Marrus orthocanna

I just saw this picture on Wikipedia and loved it instantly. Every blop is a single animal (but they are all clones) and what you see is their colony. They are related to jellyfish (and therefore come from a quite old lineage, biologically speaking) and live in cold waters in the Arctic. The colony can swim backwards, forwards and sideways by pressing water out of the bell shaped medusae. The colony can be several metres long. There is a little more to read here.

This grey area between one individual and a colony can be seen as a step in evolution towards more complicated organisms.

And just to have put it out there, isn’t it pretty?

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