Tiny Giants Ordering

Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences is offering pieces from Tiny Giants, its photographic art exhibit of marine microbes, for purchase. By purchasing a print from this exclusive collection, lovers of art and nature will have the enjoyment of the photograph itself and the satisfaction of knowing that they are supporting ongoing research to help advance what is known about the ocean's tiniest inhabitants and their vital role in keeping the planet balanced.

Select one from the many wonderful images below. Sizes range from 40 x 40 inch squares to larger horizontal or vertical images of 50 x 60 inches or 60 x 50 inches, respectively. Each image is printed on aluminum that not only enhances the vibrancy of the colors but ensures longevity and resiliency of the artwork.

Please contact tinygiants@bigelow.org to order a tiny giant print today

Tiny Giant #1: Foundation of marine food web

$2,100

Chain-forming diatoms from the genus Thalassiosira often initiate the early spring phytoplankton bloom. These diatoms provide an important source of food at the base of the marine food web just as larval fish are looking for their first meal.

Size: 36 x 24 inches (horizontal)
Credit: Laura Lubelczyk, Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences with funding provided by NASA

Tiny Giant #2: Canary in the coal mine

$2,600

Emiliania huxleyi is a marine algal species that makes plates or coccoliths out of calcium carbonate, which are particularly sensitive to ocean acidification. The White Cliffs of Dover in the UK resulted from the burial and preservation of millions of years of accumulation of these algal skeletons.

Size: 40 x 40 inches (square)
Credit: Dr. Dolors Blasco, Institut Ciencies del Mac, CSIC

Tiny Giant #3: Bioengineering a solar panel

$2,600

Light-harvesting green chloroplasts are distributed throughout the cylindrical diatom Coscinodiscus. This top-down view of a single cell shows the nano-scale architecture of its silica skeleton, which is so efficient at collecting light that engineers are copying it in solar panel designs.

Size: 40 x 40 inches (square)
Credit: Dr. Peter Countway, Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences with funding provided by National Science Foundation

Tiny Giant #4: Both plant and animal

$2,600

Silicoflagellates are organisms capable of obtaining energy through both photosynthesis and predation. This strategy, called mixotrophy, is relatively common among phytoplankton as it promotes survival when prey abundance is low or sunlight limited.

Size: 40 x 40 inches (square)
Credit: Laura Lubelczyk, Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences with funding provided by NASA

Tiny Giant #5: Last flight of the sea butterfly

$3,100

Pteropods (also known as sea butterflies) are tiny marine snails with shells particularly vulnerable to ocean acidification. Krill and fish eat these tiny snails, which are then consumed by larger fish, seabirds, and whales. A decline in pteropods could have dramatic impacts on the marine food web.

Size: 60 x 40 inches (horizontal)
Credit: Laura Lubelczyk, Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences with funding provided by NASA

Tiny Giant #6: Keystone species

$2,600

Copepods are the most abundant group of animals on the entire planet, found in all marine ecosystems, at all depths. They are key to a healthy, plentiful marine food web, consuming phytoplankton, and then becoming a meal themselves for juvenile fish and other marine organisms.

Size: 40 x 50 inches (vertical)
Credit: Dr. Peter Countway, Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences with funding provided by National Science Foundation

Tiny Giant #7: Three-horned giant

$2,600

Dinoflagellates, like this Ceratium, are distinguished by their “horns” or arms that increase their surface area, which increases their drag and helps them stay afloat, while also discouraging predators. These organisms are a source of phytoplankton blooms that give rise to “red tides.”

Size: 40 x 40 inches (square)
Credit: Laura Lubelczyk, Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences with funding provided by NASA

Tiny Giant #8: Summer bloomers

$2,600

Unlike many dinoflagellates that bloom in the spring, Ceratium are summer bloomers. Scientists are trying to understand if differing bloom cycles are due to environmental conditions that favor these cells, or a lack of organisms that graze upon them, or a combination of both.

Size: 50 x 40 inches (horizontal)
Credit: Dr. Peter Countway, Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences with funding provided by National Science Foundation

Tiny Giant #9: Revealing the past

$2,600

Ostracods are shrimp-like crustaceans in a two-valved shell. They are incredibly numerous and an important food source for many marine species. They provide important information about water conditions, especially temperature, in the fossil record.

