Baseball great Yogi Berra once said, “You can observe a lot just by watching.” If you don’t know who Yogi Berra is, just ask your grandparents. One of the things I enjoy most on a research cruise is to look very closely at a zooplankton net tow sample that has just come from the water. You can watch the little creatures swim, and
after a while you can begin to identify them just by seeing how they move through the water. You can also pick them up and observe them under the microscope. One thing that jumps out at you when looking at them in the microscope is the diversity of their eyes. Above are some pictures of zooplankton eyes taken through our microscope on the R/V Atlantic Explorer.
In the pictures above there are:
fish (2 of them), hyperiid amphipods (2 of them), krill, copepods (3 of them), squid, heteropod, and an alciopid worm.
Can you tell which eye belongs to which animal? You might need to do some research to learn about these amazing zooplankton.
Jon Cohen, Ph.D.