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Tiny Marine Microbes Dazzle in Microscopic Photo Exhibit

Tiny Marine Microbes Dazzle in Microscopic Photo Exhibit

Phytoplankton form the base of the marine food chain. They cover the surface of the ocean, but are invisible to the naked eye. (Credit: Peter Countway, Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences)

Limacina helicina, the sea butterfly, is a tiny mollusk that lives inside a dark shell and uses its "ears" as wings.

These Are Some of the Most Otherworldly Creatures You’ll Find on Earth

Limacina helicina, the sea butterfly, is a tiny mollusk that lives inside a dark shell and uses its "ears" as wings.

The large yellowish dome-like creatures are single-celled phytoplankton known as diatoms (specifically Coscinodiscus sp. and Hemidiscus sp.). Those long Tetris-like chains of Skeletonema sp. are diatoms as well. But the bright pink spiky creatures are Protoperidinium depressum— dinoflagellates that eat diatoms. At the center of this image, next to the yellow star-shaped radiolarian, is a barnacle larva.

The large yellowish dome-like creatures are single-celled phytoplankton known as diatoms (specifically Coscinodiscus sp. and Hemidiscus sp.). Those long Tetris-like chains of Skeletonema sp. are diatoms as well. But the bright pink spiky creatures are Protoperidinium depressum— dinoflagellates that eat diatoms. At the center of this image, next to the yellow star-shaped radiolarian, is a barnacle larva.

Marine Diatom, the jewels of the ocean, are phytoplankton which together form the foundation of the marine food chain and produce half the world's oxygen. They are declining precipitously.

In pictures: The week in wildlife

Marine Diatom, the jewels of the ocean, are phytoplankton which together form the foundation of the marine food chain and produce half the world's oxygen. They are declining precipitously.

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Tiny bubbles ... These pink bubbles are live planktonic foraminifera taken from the Sargasso Sea in the North Atlantic Ocean. Each set of bubbles is a single-celled creature that has built itself a protective, multichambered house called a test.

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