Tunicate larva, light micrograph

Tunicate larva, light micrograph

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Caption: Tunicate larva. Light micrograph of a tunicate (or sea squirt) larva (family Salpidae). This is a small marine invertebrate whose larval stage has a primitive backbone (notochord, red) and a tail (red). The larva is free-swimming (pelagic). The body consists of a sack with siphons to pass water through for filter-feeding and movement. The adult form of some tunicates attaches to a substrate and loses its nervous system. This salp though, with a barrel-shaped body, is completely pelagic and is common in the open ocean. Magnification unknown.

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Keywords: animal, backbone, chordate, juvenile, larva, larval, light micrograph, marine, nature, notochord, pelagic, plankton, salp, salpidae, sea squirt, slide, tunicate, urochordata, wildlife, young, zoology, zooplankton

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