I LOVE how you can see the egg strands of parasitic penellid copepods streaming off the trailing edge. The disc-like eggs form long strings like a stack of casino chips, but the adult copepods are anchored in the flesh. At up to a foot in length, they’re orders of magnitude larger than their free-living relatives and totally unrecognisable. There’s a great sequence in Blue Planet where floating sea gulls peck at penellids on a basking sunfish
What awesome video footage! Thanks for sharing. Also, thanks to Al for the info on the egg strands!
Those things can really motor. I never realized sunfish were so agile in the water.
I think the little ones like those are pretty agile, but the bigger they get the more they lumber along. They’re really smart too, and very amenable to training in an aquarium setting. They struggle a little bit with understanding walls, though, as do many species that spend their entire life cycle in the pelagic zone.