Saltwater Baby

Posted by Ellen

This view of a juvenile bivalve mollusk (sp. Lima), enlarged 10x, won 12th place in Nikon's Small World competition for photos taken through a microscope. Because the specimen was virtually transparent, making it difficult to see under the microscope, special "darkfield" lighting techniques were necessary. The beam of light was blocked in the middle and scattered with mirrors around the periphery, so that it reached the specimen only from the edges and at a very low angle.

Dr. Gregory Rouse, whose mollusk this is, curates a collection of invertebrate sea critters at Scripps Institute in San Diego. His most recent publication: "Deep-sea swimming worms with luminescent 'bombs.'"