In the Middle of the Chain

Zooplankton include thousands of distinct species belonging to very different groups. Among these species are protists, coelenterates, worms, crustaceans, and other small, weakly swimming organisms. Unicellular, eukaryotic protists constitute a large group of species of zooplankton. They constitute an extensive and varied community in the food network. The phytoplankton, which are capable of photosynthesis, provide food for the zooplankton. Phytoplankton also serve as food for echinoderms, crustaceans, and larval-stage fish. Once they grow up, the larvae serve as food for schools of small fish, which are in turn food for larger fish, including plankton-feeding whales that sometimes eat these small fish.



Euphausia superba Is one of the most abundant and successful species on the Earth. Krill can live five to 10 years, experiencing 10 moltings before reaching their maximum length. Krill typically emit a greenish light that can be seen at night

Krill have only one large, compound, black eye.

Are typically oceanic, though some have adapted to fresh water, and others are even adapted to life on land. All have a body divided into a 13-segment cephalothorax with 13 pairs of appendages, a stomach with six segments, and, at the extreme posterior, an unsegmented telson.

With their feathery legs krill filter out the small algae on which

Octopuses, penguins, fish consumers


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