Portuguese man-of-war (Physalia utriculus). Also known as a bluebottle, it is not one organism, instead being a colony of hydrozoan animals. Members of the colony have distinct roles. One individual forms the float (partly seen at top left), which is filled with a mixture of nitrogen and carbon monoxide. Individual called gastrozooids are responsible for digesting food and passing it to the rest of the colony. Prey is captured by dactylozooids, which comprises a large stinging tentacle. Reproduction is carried out by gonozooids. The colony is planktonic, being carried around by ocean currents. It inhabits warm waters.
Science Photo Library was founded in 1981 by Michael Marten, one of the authors of "Worlds Within Worlds", a book exploring different ways to observe the universe - from electron micrographs, to images of earthrise taken from the Apollo spacecraft. When Marten started receiving requests for the beautiful images in the book, he had an idea of setting up Science Photo Library.
Since then, Science Photo Library has continued to work alongside world acclaimed photographers and the leading science and medical experts to provide a central source of the best science and specialist imagery available. Although the collection started with scientific images, it has grown to encompass all aspects of science and their impact on everyday life.
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