Marine Arthropods' Role in Ecosytem

Copepods are tiny marine arthropods that are very diverse and are the most numerous multi-celled animals in the aquatic community. As zooplankton, they play a major role in the ocean’s food web.

Krill are another small arthropod that make up a large portion of the zooplankton in many regions of the ocean. Swarms of krill feed the largest creatures in the ocean, blue whales, as well other whales, sea birds, squid, and fishes. Read our blog about krill and whales. Krill play a major role in the food web and are particularly important in the Antarctic

Horseshoe crabs are ancient crabs that come ashore to lay their eggs. Those eggs are essential nutrition for migrating shore birds.

Mole crabs that live on sandy beaches where the waves wash up the beach are a very important food for shore birds, especially when the birds are migrating. Read the Shape of Life Feature about mole crabs.


General Info

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    Book with pencil

Role in Ecosystem

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    Bee with arrows around it


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    Thermometer and waves

Human Interaction

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    Human next to globe


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    Skull of dinosaur
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    Lesson Plan
    Marine Arthropod Adaptations + Engineering Design
    Students explore the diversity and adaptations of marine arthropods.

    Full Lesson Plan