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Plankton

Page history last edited by Emily 9 years, 4 months ago

Plankton

 

Plankton (plankter if you wish for it to be singular) is a cell species. They are frequently eaten by other oceanic animals, though mostly the large ones, like whales and various species of fish. Plankton are typically regarded for their ecological niche, as they feed well-known species. They float freely through the oceanic currents, and are physically incapable of resisting, such as going in the opposite direction of the current.

 

Any living organism that follows the current of the ocean is classified as a plankton. Even crustaceans go through a phase where they are plankton.

 

When plankton die, they sink to the sea floor, and are fossilized. This helps create the oil we rely so heavily on today. In fact, the smell of the ocean is the smell of plankton dying.

 


 

Habitat

 

Plankton typically live in all ocean waters, but in the sunlight zone. They drift with the currents in this sunlight zone, where some produce air using photosynthesis. Like pointed out before, they live in the top layers of the ocean. They can also live in fresh water lakes.

 

Symbiotic Interactions

 

Plankton are capable of having symbiotic relationships with organisms that live inside coral polyps. They can be parasites as well, and give fungal diseases to their host. A common plankton parasite are the dinoflagellates, a species which live with/on other species and give diseases to. Yet most plankton symbiosis interactions remains unresolved, so the subject is lacking information.

 

 

Predator Adaptions

 

Plankton feed a large quantity of the oceanic organisms today. Such as the Box Jellyfish, and the Blue Whale. The Christmas Tree Worm filter feeds the plankton as well, which comes to the fact that they're a prime target for most of the filter feeders in the ocean. Some plankton defend themselves with an armored body, and some with spikes. When an organism attempts to eat a plankton with spikes, the spikes release a chemical which harms the organism and scares it away.

 

Prey Adaptions

 

As plankton drift through the seas, they swallow smaller plankton as they go along. Thus meaning they primarily feed upon the smaller plankton that drift as well, which would make them a type of filter feeder. Herbivorous plankton ingest alga-particles with their mouth. 

 

 Species comparison

 

Plankton and Krill

 

Differences: Their lifespans are different. Krill, for example, live an average life span of five years. With plankton, there is no knowing exactly, as there are thousands of species of plankton. However, the average would be a few months, maybe a year if the plankton is big and lucky. Another difference is that krill migrate, while plankton drift through the seas with no actual destination. Another could be that plankton produce air, while krill do not.

 

Similarities: A similarity would be that they are both consumed by filter feeders. They also share a common enemy, the several species of whales, such as the Minke Whale or the Blue Whale. Another similarity is that they are both incredibly small, allowing for them to be prey to several other species, not just the whales.

 

Resources:

 

Valley, Lilly. "How Do Plankton Get Their Food?" WikiAnswers. Answers, 2008. Web. 29 May 2013.

 

PG, Mark. "Result Filters." National Center for Biotechnology Information. U.S. National Library of Medicine, Mar.-Apr. 2004. Web. 29 May 2013.

 

Madison, James. "Plankton: Facts, Information, and Resources." The Free Resource RSS. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 May 2013.

 

Plankton. Photograph. Encyclopædia Britannica Image Quest. Web. 29 May 2013. http://quest.eb.com/images/139_1904804

 

"Krill." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 29 May 2013. Web. 29 May 2013.

 

John McN. Sieburth, Victor Smetacek, Jurgen Lenz. 1978. Pelagic Ecosystem Structure: Heterotrophic Compartments of the Plankton and Their Relationship to Plankton Size Fractions. Limnology and Oceanography, Vol. 23, No. 6. (Nov., 1978), pp. 1256-1263.

 

"How Does Plankton Protect Itself?" WikiAnswers. Answers, 21 May 2009. Web. 29 May 2013.

 

Comments (2)

serena cappuccio said

at 1:14 pm on Jun 2, 2013

"The smell of the ocean is the smell of plankton dying."
That must be hard for Plankton :U

Andrew Ratcliff said

at 7:04 pm on Jun 3, 2013

You killed the Ocean for me :( JK

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