orange siphonophore

The physonect siphonophores are actually colonies of individuals, each specialized for different functions such as swimming, feeding and reproduction. Here, the lead animal of Marrus orthocanna is a gas- filled float, followed by more than a dozen swimming morphs, that trail dozens of tentacle-bearing individuals that snare prey for the colony. Click image for larger view. Image courtesy of Arctic Exploration 2002, Marsh Youngbluth, NOAA/OER.

Related Links

Arctic Expedition 2002

Arctic Exploration: Spineless Wonders: Pelagic Fauna

NOAA Ocean Explorer Gallery