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Images: Ocean Microscope Reveals Surprising Abundance of Life

WHOI scientists Dennis McGillicuddy (left) of the Applied Ocean Physics and Engineering Department and Cabell Davis of the Biology Department collaborated to two an automated digital underwater microscope called a Video Plankton Recorder (VPR) across the Atlantic Ocean. (Photo by Tom Kleindinst, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)

Using the VPR, scientists found surprising abundances of cyanobacterium, such as Trichodesmium thiebautii, which form spherical colonies often called "puffs." (Photo by John Waterbury, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)

A collage of images of Trichodesmium collected by the Video Plankton Recorder. The cyanobacteria form tiny colonies of spiky balls called ?puffs? (bottom) or elongated rafts called ?tufts? (top). (Courtesy of Cabell Davis, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)