krill

Krill are small crustaceans of the order Euphausiacea, and are found in all the world's oceans. The name "krill" comes from the Norwegian word krill, meaning "small fry of fish", which is also often attributed to species of fish. Krill are considered an important trophic level connection – near the bottom of the food chain. They feed on phytoplankton and zooplankton, yet also are the main source of food for many larger animals. In the Southern Ocean, one species, the Antarctic krill, Euphausia superba, makes up an estimated biomass of around 379,000,000 tonnes, making it among the species with the largest total biomass. Over half of this biomass is eaten by whales, seals, penguins, squid, and fish each year. Most krill species display large daily vertical migrations, thus providing food for predators near the surface at night and in deeper waters during the day. Krill are fished commercially in the Southern Ocean and in the waters around Japan.

Read more in the app

Study reveals influence of krill availability on humpback whale pregnancies

Whale sharks may be the world’s largest omnivores. New research shows that the floating macroalgae, Sargassum, is a significant source of food for the species which has previously been observed eating plankton, including krill, copepods, crab larvae, tiny squid or fish.