Size: 40 x 40 inches (square)
Credit: Laura Lubelczyk, Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences, in collaboration with Dr. Erica Goetze, University of Hawaii

Tiny Giant #10: Nature's pure glass

$2,600

Diatoms (a type of single-celled algae) have been around since the age of some of the largest dinosaurs. As they die, they sink to the bottom of the ocean and are fossilized. Huge deposits of their tiny glass shells called diatomaceous earth are mined and used in many industrial applications.

Size: 40 x 50 inches (vertical)
Credit: Laura Lubelczyk, Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences with funding provided by NASA

Tiny Giant #11: Fall harvest

$2,600

Phytoplankton are microscopic plant-like organisms at the base of marine food webs. Each fall, some phytoplankton proliferate into a bountiful harvest in response to prevailing environmental conditions. Scientists are looking at the implications of ongoing changes in the timing and duration of fall blooms.

Size: 50 x 40 inches (horizontal)
Credit: Dr. Peter Countway, Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences with funding provided by National Science Foundation

Tiny Giant #12: Mysteries remain

$2,600

A single drop of seawater can hold hundreds of thousands microbes, most of which have not been identified. This is one of them. Scientists believe it could be a dinoflagellate cyst or even pollen blown offshore from a plant. Much remains to be discovered.

Size: 40 x 50 inches (vertical)
Credit: Laura Lubelczyk, Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences with funding provided by NASA

Tiny Giant #13: Floating chains

$2,600

Phytoplankton like these diatom cells obtain energy through photosynthesis, but to do so, they must stay afloat in the top layer of the ocean where sunlight penetrates. They have developed strategies to minimize sinking such as increasing surface area by forming long chains and possessing spines to increase drag.

Size: 40 x 50 inches (vertical)
Credit: Dr. Peter Countway, Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences with funding provided by National Science Foundation

Tiny Giant #14: Multi-functional scales

$2,600

Coccoliths are the distinguishing scale-like feature of phytoplankton known as coccolithophores. Scientists hypothesize that these calcium carbonate “liths” help them sink to access nutrients, avoid predation, and provide sun protection. These highly reflective scales can create a milky-turquoise color that is visible from space.

Size: 40 x 50 inches (vertical)
Credit: Laura Lubelczyk, Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences with funding provided by NASA

Tiny Giant #15: Divide and conquer

$2,600

Diatoms (single-cell algae) extract dissolved silicon from seawater to form a glass wall composed of a top and bottom valve that overlap like a petri dish. Each time they divide, diatoms get progressively smaller until eventually they must reproduce sexually to restore their original size.

Size: 50 x 40 inches (horizontal)
Credit: Laura Lubelczyk, Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences with funding provided by NASA

Tiny Giant #16: Jellies - gelatinous zooplankton

$3,100

Salps are uniquely adaptive eaters, feeding on the smallest phytoplankton to large bacterial-sized food particles. This adaptability has led salps to achieve very high growth rates. Large populations can deplete a region of its standing stock of phytoplankton, with significant ecosystem impacts.

Size: 60 x 40 inches (horizontal)
Credit: Dr. Nick Record, Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences with funding provided by National Science Foundation

Tiny Giant #17: Predator in pink

$2,600

Unlike other dinoflagellates, the pink-tinged Protoperindinium is capable of capturing and digesting cells much larger than its size by excreting cytoplasm to envelope and digest prey outside of its body.

Size: 50 x 40 inches (horizontal)
Credit: Dr. Peter Countway, Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences with funding provided by National Science Foundation

Tiny Giant #18: Beauty belies danger

$3,100

A closeup of the dinoflagellate, Protoceratium reticulatum. Some dinoflagellates can cause potentially toxic 'harmful algal blooms' or 'red tides,” which occur when environmental conditions allow their populations to grow rapidly and accumulate to extremely high cell concentrations.

Size: 60 x 40 inches (horizontal)
Credit: Laura Lubelczyk, Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences with funding provided by NASA