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Trichodesmium colonies

Prickly Plankton

Species of the single-celled phytoplankton Trichodesmium form colonies with distinctive shapes. Individual colonies, shown here, are visible to the naked eye. Where currents and winds gather many colonies together, aggregations of them can be seen from orbiting satellites. Many scientists at WHOI are studying Trichodesmium because it plays key roles in cycling important elements in the ocean, such as carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorus. This picture is featured in the 2013 WHOI wall calendar, which is available from the Exhibit Center in Woods Hole. (Photo by Abby Heithoff, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)

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