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ctenophore ocyropsis

Neptune's mask

Depending on interpretation, this view of the ctenophore Ocyropsis maculata looks like either an ancient Greek helmet or a clamshell bucket for earth-moving machines. This large (to 6”) predator uses its broad lobes to catch small crustaceans, rolling them up like a baseball glove catching a ball. It also uses them to swim rapidly away from trouble. This image is also featured in the 2010 wall calendar available for purchase online or in the Ocean Science Exhibit Center. (Photo by Larry Madin, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)


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