An annotated and incomplete list of some commercially-available videos about gelatinous zooplankton:


The Shape of Life: Life on the Move - Cnidarians, Sea Studios, Monterey, California, 2001?
This 55 minute video is one in a series about the major groups of invertebrates. The Cnidaria are featured in this episode about the evolution of movement and behavior in the animal kingdom. This video has nice sequences on anemones as well as medusae, and profiles 4 scientists including Drs. Jack Costello, Ian Lawn, and Bruce Robison and the historic Abraham Trembley.


Jellies and Other Ocean Drifters, Monterey Bay Aquarium, 1996.
This 35 minute video, narrated by Leonard Nimoy and backed by an interesting musical soundtrack, uses spectacular video sequences taken primarily from an underwater ROV (Remote Operating Vehicle) in Monterey Bay, California. It is arranged in three sections. The first is structured like a Star Trek Expedition to the midwater, showing marvelous footage of hydromedusae, siphonophores, ctenophores, and scyphomedusae, with glimpses also of salps, appendicularia, squid, octopus, and associated fishes. Spock/Nimoy's voice remarks on these alien organisms and their form specializations for living in a "liquid atmosphere", but without many specifics about the individual animals shown. The second portion of the video briefly takes the observer onto the Monterey Bay Aquarium Institute's ship to examine the ROV, as well as to the jellyfish culture facility at the Monterey Bay Aquarium. The last section returns to video footage of gelatinous animals, with a few more specifics about the animals themselves. The observations that jellies in the midwater ocean may be more typical of life on earth than humans are thought provoking. This VHS video is sold at the Monterey Bay Aquarium for $15.


The Living Invertebrates: Ctenophores. University of California, Los Angeles, 1991.
This 15 minute video describing ctenophores, "the most visually compelling organisms of the open sea", was filmed primarily by Bill and Peggy Hamner and George Matsumoto and features mostly ctenophores from southern California. Through high-quality video sequences, the general ctenophore body plan is described and further well-explained examples show the anatomy and functional morphology of the three main ctenophore groups - beroids, cydippids and lobates. Slow motion or still micrographs are used to further explain certain points. The video ends with a series of still photos of some of the new, unusual and ornate deep-sea ctenophores that have recently been seen from submersible vehicles, most of which are still undescribed. This video is available for rental through the UCLA Instructional Meia Library in both 3/4" videotape and 16 mm film formats.


Ocean Drifters. Episode of "Mysteries of the Deep" series by National Geographic Explorer, 1993.
This approximately one hour program features the world of drifting organisms in the ocean as seen during the early life of a loggerhead turtle born in Florida. The program begins by showing planktonic larvae of bottom-dwelling invertebrates and the communities living in and around floating Sargassum seaweed in the Gulf Stream. It briefly follows scientists SCUBA diving in the open ocean to study the community of near-surface gelatinous plankton including medusae, siphonophores, pteropods, worms and ctenophores. Then it dives into the midwater with the Johnson-Sea-Link manned submersible and looks at deeper-dwelling species of gelatinous animals and their bioluminescence. Returning to the surface, there is nice footage of the surface-drifter community including Physalia the Portuguese-Man-of-War, together with some fishes, nudibranchs, snails and the juvenile turtle. The program closes showing natural and human-generated drifting surface debris and defunct fishing gear, and discusses the threats of these and chemical pollution on ocean ecosystems. Originally shown as a television program, this is now available as a VHS video at the Monterey Bay Aquarium for $20.


Gelatinous Marine Zooplankton, University of California at Santa Barbara, 1984.
This 16 minute video was made by Dr. Alice Alldredge. It serves as a good introduction to all of the groups of gelatinous zooplankton with the possible omission of the chaetognaths. I have not seen this video but am told that the footage is quite nice. It can be purchased from Television Services, Department of Instructional Development, University of California, Santa Barbara CA 93106.


** This page is maintained by C.E. Mills; established October 1999; last updated 25 October 2000 **

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