Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute
Marine Botany

Phytoplankton Photo Gallery

Phytoplankton are engaging organisms for many reasons - but perhaps especially so because of the diversity of shapes, sizes and colors made out of a single anatomical plan.  I hope this photo gallery will inspire you to look at plankton yourself - collections are fun and can be done either in marine or freshwater habitats.  There is no substitute for seeing them with your own eyes!

The following images were taken of organisms found in about a 1/2 mL aliquot from a single plankton tow.  The tow was taken by dragging a plankton net behind a small motorized boat for 5 minutes.  The diversity of phytoplankton captured in this tow demonstrates the richness of the phytoplankton community in Monterey Bay. 

The images taken were captured using a computer and a video camera mounted on a compound microscope.  The camera and computer communicated using the Snappy connector and software in order to capture still video frames.  I have labeled the photos with my best guess as to which species it is, however, take the names with a grain of salt.   

Take me to the: 




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