phronima

I promise, this is a real thing

This amphipod crustacean, a Phronima, uses its pincer-like legs to cling to the gelatinous bodies of its prey, the salp. After consuming the innards of a salp the Phronima will bury its body into the vacated space and lay their eggs.

Credit: © Karen Osborn, Smithsonian

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Eerie Critters of the Deep: Cryptic Animals 

For Halloween 2017, our Eerie Critters of the Deep series continues with “Cryptic Animals”, a compilation of animals that have developed adaptations (color, behavior, habitat selection) that make them cryptic (hidden) to avoid predators.

See if you can spot these creatures in their natural habitats:

Masking crab (Loxorhynchus crispatus), Medusa fish (Icichthys lockingtoni), Tongue fish (Symphurus), Sea spider (Pycnogonid), Deep Sea Crab (Neolithoides diomedae), Sea slug (Tritonia tetraquetra), Seastar (Dytaster), Amphipod (Phronima), and the Deep-sea skate (Bathyraja abyssicola).

Video producer: Linda Kuhnz Music:
Halloween by Filippo Vicarelli

via: Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI)

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From 2009 to 2013, the research schooner Tara traversed the globe, carrying a multinational team of scientists. They surveyed the critical foundation of the marine food chain (a foundation we know dangerously little about): plankton, bacteria, protists, viruses and small animals. All in all, they found more 35,000 different kinds of organisms — many of them previously unknown to science. Read all about it!

Top photo: Tara in the Arctic Ocean (A.Deniaud/Tara Expéditions)

Photo 2: Plankton collected in the Pacific Ocean. (Christian Sardet/CNRS/Tara Expéditions)

Photo 3: A male Sapphirina copepod collected in the Mediterranean sea. (Christian Sardet/CNRS/Sharif Mirshak/Parafilms/Tara Expéditions)

Photo 4: A tiny crustacean copepod, a spider crab larva, an amphipod, a baby squid, a Phronima amphipod, and an Atlantic pteropod mollusc. (Christian Sardet/CNRS/Tara Expéditions)

Photo 5: A small medusa (a relative of the jellyfish) collected in the Mediterranean sea. (bepoles/Tara Expéditions)

Map of the voyage, based on a graphic by bepoles/Tara Expéditions.