Angel Fitor - It´s a purple world


Our collective understanding of the concept of predator, quite often brings back to our minds scenes of lions and cheetahs pursuing zebras and gazelles on the african savannah; or big white sharks ambushing seals and great bluefin tunas in the open ocean. Somehow, we are only able to understand predation, if velocity is present, preys are at least as active as predators, and they try to avoid them by running or swimming away. However, in the marine invertebrate world, most preys are motionless, the so-called sessile creatures, so most predators have indeed no hurry. Despite of its tiny size and beautifully delicate appearance, Prostheceraeus roseus, a flatworm, is in fact a lion on the Mediterranean seafloor. It feeds mainly on colonial ascidians of the genus Pycnoclavella, whose are detected by the chemical substances they pour into the water. During such “smelling battues”, pink flatworms use to roam across almost any geographic feature on their habitat, including the living parts of it. Image shows a specimen sliding among the spines of a sea urchin who was grazing on the vicinity of its prey. An image that tells a story of totally unknown universes, invisible codes, and living landscapes… just around the corner.

Location: Mediterranean sea, Spain

Tags: Angel Fitor, flatworm, invertebrate, pink, purple, sea urchin, underwater

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