I was lucky enough for the last two weeks to spend some time in Mediterranean Sea; exploring the planktonic life in this incredible place – Gulf of Naples. I made many new friends, met old friends and just loved my time with plankton and people. I will write a longer post on what it meant to be at the oldest marine station, following footsteps of giants that came before us and what we learned along the way..
But this post is a brief preview of a strange creature we found – hanging on the CTD wire out at one of the Dohrn canyon entrances. Many of you might recognize this – a salp maxima – or a pelagic tunicate. It’s hard to describe the disbelief that sets in your mind to see this life form – almost built of glass. I guess being invisible is the ultimate sense of protection from predators at sea!
I will describe what we found in its gut (what it eats), what different organ types look like and life cycle. But I can’t wait for you all to just enjoy some of these pictures – and what it felt like doing microscopy at sea – with foldscope being the only microscope onboard. So much to learn and explore.. so little time..