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Copepod eggs laid by females collected in Bering Sea by Carin Ashjian

Counting Copepods Before They Hatch

Freshly-laid eggs of copepods crowd a petri dish. During a cruise to the Bering Sea in 2009, WHOI biologist Carin Ashjian and colleagues studied the reproduction of the tiny crustaceans, which many larger animals rely on for food. They collected copepods and gave each female a “room” of her own in an incubator dubbed the “bug hotel.” A day later, the researchers counted how many eggs each copepod had laid. The eggs, each with a diameter smaller than a human hair, were then incubated until hatching to determine how many young might have been produced in the wild. Ashjian recently made a wintertime cruise to study the productivity and food web of Arctic waters. (Photo by Chris Linder, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)


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