Zooplankton
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British pronunciation/zˈuːplæŋktən/
American pronunciation/zˈuːplæŋktən/
01

microscopic animals that float in bodies of water, serving as an important food source for many aquatic organisms

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zooplankton definition and meaning

What is a "zooplankton"?

Zooplankton refers to small, often microscopic animals that drift in bodies of water, such as oceans, lakes, and rivers. They are an essential component of the aquatic food chain and serve as a primary food source for many larger organisms. Zooplankton comes in various shapes and sizes, ranging from tiny crustaceans to jellyfish larvae. They exhibit diverse feeding strategies, with some being filter feeders, consuming tiny particles suspended in the water, while others are predators, preying on smaller zooplankton or even other microorganisms. Despite their small size, zooplankton plays a vital role in maintaining the balance of marine and freshwater ecosystems, contributing to nutrient cycling and energy transfer.

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