Stringy plankton creatures

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Frank O

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Hi all, last weekend I did a night dive in Kona, Hawaii, at a site where manta rays are often seen (sadly, we didn't see any on our dive). When I held my HID light a few inches from the palm of my hand, I could feel my hand bombarded by countless speck-sized plankton creatures.

Then I noticed something even more interesting. While doing my safety stop at around 15 feet, I noticed some stringy creatures in among the small speck-sized things. The string creatures were each about 2 or 3 inches long and about as big around as a fat thread or thin string. If I looked hard enough, it appeared that there was a bluish color running down their body, with more of a yellowish color at the fringes. Most interestingly, I could see these creatures kind of snapping out to strike at the tiny speck-like things (perhaps catching them in a mouth I was unable to see?).

So, I have two questions. (a) What would typically be the speck-sized plankton creatures in Hawaii (I gather it's the same stuff that mantas go after)? (b) Any idea about these predatory stringy things in the water column? Thanks for any thoughts.
 

Frank O

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Thanks, Leslie -- that looks about as I remembered them. (I had a wide-angle lens on my camera at the time, so pictures were a no-can-do.)

If anyone has thoughts about the speck-like things that both these worms and the manta rays find palate-pleasing, I'd be very interested.
 

archman

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LeslieH said:
They're bizarre & gorgeous if you can get them under a microscope.

You know, I've been saying something along those effects for bloody years to undergrads in teaching labs.

"Look at these mysids. Their eyestalks are AMAZING."

Almost none of them *fall for it*. They much prefer Play-Dough and plastic toy models.:D
 
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