Dave Cowles' pictures of interesting marine species:

Hey, I admit it! I love the sea, and am fascinated by it, too! And best of all, I have a job as a marine biologist so I get paid to study it! Over the last several years I have participated in a number of deep-sea expeditions off California and Hawaii, studying midwater species from the surface to 4000 meters (I study mostly shrimp, but we catch lots of other stuff, too). Since these animals are seldom seen and few people have seen them alive, I brought a camera along and took some photos. Also, I have included pictures of some interesting intertidal species I took in the course of my own studies and teaching of marine biology.

One caveat: I do NOT claim to be a professional photographer, so expect the pictures to be interesting but not necessarily scintillating! At any rate, I hope you enjoy them!

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Pictures of interesting intertidal species from the west coast of North America:
Anthopleura sola battle Anthopleura sola is a common green anemone on the coast of California.  It is closely related to A. elegantissima, the green aggregating anemone, but is larger and solitary.  Usually these cohabit tidepools relatively harmoniously but these two were having a vigorous dispute.  Their normal tentacles are green with pink tips, but they also have special white fighting tentacles called acrorhagia.  The acrorhagia are usually almost hidden but these two had them out in full force and were in pitched battle.  One would rear up and extend the acrorhagia, then curl over and slam them onto its neighbor, who would retract away.  Then the other would do the same thing.  This process repeated itself multiple times over the 10 minutes we watched.  The one on the right seemed to be getting the best of the battle.  Anemone size is about 5-8 cm diameter.  Seen intertidally at San Simeon, CA.
Randallia ornata This attractive, unusual crab has a nearly spherical body. Found at Two Harbors, Catalina Island, California 5-95. Diameter about 3 cm. 
File size: 5.3K 
Hemisquilla californiensis
Front view
Side view
Hemisquilla californiensis is a beautifully colored mantis shrimp (stomatopod) living subtidally off southern California. The first walking legs are folded like those of a preying mantis and are used similarly for striking prey. The strike is extremely fast and powerful. They have BINOCULAR vision in EACH eye. They can live for long periods in very low oxygen conditions. About 15 cm long. File sizes: 9K, 14K 
Encope grandis This is a punctate sand dollar found at Bahia de Los Angeles, Baja California, Mexico. This one is alive so still has its spines. File size: 11.5K 
Grapsus grapsus This is the famous "Sally Lightfoot" crab which has made fools out of many who have tried to catch one. They like rocky areas right next to the surf, and are very fast. Carapace width: 4 cm. Caught (finally!) at Loreto, Baja California, Mexico. 
File size: 8K 
Placetron wosnessenskii 
Top view
View of eggs and chelae
The "Scaled crab" is a member of the brachyuran family Lithodidae.  Many lithodids seem to be "odd" crabs with unusual characteristics.  This species, for example, has very blunt chelae shaped like spoons.  This is a brooding female caught at 60 feet depth in Rosario Strait, WA,
Cryptolithodes typicus 
Top view
Bottom view
The "Butterfly crab" is another lithodid, related to the turtle crab.  Note the hugely expanded carapace.  This crab is usually quite inactive.  Found in Rosario Strait, WA
Lepas anatifera This type of gooseneck barnacle lives primarily on flotsam and kelp.  This driftwood tree root on the Olympic Peninsula, WA, was covered with a bouquet of unusually large barnacles with stalks up to a foot long.
Triopha catalinae Nudibranchs are always interesting.  This "sea clown" nudibranch, found in Rosario Strait, WA., is common in some areas of the Pacific Northwest
Dendronotus diversicolor This nudibranch is less common.  I found it at 60 feet depth in Rosario Strait, WA.
Tylodina fungina The "yellow sponge tylodina" is related to the nudibranchs but it has a shell!  This one was found along with a companion on surfgrass at Dana Point, CA
Pycnopodia helianthoides Let's look at some echinoderms!  This "sunflower star" is the largest species I have seen, and easily gets to 50 cm across.  It is a fast-moving (for a starfish), active subtidal predator in the Pacific Northwest.  When removed from the water, as here, its body is very limp and arms even fall off.  It has very active pedicellariae.  If one of these or even a dropped-off arm is put into a tank containing scallops the scallops will go crazy trying to swim away.  Caught subtidally in Rosario Strait, WA
Gorgonocephalus eucnemis The "basket star" is a relative of brittle stars but the arms branch repeatedly.  It looks like a bush in the wind on the bottom because it slowly moves its arms about.  It captures small plankton with the tiny arm tips.  Found subtidally in Rosario strait, WA

