Copepod from Antarctica within phytoplankton

prey organism of Euphausia superba

click into image to go to higher magnification

Name: please email if you know it

Scientific name:

Details: please email if you know it

Status: alive in tank onboard fisheries research vessel FFS "Walther Herwig" in unfliltered seewater, background digitally removed, XENON flash high speed illumination


Special: Copepods are the key organism in the foodchains of the oceans worldwide, considered by some scientists to be the largest biomass on earth (from all species visible with the naked eye, competing with antarctic krill on that title), they are preyed upon by clupeids, euphausids, mysids and most of the juvenile stages of nearly all fish species. They hover in the open water, the antennae act as parachute to prevent sinking. Most copepods filter with their legs around the mouth tiny phytoplankton (visible as small dots in the image), which they suck towards the front part with a minute pumping mechanism, then actively test, incorporate or eject each food item separately. Copepods generally have a very simple eye, food is found and perceived chemically or by velocity shear. The antennae carry many setae for water velocity sensing. In this antarctic species at the very end a set of large sensors watch for water movements. By the wide base these sense time differences of the wave signals, and by the difference of arrival the copepod calculates the exact direction of an attacking predator. Copepods are also amongst the fastest escapers observed in water, and the hydrodynamic of its flight is not fully understood jet but full of fascination and magic. During their dart the antenna are folded to the sides very close to the body, otherwise they would probably break startling up to a speed of 40 - 200 bodylenths a second. In this phase they are just above the optical resolution power of most fish eyes. At the end of this escape flight they need 60 milliseconds to expand their sensor antennae again - juvenile herring can utilize this moment of silence to catch the otherwise way too fast and hard to see escapers - giving both sides a fair chance. (escape video will be up on this server soon) - please email if you can add some here

here is another large copepod from plankton of Antarctica

Articles: Yen, Strickler, Paffenhoefer - please email if you can add some here (they have much better images and knowledge and are the real anchor for you to dive into copepod science, fascination and magic)

Copyright: Uwe Kils

Availability: GIF, TIFF, high resolution TIFF, JPEG, slide, high resolution film, VHS-tape, umatic, highband SP, digital tape, 16 mm film

Resolutions: details and segments at higher resolution, scan on the image with the mouse for links to higher resolutions or details

some other interesting World Wide Web links:

Copepod World  @ Strickler Labs

Ice copepods @ Institute for Polar Ecology (IPÖ)

back to uwe's server

images image bild bilder kartei service archiv film filme plankton nekton foodchain nahrungskette copepode kopepode wasserfloh krebs copepoda antarktis ozeanisch schwimmen biologie oceanography meereskunde antarktisch suedpolar flucht raeuber beute hering antenne antennen sensor rezeptor wasser druckwelle geschwindigkeit beute kinder university