Monday, October 29, 2007

Tiny Visitors

In the morning, after Wendell's Mawsoni feast, we discovered a swarm of krill in the dive hole under the hut. I suspect that they might have been doing mop up duty of Wendell's dinner, although many species of krill are mainly herbivorous (i.e., plant eaters).

Krill is a non-specific term used to describe open-ocean crustaceans known as euphausiids. Their importance in the Antarctic ecosystem cannot be overstated. They are the food source for numerous species, from fish to whales. They are so important to the health of the ecosystem that they have been protected by a special treaty.

For more information on Antarctic krill, see:

Erratum: These tiny creatures are not krill. They are amphipodes, which explains why they are feasting on the leftovers of Mawsoni. For more information on these creatures, see: It seems that they are relatives of fleas.

Frankly, they look like the krill photos to me, but what do I know....