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Calanus and krill

Sizing up zooplankton

Zooplankton come in a wide range of sizes, for comparison, here's a Calanus copepod next to a krill. The krill or euphausiid is about one and one-half centimeter long while copepods are usually three millimeters or just over from tip to tail. The other two tiny copepods —one at the bottom and one at left— are Pseudocalanus, which are only one millimeter long. Imagine an animal as big as a 60-foot bowhead whale can support itself on animals this teeny. But then, these animals are pulling off a similar trick, eating microzooplankton 1/1000th their size. (Photo by Chris Linder, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)


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