Portuguese man-of-war (Physalia physalis) at the water's surface. This organism is a colony composed of many specialised polyps, groups of which form its structures. These include the gas- filled float and the long tentacles, as well as the reproductive cells and the many stomachs (neither seen). The Portuguese man-of-war cannot swim actively. It is usually found in warm, tropical waters, but the wind may carry it long distances, and it is often seen in colder regions. It catches young fish, shrimps and other small animals in its stinging tentacles. These are then carried to one of the stomachs for digestion. Photographed in the Bahamas.
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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