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a krill and two copepods from the Arctic Ocean

Plankton Portraits

Marine mammals, fish, and seabirds all depend on abundant tiny planktonic animals for food, especially krill and copepods, little drifting crustaceans that in turn eat much tinier single-celled organisms. WHOI biologist Carin Ashjian led a 2009 research cruise to study the Arctic Ocean ecosystem, chronicled as a Polar Discovery expedition. Shown here are a krill (upper animal, about an inch long) and two copepods (a larger Calanus and a smaller Pseudocalanus, bottom center) collected on that expedition. (Photo by Chris Linder, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)


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