Sir Arthur Conan Doyle said, “It has long been an axiom of mine that the little things are infinitely the most important.” Maybe the Sherlock Holmes in me agrees and that is why I am fascinated by the little things. In this post are some of the tiniest things I have found in the ocean. All of them are smaller than one or two centimeters, and some of them I can’t explain.
This is a juvenile frogfish. It was no bigger than my thumbnail. They “hop” around on their front “legs” like a frog. As they get older, they take on the coloring of their environment and become almost invisible to predators and their prey.
Here a ghost shrimp poses on a Red Gorgonian. Only 5 mm or so, I could not see it without a magnifying lens.
The tube worms (above and below) are about two centimeters when their plumes are fully open.
The Pygmy seahorse (Hippocampus bargibanti) is a highly prized subject to photograph because of it’s super camouflage and general cuteness. This one was about a centimeter in length.
One of my favorite subjects to photograph is the nudibranch. This one is known as a California Chromodorid (or Hypselodoris californiensis). Although they can get up to 90 mm, this one was no longer than 10 mm.
A colorful Simnia (Delonovolva aequalis) lays eggs along the stem of a red gorgonian (below). It’s shell is around two cm long. If not for the eggs, it would have been very difficult to see, as it blends nicely with it’s environment.
Sometimes, things show up in photographs by accident. In the two photos below, I had another subject in mind, but when I blew up the image on the computer screen, I discovered tiny creatures. The first one is obviously a shrimp, about 2mm in length. The second is anyone’s guess. Just critters that resemble bugs. They are marked with arrows, and are less than 2mm.
In this case, the Sherlock in me gives way to Doris Lessing who said, “Small things amuse small minds.” She may be right.