Related to the jellyfish and corals, Siphonophore is a continuous chain of specialized polyps - individual animals that grow from one another in an organized colony. Some in the colony are devoted to feeding, armed with stinging cells to snag fish or invertebrates. Others are devoted to locomotion, propelling the whole group with a continuous pumping motion while some exist only to reproduce.
A crab clings to its floating host as both are swept out to sea near Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina. One role jellyfish play in the marine ecosystem is the transport of other animals across the ocean. Photo credit: Hannah Johnson