Tiny oceangoing animals called copepods have developed special skills to find their favorite plant foods in the vast open sea, researchers have found.
"The concentration of plant biomass is very, very low, so the organism feeding on plants need to search a huge volume of water in order to get enough food," study researcher Thomas Kiørboe, of the Technical University of Denmark, told LiveScience."That’s supposed to be their main food source. That’s why its a mystery."
New video of copepods, tiny crustaceans related to crabs and lobsters, reveals they use several methods to find dinner, including touch, chemical sensing and water disturbances from moving prey.
Copepods and other zooplankton, the generic name for tiny ocean animals, have to search through water 1 million times their volume to find enough food to survive every day. This is extremely difficult because at their size, water is as thick as molasses. Different species of zooplankton use different, specialized methods to find food…