IMAGES: Baby Pictures From the Deep

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Science  21 Mar 2003:
Vol. 299, Issue 5614, pp. 1821
DOI: 10.1126/science.299.5614.1821e

Right now it's just a misshapen lump with snaky appendages, but this larva will grow up to be a star—a starfish, that is. Developmental biology students and researchers can see how starfish and other marine invertebrates begin life with this atlas from the University of Saskatchewan in Canada. The collection showcases light and electron microscope images of larvae snapped by Thurston Lacalli, now a professor emeritus at the university. The portraits capture youthful animals from seven phyla and include sea urchins, flatworms, and the transparent, fishlike amphioxus, one of our close relatives. An illustrated tutorial aimed at students and nonspecialists pinpoints structural characteristics of larvae from different groups and discusses the evolution of body designs. Lacalli intends to broaden the collection's taxonomic coverage by adding photos taken by other researchers.

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