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Definition

Plankton: are very small or microscopic organisms that float freely with oceanic currents. They usually live near the surface of the water.  Plankton are an important source of food for fish and other larger organisms.

There are different types of plankton. Phytoplankton are small plants that produce their own food (through photosynthesis).  Zooplankton are tiny animals that eat other plankton for food.

Hawaiian Translation: ‘Ōulaula


Example

copepodsbaby copepods

Copepods (above left) are one of the most common zooplankters. They feed on diatoms and are often found in great numbers when diatoms are blooming. Baby copepods (above right) lack the long antennae and tail but grow it very soon.


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