School of Life Sciences | Ask A Biologist

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Ask A Biologist heading
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Plankton Zoom Gallery

By Dr. Biology and Amy Hansen

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  • Micrometer: a very small unit of length. There are one million micrometers in a meter.
  • Microscopist: a scientist that mainly uses a microscope in their research.
  • Organism: a living thing that can be small like bacteria or large like an elephant.
  • Plankton: a group of free floating organisms living in water that includes many kinds of plants and animals... more

Plankton Up-close

Plankton comes in many shapes and sizes. These are just a few of the thousands of examples. Click on any of the plankton samples in the gallery below and use the zoom tool to explore the different shapes and textures of these amazing organisms.

Want to learn more about plankton? We also have a companion story called Invisible Watery World that you might like to check out.


Amoeba Zooplankton Copepod nauplius (larva) Zooplankton Ciliate Zooplankton
Amoeba
Zooplankton
Copepod nauplius (larva)
Zooplankton
Ciliate
Zooplankton




Nematode Zooplankton Coelastrum (green algae) Phytoplankton
Fragilariopsis cylindrus (diatom) Phytoplankton
Nematode
Zooplankton
Coelastrum (green algae)
Phytoplankton
Fragilariopsis cylindrus (diatom)
Phytoplankton




Chlamydomonas (green algae) Phytoplankton
Filamentous cyanobacteria and pennate diatoms Centric diatom Phytoplankton
Chlamydomonas (green algae)
Phytoplankton
Filamentous cyanobacteria and pennate diatoms
Phytoplankton
Centric diatom
Phytoplankton




Copepod nauplius (larva) Zooplankton Tetraselmis and rotifer Phytoplankton and zooplankton Pennate diatom Phytoplankton
Filamentous green algae
Phytoplankton
Tetraselmis and rotifer
Phytoplankton and zooplankton
Pennate diatom
Phytoplankton




Tetraselmis Phytoplankton Scenedesmus Phytoplankton Pennate diatom Phytoplankton
Tetraselmis
Phytoplankton
Scenedesmus
Phytoplankton
Pennate diatom
Phytoplankton




In case you are wondering why there are white lines on each image, they are used to show the size of each plankton. Microscopists call these lines scale bars, because they let a person know the size of an object. All the white lines above are equal to 50 micrometers.

ant, photo by Alex Wild

It's like having your own microscope! Visit our Zoom Gallery to explore and have fun zooming in and moving around each image.

Share to Google Classroom

Be part of Ask A Biologist

by volunteering, or simply sending us feedback on the site. Scientists, teachers, writers, illustrators, and translators are all important to the program. If you are interested in helping with the website we have a Volunteer page to get the process started.

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ant, photo by Alex Wild

It's like having your own microscope! Visit our Zoom Gallery to explore and have fun zooming in and moving around each image.

Share to Google Classroom

Be part of Ask A Biologist

by volunteering, or simply sending us feedback on the site. Scientists, teachers, writers, illustrators, and translators are all important to the program. If you are interested in helping with the website we have a Volunteer page to get the process started.