This tiny, iridescent marine animal, called a zooplankton, is one of a dozen new species identified by scientists during the Census of Marine Life expedition conducted April 2006.
This species is a member of the shrimplike copepods, which are among the most abundant creatures on Earth and a vital food source for many fish and marine mammals, including whales.
Census of Marine Life sponsored the mission as part of its Census of Marine Zooplankton initiative, a ten-year study begun in 2000 to inventory the biodiversity of the world's oceans.
The group plans to use the data it collects to assess the long-term effects of global warming, pollution, and ocean acidification on zooplankton, the critical first link in the ocean food chain.
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Photograph by Russ Hopcroft, courtesy Census of Marine Life