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VPR on deck

Ready to Fly

The video plankton recorder, shown on deck at right, resembles a small airplane. In fact, it does fly—in the water. In August 2011, the German research vessel Maria S. Merian towed the recorder near the coast of Namibia, Africa. As the instrument "flew" through the water, it captured real-time video of microscopic plankton living in the Benguela upwelling system, one of the most plankton-rich areas of the oceans. WHOI biologists Cabell Davis and Scott Gallager developed the recorder in 1991. Since then, Davis said that it has been modified and upgraded many times and continues to be used worldwide to measure a wide range of marine plankton and particles. (Photo by Cabell S. Davis)


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