Following in the flipper steps of his famous father Pierre-Yves Cousteau met with marine science students at the Andres Bello University this week along with representatives of the Chilean communications agency Alkance Comunicaciones to speak about Captain Cousteau's work and his own recent discover of a new species of fido plankton.
Pierre-Yves said that the discovery of fido plankton like many discoveries came about by accident. He was playfully dragging Captain Cousteau's famous red stocking cap in the wake of the Calypso while waiting for Henri Garcia to prepare for a dive and was surprised to pull it up full of tiny sea creatures that startled him when he came closer to examine them by making a sound that in his mind could only be described as that of "many tiny barking dogs."
Excited Cousteau immediately ran with the stocking cap full of the sea creatures to the lab aboard the Calypso to examine them under a microscope along with faithful lab technician Serge Paquette leaving poor Henri Garcia bewildered on the rear deck in his scuba gear.
Both Cousteau and Paquette were astonished to view what appeared to be a new type of plankton which instead of drifting seemed to be drawn towards the two humans rapidly swimming towards them wagging their rear cilia cheerfully, many it seemed to be carrying tiny stick or tennis ball shaped objects in their feeding aperture which when dislodged by the oceanographers was quickly retrieved by the tiny sea creatures as if they were playing a game for amusement of both parties.
Excited by the positive reinforcement that seemed to perpetuate this activity Paquette quickly devised a miniature underwater Frisbee, yet another Calypso first, and was rewarded by sending it in the direction of unoccupied plankton which swam as a mass towards the new object and seemed to compete with each other to seize it. A champion leapt it seems to grasp the miniature Frisbee and quickly returned it to Paquette who, not unfamiliar with the abilities of the disk, sent it back with a quick flick of the wrist.
According to Cousteau while inhabiting the pelagic zone along with other plankton species the fido plankton species differs by being quite comfortable around humans and with some training using plankton chow as a reward can be trained to roll over and play dead or fetch tiny house slippers.