Global ocean census uncover trove of unknown

You might call them the Rodney Dangerfields of the natural world.

Ocean plankton – the viruses, microbes and microscopic eukaryotes that drift with the currents – are the invisible foot soldiers of the oceans, often ignored by scientists and until now largely understudied. That has now changed – big time.

The Tara oceans expedition, which collected plankton from 2009 to 2013 in all the world’s oceans, announced its results Thursday. Crisscrossing the globe on trip that covered 140,000 kilometers, the team collected 35,000 samples and detailed their findings in several papers in the journal Science. The international team collected everything from single-cell algae to fish larvae.

Many of the plankton – featured in a series of beautiful images – look like something from a sci-fi film. Blown up, they look downright scary with their translucent skin, sharp claws and menacing jaws.

To know more, visit the source site. Continue reading there after the first four paragraphs. Click on.. HERE.

Source Credits: Michael Casey in CBS News

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