David Liittschwager. Blue Button.

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Common name: Blue Button, Scientific name: Porpita porpita.

A sunburst in blues, this jellyfish relative called a blue button isn't one organism but many, joined at the gas-filled hub that keeps the colony afloat. Each tentacle has a specialized role in the cooperative catching prey, digesting, or reproducing. The pigment blocks ultraviolet rays.

Photographed on board the NOAA Ship Oscar Elton Sette, Larval Billfish Survey off Kona, Hawaii, September 19, 2006.

David Liittschwager has photographed more than a dozen assignments for National Geographic, specializing in portraiture of natural history subjects.

Follow David on Instagram @davidliittschwager.

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