Monday, August 6, 2012

05 Aug 2012 - Mrs. Burger Would be Proud

[Ed: Somehow this post didn't go up when it was supposed. I blame user (joe) error. Sorry about that.]

Or not. But I do think she’d be miiiiiighty impressed.

Besides phromina, there are a lot of other neat organisms in the ocean.
Team Trainwreck (what we sometimes call ourselves in the lab in memory of certain events), just in our studies, have specifically been looking at myctophids (lantern fish), krill, shrimp, juvenile squid, siphonophores, cheatognaths, amphipods.

Today I came across a deep sea friend with which I go way back.

…the Dragonfish.

Today’s big dragonfish find! A male? Ooooooooh eerie eyessss. Photo by Emily Markowitz.

Back a long, long time ago when the world was young, a fledgling high school Emily was in the midst of a very big decision. She had to decide whether to go to a science school and pursue her interest of the deep sea or to undertake a fine arts degree so she could appreciate them for their amazing portrait.

OK, so it was a little over a year ago, but still…

In the build up for this great life changing decision, Emily was taking a variety of science classes as well as Mrs. Burger’s AP Studio Art. Our concentration portfolio had to include 12 pieces and a common theme. I choose deep sea marine life.

My rendering of a dragon fish from when high schoolers roamed the earth. Watercolors by Emily Markowitz, 2011

Back then, my renderings were inspired by The Deep: The Extraordinary Creatures of the Abyss by Claire Nouvian (Check out:, too bad I don’t see my original dragonfish there). It’s funny to think that now, as turn of events would have it, I’ve now seen some of them in real life.

The dragon fish above may not look too similar to my ‘interpretation,’ but this larval dragon fish may give a better representation…

 Still not clicking for you? Oh well, I guess that’s why I choose science. Photo by Emily Markowitz.
The dragon fish, for all their visual worth, have no really cool story (or at least that I know of) to tell like Phronima does. According to, the order etymology of Stomiiformes means “mouth-shape” (stoma is Greek for mouth and forma is Latin for shape)… which is pretty self explanatory.

Until next time,

Post script: NOM

Mouth of a larval dragonfish. Photo by Emily Markowitz