The Pluteus Trip is a music compilation that I created inspired by the life of these nifty echinoderm larvae named pluteus. It was released more than ten years ago in my (now defunct) music blog ccNeLaS.
The album is freely available at:
Please find the original description below and enjoy the trip!
Plutei are born in the seawater. They represent a specific life stage (larva) of some marine invertebrates, the Echinoderms. Most of them are less than 1mm long, so tiny that inertial forces are dominated by viscous forces of the water.
Just imagine if air was honey and we had to go for a walk… Plutei can swim and feed in this environment using their long arms and cilia. However, Plutei are ephemeral. They swim (and eat) for weeks or maybe months, before something else takes place.
Currents can take them really far away from the place they were born. Millions of Plutei are born at once. How many would survive? How many would be thousands of miles away? How many would get proper food and not be eaten?
Plutei carry the tissue of adults inside them. The food they eat goes to adult tissues. In the end, the adult in formation takes over the larval body and the Pluteus is gone.
Plutei are part of the ocean’s hidden life. Organisms we can’t see easily, but that certainly got in between our toes when walking along the beach, or were swallowed during a swim…
At some point in our lives, we have all been through that (=embryonic cleavage).
Metamorphosis is a dramatic life-changing event for many invertebrates. It’s the intersection between two distinct lives – larval and adult. It is how a caterpillar becomes a butterfly.
The process is fascinating, specially when you have the chance to see it happening with your own eyes. You too can see it in the video A Sea Biscuit’s Life.
Because intersection is essentially another word for metamorphosis, I submitted a photomicrograph of a metamorphosing sea biscuit from my master’s thesis research. It made it to the final and was a runner-up!
I also here salute the echinoderms as a noble group especially designed to puzzle the zoologist.Book: The Invertebrates: Echinodermata (1955)
Author: Libbie Henrietta Hyman