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salp with embryo inside

Salp Baby on Board

This transparent animal, a salp lives in the Southern Ocean. White muscle bands crisscross its one-inch tubular body, the brown gut is on the left, and it carries a white embryo, the next generation. This species, Salpa thompsoni, develops very large populations in Antarctic waters, studied in 2006 by WHOI scientists. Salps are so fragile they can rarely be caught intact with nets. To study them, scientists scuba dive in their open water habitat miles from land, even in the Southern Ocean's cold waters. (Photo by Larry Madin, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)


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