Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Fantastic pics of larvae and baby sea urchins!

Today..some great images of larval sea urchins from 2 researcher/photographers!

First some great video and images from  Bruno C. Vellutini from Brazil and currently at the Sars International Centre for Marine Molecular Biology

Bruno is also an exceptional photographer and has been kind enough to allow his images to be shared with us..  Here are samples of his excellent work, much of which are of larval forms-that is the small swimming "babies" that form and settle out into the five-part adults that we are more familiar with..

Here is a quick video that shows the life cyle in a "sea biscuit" aka a sea urchin called Clypeaster subdepressus.  Basically, egg and sperm meet, form free swimming bilateral larvae which then settles out on the sea bottom and grows up into a pentameral adult!
A Sea Biscuit's Life from Bruno Vellutini on Vimeo.

Larvae are very tiny.. and are on the order of about a 1.0 mm in length at best.

Here's some striking images from different points during the cycle...

The SKELETON of a larval Clypeaster urchin! Under polarized light..
Skeleton of a pluteus larva
Skeleton of a pluteus larva

Pluteus larva showing its left side
Competent pluteus larva
Still with 4 arms..
4-arm pluteus larva
A neat color image showing both sides
Pluteus larva of a sea biscuit

A sea biscuit juvenile
Sea biscuit juvenile
Sea biscuit juvenile

A pic of a young sand dollar..
Young sand dollar

Here are some pics of various VERY tiny..baby urchins!
From Juan Camilo Jaramillo -a researcher at the Universidad Jorge Tadeo Lozano in Columbia! (on Flickr)
A larval urchin showing a spectacular glow!
Research Erizos de mar
A 1.0 mm Diadema (long black spined urchin when adult)
diadema hi res 2.jpg
A small, newly settled unidentified urchin
Research Erizos de mar

NEXT WEEK! I promise some solid Echinoblogging! 

1 comment:

Bella Bee said...

These images are fantastic and remind us (if any reminder were needed) that we live in such a rich world.