The video at the end of this post comes via Miriam Goldstein. The beasty (or, technically speaking, colony of beasties) that it shows is a siphonophore not unlike the Physophora hydrostatica illustrated by Haeckel near the beginning of the 1900s:
Siphonophores were covered here back in August, and that post will (hopefully) help you understand just what you're looking at here. Nevertheless, the video above still stunned me. I had assumed that Haeckel had been employing a certain amount of (not entirely uncharacteristic) artistic licence in drawing those curly palpons (the fat tentacle-like structures) - the still photos of siphonophores I had seem looked as if they would be fairly stiff in real life. How wrong I was! Watch the video - those things are sinuous.
Need I remind you that siphonophores can be up to 30 m in length, and severely toxic? Pleasant dreams, kiddies.
Leroy Hood and the tool-driven revolution in biology
1 day ago in The Curious Wavefunction