Huge Study of Tiny Plankton a ‘Treasure Trove’

via: Reuters/AFI

Scientists have unveiled the most comprehensive analysis ever undertaken of the world’s ocean plankton, the tiny organisms that serve as food for marine creatures such as the blue whale, but also provide half the oxygen we breathe.

The international team of researchers spent three and a half years aboard the schooner Tara, taking 35,000 samples of plankton from 210 sites globally, determining the distribution of the organisms, tracking how they  interact with one another and carrying out genetic analyses.

Plankton include microscopic plants and animals, fish larvae, bacteria, viruses and other microorganisms that drift in the oceans.

“Plankton are much more than just food for the whales,” says Chris Bowler, a research director at France’s National Centre for Scientific Research, and one of the scientists involved in the studies published in Science today…

(read more: ABC News - Australia)

image: CNRS/Tara Expitions: Christian Sardet

By @ukphotobooth “@justinprose99 second on the 12th hole #⛳️ day out the the #BMW #europentour #golf #mygettyoffice #gettysport #sportsphotography #sport #camera #Wentworth #ept #canon #streetphoto #street_photo #streetphotography #insta_uk #insta_london #insta_sport #photography #micro


Many butterflies have light-reflecting scales on their wings. This one I found has those scales on its body, not the wings. Weird!

I found this butterfly floating in my pool. It’s convenient to be able to collect dead specimens from my pool and see what they look like close-up. I try to save the live ones, though. 


Images from the book Science Is Beautiful by Colin Salter. Click on images for descriptions.

About the book:

Take a fantastic journey through the human body, thanks to the magic of technology and the most spectacular microscopic images ever created. These pictures, as beautiful as any art, provide a window into the wonder of our brains, the work of a white blood cell, the power of hormones, the tiny hairs on our arms, the movement of human cancer cells, the jagged edges of caffeine crystals, and more. Enjoy the collection purely as a visual voyage or as a means of understanding the science behind the images—which all include the scale of the photography as well as the scientific details in layman’s terms.