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An important link

Crustaceans come in all sizes. At the top of the scale are crabs with foot-long legs and tasty lobsters. Down near the bottom are copepods — critters the size of a pencil point. This female copepod is about five millimeters long. Copepods live in fresh water and in the ocean. “They’re an important link in the food chain,” says WHOI biologist Carin Ashjian, who led a team of researchers on an April 2009 expedition to the Bering Sea to learn more about sea ice and how climate change could be affecting the region’s ecosystem.


(Photo by Chris Linder, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)


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