Category Polar – Antarctic


Euphausia superba

There are around 85 krill species, ranging in size from 1cm to 14cm. The dominant species in the southern polar waters is the Antarctic krill (Euphausia superba), a small shrimp-like crustacean which plays a key role in the Antarctic food web. Krill is considered to be a keystone species, as it is the staple food of many fish, birds and mammals in the Southern Ocean. They are exclusively marine and have a life span of about 5 to 10 years. They are one of the most abundant and successful animal species on the planet. The total biomass of krill exceeds that of the human race. Put another way, the combined weight of the planet’s krill population is greater than the combined weight of every man, woman and child on earth...

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Well established, diverse sponge assemblages


With more than 5000 species known across the world, sponges, (Porifera) come in an incredible variety of colors and an amazing array of shapes, ranging from a few millimetres to two metres across. They are predominantly marine and are found in virtually all aquatic habitats, although approximately 150 species are found in freshwater. The phylum name Porifera means porebearing, reflecting the perforated surfaces of the sponge’s tissue.

Sponge shape and size is affected to some degree by the environmental conditions they inhabit – strong currents, differing substrata and so forth lead to a great diversity even amongst the same species. Sponges are primitive multi cellular animals whose porous body is supported by a fibrous skeletal framework...

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Erect bryozoans

In spite of there being a large number of living species – around 5000 – bryozoa remain relatively unknown. The name literally means ‘moss animals’, after the bushy, moss-like appearance of some species. The two main types are encrusting bryozoans and erect bryozoans.

These aquatic – principally marine – animals exist for the most part as colonies of interconnected individuals called zooids. Colonies may consist of just a few zooids, or many millions. Some species encrust rocky surfaces, shells and algae. Other species form lacy or fan-like colonies. Individual zooids are rarely larger than a millimetre, but colonies can range in size from just a few millimetres to several metres.

Because of the colony forming nature of bryozoans, and because they are highly varied in...

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Brachiopods mimic clams in appearance, but are anatomically quite different and are not related to the bivalve mollusc. They are filter feeding marine animals belonging to their own phylum (Brachiopoda) of the animal kingdom. Modern brachiopods occupy a variety of seabed habitats ranging from the Tropics to cold Polar waters, especially Antarctic waters. They are lophophorates, one of the major groups within the animal kingdom and so are related to the Bryozoa and Phoronida. In turn, the Lophotrochozoa belong to a larger group within the Kingdom Animalia called the Bilateria, so named because they are bilaterally symmetrical with a left and a right side to their bodies.

They look like clams, at least in the sense that they have two shells...

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