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Pictures of Interesting and Seldom-Seen Deep-Sea Species:
(My thanks to Jim Childress of UCSB, on whose NSF-funded cruises most of these pictures were taken) 

Deep-Sea (midwater)Shrimp:

Pasiphaea chacei A midwater shrimp (family Pasiphaeidae) found at depths of around 
300-500 m off California. Notice that part of the body and most of 
the abdomen are clear. Length: 6cm. File size: 5k 
Parapasiphae sulcatifrons Another midwater Pasiphaeid but found deeper than P. chacei. Note 
the all-red color characteristic of deeper-living species, and the long skinny front pincers characteristic of Pasiphaeids. Caught off Pt Conception, CA 9-95. 
Length: 8 cm. File size: 8k 
Systellaspis braueri A deepliving Oplophorid shrimp found off California. Caught at 900m 
depth in San Clemente Basin, CA 5-96. 
Length: 8cm. File size: 9K 
Sergestes similis This shrimp (or prawn) is found in large numbers off California, at 200-400m depths during the day. It swims up and down using long antennae to search for food. It is "half-red" (and half clear). The back 
part of the red organs in its thorax is bioluminescent and turnable so it 
can erase its shadow. Length 5 cm (antennae 15 cm). File size: 31K 
Notostomus gibbosus A deepliving Oplophorid shrimp off Hawaii. This individual is carrying 
eggs. Note the inflated dorsal carapace--this species achieves neutral 
buoyancy by storing ammonium there. Length: 7 cm. File size: 17.4k 
Notostomus elegans and
Notostomus gibbosus
These two Notostomus species look similar but N. elegans (top) has more ridges on the side of the carapace and an extra ridge on the rostrum 
above the eye. The dark-red color and inflated carapace are 
characteristic of Notostomus. Caught 7-96 off Hawaii at about 800 m. 
File size: 16K 
Acanthephyra acutifrons and
Acanthephyra eximia
Two more midwater Oplophorid shrimp from off Hawaii. They are both 
large and live from 500-1000m deep. Note the longer rostrum on 
A. acutifrons (top). File size: 29K 
Acanthephyra prionota A rare deepliving Oplophorid off Oahu. Caught 7-96 at 1200m depth. 
Not too great a picture but this guy is seldom seen alive! 
File size: 24K 
Acanthephyra gracilipes A deepliving Oplophorid seldom seen, and never before recorded from the 
central Pacific. Caught off Hawaii 7-96 at 1200m depth. 
Length: 5 cm. File size: 20.6K 

Other Interesting Deep-Sea Species:

Gigantocypris draconteralis
with eggs
Gigantocypris is the world's largest ostracod, or seed shrimp. The body is enclosed within a large carapace hinged like a clam shell. This lady is 
about 1.5 cm diameter, and the orange globes under her carapace are eggs. Caught off Hawaii at 2000 to 4000+m depth. File size: 4.6K 
Phyllosoma larva This odd-looking larva is from a lobster. Its body is clear and leaflike. The head is at the top of the picture. It swims in the upper 100m or so. 2 cm long. Found off Hawaii. File size: 21K 
Batfish juvenile Weird, huh? Caught in deep midwater off Hawaii 7-96. About 4 cm long. 
File size: 3.4K 
Gigantactis macronema
(whipnose anglerfish) 
This anglerfish was caught at 1200m in San Clemente Basin, CA 5-96. This animal was in good shape, and alive for the photo. Note the red "esca", or lure. The jet black body lets it hide in the dark depths. 
The lure glows. File size: 22K 

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