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Here's lookin' at ya! (Porpita)

Here's lookin' at ya! (Porpita)
Photo Information
Copyright: Jay Meeuwig (Shoot_Score) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 445 W: 302 N: 670] (2376)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2005-11-05
Categories: Ocean
Camera: Fuji FinePix 3800
Photo Version: Final Version, Original Version, Workshop
Theme(s): !"The eyes have it...", Underwater Wonder World 3 [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2007-06-12 0:26
Viewed: 9618
Points: 24
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
under the waterline
no place to retire
to another time
the eyes of the world now turn . . .


Beaches are special places... They are the interface between land and sea, and every so often there is some confusion. Here we have a Blue Button (Porpita porpita) that should have been swimming in the sea now resting on a beached cuttlebone... It won't be long and the hot Australian sun will have dried out this creature.

I had the distinct feeling I was being looked at. And not with approval...
Such a sad face.

Keywords: cnidarians, hydrozoans, hydroida, athecata, capitata, velellidae, blue sea stars, tentacles, gastrozooid, nematocysts, colony, zooxanthellae, marine biology, macroplankton, pleuston, surface drifters

""Chondrophores are an order of hydrozoans, gelatinous Cnidarians superficially resembling jellyfish. The order, Chondrophora, is small: it contains a single family (Porpitidae) with just two genera and approximately six species in total. The most familiar members include the Blue Button (Porpita porpita) and the By-the-wind Sailor (Velella velella).

Although related to jellyfish, chondrophores are actually colonial animals made up of an orderly cooperative of polyps or chondrophores.

The tiny individual animals are specialized to perform specific tasks; some form the central gas-filled disc (which is a golden brown colour and hardened by chitinous material) essential to keeping the colony afloat; others form radiating tentacles for tasks such as catching prey, reproduction, and digestion.

Velella species differ from Porpita species by their transparent, membranous sail-shaped floats; filled with gas, the membranes have a texture reminiscent of cellophane. Both genera have turquoise to dark blue mantles and tentacles, with lemon-yellow morphs occasionally encountered. Neither group is particularly large: the floats of Velellae are usually under 7.6 centimetres (3 inches) in diameter, while those of Porpita are usually less than 3.8 centimetres (1.5 inches). At the mercy of winds and currents, chondrophores are pelagic and drift in the open ocean. They are often seen in large aggregations; mass beachings are not unusual. Microplankton is a chondrophore's principal prey. Although none have stings, contact with the skin may cause irritation.

Chondrophores multiply by releasing tiny (0.3-2.5 millimetres or 0.01-0.09 inches) medusae which go on to develop new colonies. They are believed to have originated in the late Proterozoic period, some 650-540 million years ago.

More at SOURCE ; as well as here with many photos

Here is a public domain illustration

PS I am grateful to Yuri Hooker for his correct ID of the "Blue Button". Although related to jellyfish, it is not one. I have updated the note, the caption, as well as the correct location.

marhowie, dew77, Alex99, pankajbajpai, bobair, anniejo, scottevers7, livius has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To scottevers7: I love walking the beach and tidal poolsShoot_Score 1 06-14 13:17
To anniejo: (hope you got the sand cleared off your knees aShoot_Score 1 06-13 14:38
To dew77: "Blue Button" or "Star Drifter"Shoot_Score 1 06-12 12:10
To marhowie: "Blue Button" or "Star Drifter"Shoot_Score 1 06-12 12:09
To JPlumb: Blue Button it is.Shoot_Score 1 06-12 12:08
To firesc: What it i...sShoot_Score 1 06-12 02:47
To marhowie: seldom looked into :)Shoot_Score 1 06-12 02:35
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • firesc (12)
  • [2007-06-12 1:50]
  • [+]

I don't know what this is, but it looks fabulous! I like the colors and the contrasts, very good lighting, too.

A very good composition, with an interesting point of view.

Well done!

Blue Button it is. Still a great shot Jay, "that which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet".

Thanks, John

  • Great 
  • dew77 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4432 W: 248 N: 4028] (13270)
  • [2007-06-12 6:39]
  • [+]

Hello Jay,
Very nice and unusual capture.Nicely composed and exposed.Your note is perfect as always.

Hey Jay,
A photograph is usually looked at - seldom looked into :)

  • Great 
  • Alex99 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4072 W: 133 N: 7096] (23735)
  • [2007-06-12 13:01]

Hi, dear Jay.
I don’t know what is better: note or picture. Bravo, my friend, excellent, interesting and touching work. Beautifulness and quality of the picture are perfect. Cool 3D image. My compliments and TFS.

P.S. I am very busy now but I can estimate your brilliant WS to my Award Academy shot. Thank you very much and once more Bravo. Yours Ukrainian friend Alexei.

Impressionnant avec ces jeux de couleurs.

hi jay,
very nice capture, sharp image with good details, the colours and the contrast are fine, well composed shot,
tfs & regards

Hi Jay,
this is a most unusual subject you have photoed and something that I never even knew existed.The detail of what looks like a blue sun flower sure is unique in my experience,I don't recalling seeing anything quite like it but you have captured it with good detail,colour and focus.Tfs. Bob

Beautiful shot of this lil creature.....wonderful contrast with his "resting spot", and this was a good color choice on his part. I really enjoyed your notes, as well as the capture of an exceptionally clear and concise photo!
Great POV (hope you got the sand cleared off your knees and elbows) as well.

  • Great 
  • arfer Gold Star Critiquer [C: 2731 W: 0 N: 0] (0)
  • [2007-06-13 23:08]

Hello Jay

What an unusual an interesting post.The inside of this blue button looks like a tiny constellation.Wonderful sharp details and focus.The DOF is excellent.TFS


Hi Jay,
WOW! some intricate detail shown in that Blue Button. Nice macro work. The colors look great. Superb supporting notes. Very informative. I love walking the beach and tidal pools to see all the small marine life.

  • Great 
  • clnaef Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 778 W: 67 N: 645] (6814)
  • [2007-06-14 12:44]

Très décoratif, bien vu !
Bonne journée.

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