Plankton - Part 3:
Zooplankton are tiny animals floating in the water -some are
so small that you need a microscope to see them. Click on the links below to look at some pictures of zooplankton. In your
notebook, write the title "Zooplankton" on a new page along with the date. Write down your observations about what you see.
Draw one type of zooplankton in your notebook (be sure to label it).
Looking at these pictures, do you notice any similarities to phytoplankton? How about any differences?
Be sure to write these down in your notebook, also.
It's hard to imagine that all these little critters can be swimming
in water but we can't see them, isn't it? One way that you can tell they are there is by looking at the animals that eat plankton.
If you click on the link below, you will see some acorn barnacles. Watch their feathery feet brush through the water. They
are catching plankton to eat. Even though you can't see the plankton, you can tell that the barnacles are eating something!
Barnacle Video - Monterey Bay Aquarium
In your notebook, draw a barnacle eating plankton. Be sure to label
Plankton - Part 4:
Effects on Plankton
Phytoplankton are eaten by zooplankton.
Zooplankton are eaten by many things; small fish, barnacles, clams and oysters, shrimp, and
even some kind of whales. Everything that lives in the estuary relies on plankton!
Nitrates are put into the watershed in many ways. These nitrates can create huge blooms
of algae. These algae blooms can block sunlight from getting to the plants growing on the seafloor. As these algae die and
begin to decompose, the oxygen is taken out of the water. Many estuary animals, such as fish and zooplankton, need oxygen
in the water to survive. What do you think would happen if too many nitrates were allowed to get into the estuary? Write your
answer in your notebook.
Want to see Plankton?
You'll need a microscope and a plankton net if you want to see some
real, live critters. You can make your own plankton net by following these directions.
Be prepared for our whole-group discussion time by having your notebook
filled out with the following items:
- What you've learned today.
- Any questions you still have about plankton.
- Interesting things you'd like to share (such as scientific drawings, interesting facts, etc.).
|Collecting Plankton in Padilla Bay