Marine Biology 411

Photographed something no one can identify? Try Reddit’s marinebiology subreddit.

I posted these images in Reddit’s marinebiology subreddit and asked the question (paraphrased), “what is this?”

Here is the best response so far:

Salps have a complex life cycle, what you are seeing is the aggregate stage, where a chain of blastozooids are connected together. This is the sexual reproduction stage.

The solitary phase, known as an oozoid, and reproduces asexually – creating these long chains of blastozooids. I took a [photo]( of an oozoid, with a chain of blastozoids still inside it. 

Another commenter added:

Those are colonial salps. Each cylinder is an animal 

And, for good measure, here is the Wikipedia ( summary:

A salp (plural salps), salpa (plural salpae or salpas[1]), is a barrel-shaped, planktonic tunicate. It moves by contracting, thus pumping water through its gelatinous body. Salp jet propulsion is one of the most efficient in the animal kingdom.[2] The salp strains the pumped water through its internal feeding filters, feeding on phytoplankton.

For the record, I have not been a fan of Reddit. I won’t go into the reasons why I don’t like the social media platform, but I don’t.

The one exception, so far, has been the marinebiology subreddit. I had a suspicion there was something different about it, and this proves it. The responses were quick and accurate.

So, if you need help identifying a marine organism, I suggest you post photos of it in Reddit’s marinebiology subreddit.

5 thoughts on “Marine Biology 411

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  1. I have never tried Reddit. Good to know this, thanks! There are several groups in Facebook and Google Plus that dedicate to help scuba divers to ID the marine species (and of course the nudibranch!) as well. I usually consult those groups for identification of marine species that not available in my book.


    1. I forgot to specify that I posted this on 7 different social media platforms, I believe, though not in any specific Facebook or Google+ groups. The marinebiologist subreddit had the only responses. What are the groups that work best for you?


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