Common Name: Northern Krill

Scientific Name: Meganyctiphanes norvegica

 

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Arthropoda

Class: Crustacea

Order: Euphausiacea

Family: Euphausiidae

Genus: Meganyctiphanes

Species: M. norvegica

Northern krill are really interesting animals. For instance, they are intensely red on their abdomen from carotenoids which is an indication that it feeds off of copepods. They are about 1.2-1.5in (3-4 cm) in height. They weigh about 0.017 oz (0.5 g) at maturity. They also have relatively short legs. M. norvegica have a wide range in habitat. They can be found in the North Atlantic ocean, Arctic ocean, and the Mediterranean Sea. They can also endure difference in climate change. For example, they can range from sub-arctic zones up to Mediterranean temperatures. If you are looking for northern krill in the ocean they can be found anywhere from the surface to a depth of 984 ft. (300 m). Northern krill reproduce usually in the winter in the Mediterranean Ocean.

 

But in the summer they reproduce in colder arctic waters. The maturity of Northern Krill is after about a year. They generally have two breeding seasons, because their life span is about 2.5 years which isn’t very long. These amazing marine animals are significant to humans with commercial fisheries in Canada, and small-scale harvesting in the Mediterranean region. They feed mostly on copepods, phytoplankton, and other euphauslids. Their predators are mainly marine mammals, fishes, and birds. M. norvegica have pretty interesting behaviors. For example, they sometimes may make a swarm. Usually, swarms are segregated by sex. These swarms contain 800,000 individuals per every 35 cubic ft. They can extended to for more than 1,075 ft squared.

 

Author: Bayli M.

Published: 3/2008

 

Sources:
http://www.answers.com/Meganyctiphanes%20norvegica http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meganyctiphanes_norvegica

 

Photo Credit:
http://www.instablogsimages.com/images/2009/07/28/northern-
krill_jZRCQ_11446.jpg&esq=1&page=1&ndsp=22&ved=1t:429,r:0,s:0

 

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