Feb 25th – Krill are small shrimp-like crustaceans that are best known as the favored diet of the blue whale. The largest animal on earth, the giant blue whale can eat up to 6 million krill a day! There are many species of krill found throughout the world’s oceans, but the most well known krill is the Antarctic Krill or Euphausia superba. It can form large, dense swarms that attract whales, seals, penguins, squid, and predatory fish. By biomass, krill are perhaps the most successful multicellular animals in the world. Krill are a type of plankton (actually, zooplankton or “animal drifter”). Krill will eat even smaller zooplankton, but they prefer to dine on phytoplankton (“plant drifter”) – and it is the abundance of this plant-life in their bellies that accounts for the green splotch visible through their transparent skin. Although the international community outlawed the hunting of blue whales in 1966, many countries continue to harvest krill! Much of what is harvested becomes aquarium fish food, bait, or food for aquaculture fishes. But some is also used for human consumption. Krill have an intense shrimp-like taste and are very salty. They are generally served minced or as a paste. However, because their exoskeletons contain toxic fluoride, krill need to be processed immediately after harvesting. #365DaysOfMicroscopy


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