Thursday, June 20, 2013

Giving a whole new meaning to "shrimp"

Last week I shared some microscope photos of a megalopae hermit crab, which I was pretty excited about (there was high-fiving involved). But that reminded me of these little cuties that one of my bosses snapped:


They're shrimp embryos! I had the fun opportunity to dissect several shrimp from Prince William Sound and Mark Carls took advantage of the presence of gravid females to get some sweet shots. The picture above is of spot shrimp embryos, but we also saw coonstripe and pink shrimp.

coonstripe shrimp embryos

a closer view on those coonstripe babies

pink shrimp embryos still attached to their mother's pleopod

Their eyes are developed, but what I found especially neat was all of their little markings! (Remember seeing shrimp chromatophores from this post?) Once they grow up, each shrimp would have looked like this:

spot shrimp (Pandalus platyceros)
note the white spots on its first and fifth abdominal segments
(and try to ignore the white stripes on their carapace...)

coonstripe shrimp (Pandalus hypsinotis)
these guys have dark strips on their abdomen and
a bigger, arched carapace compared to the other shrimp 

pink shrimp (Pandalus borealis)
pink pink pink!

Those embryos were definitely the shrimpiest tiniest little shrimp I've ever seen!

"meep!" - spot shrimp embyros

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