Our Oceans: The Frontier for Curious Minds

By Nancy Burnett, Founder, Shape of Life

I just went to a wonderful workshop about plankton. We may as well fess up to the fact that there’s a whole world out there in the ocean that we haven't told you about, yet. Most marine animals that we know and love started out in life looking very different from what they look like as adults.

At the beginning of life, they hatch out of eggs that float in the water or are attached to the bottom of the ocean. The tiny larvae feed, grow and change form in the ocean as part of the zooplankton. These fragile, otherworldly creatures swim or drift in the currents for months at a time before settling to the bottom to change into adults.

Just when we thought we had marine life all figured out, we discover something new. We can’t wait to see where our curiosity leads us next.

This is a larva of a gastropod mollusc, like a clam or snail.

Resources:

If you want to see more images of plankton, here are some.
Sea star larvae
Lobster larva
Crab larvae
Videos of larvae