Tiny, abundant, but often overlooked, amphipods inhabit watery environments all over the globe.
On our coast, these shrimp-like crustaceans scavenge for food and make tasty morsels for larger ocean animals. Like fireflies, amphipods in this family (Scina crassicornis) are able to light up, or bioluminesce. Scientists believe amphipods use bioluminescence to intimidate predators by making themselves look a little larger.
This amphipod was collected off the coast of Georgia on a research cruise and photographed by the Southeastern Regional Taxonomic Center (SERTC) at DNR’s Marine Center in Charleston.
See more images from SERTC’s collections here.
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