- the aggregate of passively floating, drifting, or somewhat motile organisms occurring in a body of water, primarily comprising microscopic algae and protozoa.
Origin of plankton
Examples from the Web for plankton
Contemporary Examples of plankton
Jellyfish eat the eggs and larvae of other species higher on the food chain, as well as the plankton that those larvae would eat.Beware at the Beach, the Jellyfish Rule the Seas and It’s Our Fault
June 20, 2013
Plankton, those wily producers of every second breath of oxygen you breath, will be naked and vulnerable.The Gulf's Bigger Oil Disaster
September 11, 2010
Historical Examples of plankton
Many of the luminous marine animals are to be found in the plankton, while the littoral luminous forms are in the minority.The Nature of Animal Light
E. Newton Harvey
Both fish and plankton are consumed by humpback whales as well as by other predators.
By autumn, plankton concentrations diminish as light and nutrient levels decrease.
The plankton (small floating animals) is distributed in the morning, other animals as required.
The same method is followed by the pretty radiolaria which live floating (as plankton) at various depths of the sea.The Wonders of Life
- the organisms inhabiting the surface layer of a sea or lake, consisting of small drifting plants and animals, such as diatomsCompare nekton
Word Origin for plankton
Word Origin and History for plankton
1891, from German Plankton (1887), coined by German physiologist Viktor Hensen (1835-1924) from Greek plankton, neuter of planktos "wandering, drifting," verbal adjective from plazesthai "to wander, drift," from plazein "to drive astray," from PIE root *plak- (2) "to strike, hit" (see plague (n.)). Related: Planktonic.
- Small organisms that float or drift in great numbers in bodies of salt or fresh water. Plankton is a primary food source for many animals, and consists of bacteria, protozoans, certain algae, cnidarians, tiny crustaceans such as copepods, and many other organisms. Compare benthos nekton.