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ctenophore

Bright lights

Ctenophores (comb jellies) swim by beating rows of tiny combs along their bodies. Sunlight­—or a photographer’s strobe—on the combs creates diffraction patterns—flickering rainbows running down the rows. Most ctenophores are also bioluminescent, producing light of their own. Ctenophores are predators, and several species, including this two-inch Bolinopsis, can have a large impact on fish populations near coasts by consuming fish larvae. 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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