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← The Secret Life of Plankton

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Showing Revision 7 created 03/23/2015 by Krystian Aparta.

  1. [Stories from the Sea]
  2. [Fish Tale
    My Secret Life as Plankton]
  3. How did I get here?
  4. Well, it's a stranger story
    than you might think.
  5. I came from a world of drifters,
  6. a place few humans have ever seen.
  7. The world of plankton.
  8. I came from a batch of a million eggs,
    and only a few of us survived.
  9. When I became a larva,
    I moved among other drifters.
  10. ["Plankton" comes from the Greek
    "planktos" for wandering]
  11. My fellow plankton came in all sizes,
    from tiny algae and bacteria
  12. to animals longer than a blue whale.
  13. I shared my nursery
    with other embryos and juveniles,
  14. from clams and crabs
    to sea urchins and anemones.
  15. (High pitch sound)
  16. We drifting animals
    are called zooplankton.
  17. The most common animals here
    are copepods and krill.
  18. (Buzzing)
  19. You could search the world over,
  20. but you'd never find a place
    more diverse than my childhood home.
  21. A teaspoon of seawater
  22. can contain more
    than a million living creatures.
  23. It can be a pretty tough
    existence, though.
  24. Trillions are born here,
    but only a few make it to adulthood.
  25. He may be no larger than a pin head,
  26. but this crab larva
    is an arrow worm's worst nightmare.
  27. (Bumping noises)
  28. (Buzzing)
  29. Epic battles between carnivores
    like these are just one way to get food.
  30. But the real powers
    of this place come from phytoplankton.
  31. Single-celled life
  32. that transforms sunlight
    and carbon dioxide
  33. into edible gold.
  34. Phytoplankton are the base
    for the largest food web in the world.
  35. During the night,
  36. many animals like me
    would rise up from the depths
  37. to feed on this sun-powered feast.
  38. (Maraca sound)
  39. I was part of the largest daily
    migration of life on Earth.
  40. During the day,
  41. I'd return to the darkness,
    where I'd join my bizarre companions.
  42. (High pitch buzz)
  43. (Flapping noises)
  44. Cannibals, like this
    sea butterfly mollusk,
  45. that eats its next of kin.
  46. And comb jellies,
  47. that beat cilia like rainbowed eyelashes.
  48. Some of these snare
    their prey with sticky tentacles,
  49. while others just take
    a bite out of their cousins.
  50. And siphonophores
  51. that catch prey with toxic fishing lures.
  52. But my favorite would have
    to be the crustacean Phronima.
  53. Its monstrous looks inspired
    the movie "Aliens."
  54. It can catch tiny bits in its bristles,
  55. but prefers larger prey like salps.
  56. With two sets of eyes,
    this female prowls the deeper water.
  57. Prey in hand,
  58. she performs one
    of the strangest behaviors
  59. in the entire animal kingdom.
  60. With body parts from her victims,
  61. she delicately assembles
    a barrel-like home
  62. feeding her young until they can drift off
    and survive on their own.
  63. Best of all, they make the perfect
    snack for a small fish like me.
  64. Here among the plankton,
  65. the food web is so tangled and complex,
  66. even scientists don't know who eats whom.
  67. But I do.
  68. At least now you know a bit of my story.
  69. There's so much more to me
    than just a tasty meal.