Wednesday, April 6, 2022

Cold Water Invertebrates

Environmental & Science Education, STEM, Wildlife, Nature, Biodiversity

Ed Hessler

When most of us think about nature and wildlife, invertebrates seldom top the list, especially those from the cold water environments.

Marine biologist Alexander Semenov is on the staff of the White Sea Biological Station in Primorskiy, Russia. He started filming cold water invertebrates as a hobby and fell in love with what he was filming. He's now a professional photographer and leads the scientific diving team at the station. 

The journal Nature has an illustrated feature of these strangely beautiful critters. In addition, tips are included for taking photos for research.

I seldom look at such images without thinking of the last paragraph found in later editions of Charles Darwin's "On the Origin of Species."

"It is interesting to contemplate a tangled bank, clothed with many plants of many kinds, with birds singing on the bushes, with various insects flitting about, and with worms crawling through the damp earth, and to reflect that these elaborately constructed forms, so different from each other, and dependent upon each other in so complex a manner, have all been produced by laws acting around us. These laws, taken in the largest sense, being Growth with reproduction; Inheritance which is almost implied by reproduction; Variability from the indirect and direct action of the conditions of life, and from use and disuse; a Ratio of Increase so high as to lead to a Struggle for Life, and as a consequence to Natural Selection, entailing Divergence of Character and the Extinction of less improved forms. Thus, from the war of nature, from famine and death, the most exalted object which we are capable of conceiving, namely, the production of the higher animals, directly follows. There is grandeur in this view of life, with its several powers, having been originally breathed by the Creator into a few forms or into one; and that, whilst this planet has gone circling on according to the fixed law of gravity, from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being evolved."

You may be interested in how the title of Darwin's Origin evolved and this publication from the Royal Society describes the history. "Fascinating," as Spock might say.

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