marine biology image database


For additional details visit our About page or contact us.

What is it?

Cifonauta is an image database for marine biology.


Share and disseminate scientific information and marine biodiversity through images.


We have today more than 10 thousand photos and 250 videos of protozoans, animals, and plants. This material is the result of scientific research and teaching activities in marine biology made available by researchers and students. New images are added regularly to the database.


Content is organized by information such as taxonomic classification, stage and mode of life, geolocation, and others. The user can use these tags to browse and refine queries by combining them. Also, we created thematic tours, selections of representative images about a specific topic (eg, diversity of marine larvae), that serve as a starting point to explore the contents of the database.


Make use of the vast photographic documentation of scientific research, that are rarely published in full, to enrich the science outreach in marine biology.


Database content is made available under a flexible license that allows reuse of material for non-commercial purposes, provided the source is cited.


Cifonauta is an initiative of the Marine Biology Center of University of São Paulo and was developed by Alvaro Migotto and Bruno Vellutini under the Call MCT/CNPq nº 42/2007 - Dissemination and Popularization of Science & Technology (process nº 551951/2008-7) from CNPq.


Infraestructure was developed with open source software like Python, Django, and PostgreSQL and Cifonauta's source code is open. Read more details.


Database name and logo is based on a type larva from bryozoans, colonial and sessile marine invertebrates. Cyphonautes larvae live in the water column for weeks until settling on some substrate, such as rocks or algae. It then goes under metamorphosis to the adult form originating a new colony.

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