medication adjusted lately?

 

:D:D:o

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Two good general reading books on plankton are:

 

James Fraser (1962) Nature Adrift

Sir Alistair Hardy (1970) World Of Plankton

 

Both are British books, and I don't know if they were ever distributed in N. America. I found a copy of Fraser's book in a 2nd hand bookshop for £1. So they are not expensive if you can find them.

 

Peter Parks at Image Quest 3d has some of the best plankton pictures (the best ones are mainly larvae of benthic inverts). Peter Parks told me that Roger Steene used his microscope system for the plankton shots (taken in the lab not the sea) in his Coral Reefs book.

 

Alex

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Two good general reading books on plankton are:

is it even possible to have a good general reading book on plankton ?

 

im not convinced on that one alex :D

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...or 'Things to do whilst in a coma' :D

Hey!!...

 

God meant plankton lovers to be loved not made fun of!

 

:D

 

 

Thanks for the recommendation on the books, Alex. I will definitely be on the hunt for them.. ("Shhh! Be bewy bewy quiet, I'm huntin a Pwankton book!")

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