In the saltwater aquarium and reef tank hobby, we talk about feeding our corals and small fish with phytoplankton and zooplankton quite often. However, we discuss these various types of creatures as little more than food items, but the phytoplankton and zooplankton which form the food web supporting the ocean are living plants, living animals, and some of them kind of live like both plants and animals.
Phytoplankton are the microscopic plants that absorb sunlight to produce sugars that form the base of the entire food web. Meanwhile zooplankton are the macro and microscopic animals that eat phytoplankton and not only serve as important food items, but their importance to shaping the oceans, and the earth, is profound both when they are alive and after they die.
This cool Deep Look video dives into the different types of plankton just a little bit, but best of all is how it presents them in a gorgeous light and simple framing. We know that plankton is a very important part of the marine environment, but these are living things we’re talking about, often with huge, abstract brushstrokes but they deserve to be better known, and better understood. [Gizmodo]