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Bioluminescence is the biological production of light some animals, including zooplankton, use for defense, attracting mates and/or attracting prey items.
Biomass is a measure of biological material that originates from living organisms. An example of biomass is wood, because it originates from a tree.
Carnivores are animals that obtain energy by eating animal material.
Chlorophyll is a molecule that allows organisms to absorb energy from light. Chl-a is a specific form of chlorophyll that absorbs the most energy from blue and red light. It reflects green light, which is why organisms with chlorophyll (plants, algae) appear green.
Detrivores are organisms that eat decomposing plant or animal material (called "detritus").
Estuarine zones are transition zones where saltwater from the ocean is measurably diluted with fresh water draining off the land. Estuaries are commonly high in nutrients, making them highly productive.
Herbivores are animals that obtain energy by consuming plant material.
Heterotrophic organisms are those that obtain energy by consuming living forms of organic carbon (other living organisms).
Holoplankton are organisms that remain in the plankton for their entire lives.
A larva (pl. larvae) is an early developmental stage of an organism that will undergo some developmental change or metamorphosis to the adult form..
Lipids are naturally occuring hydrophobic (water-repelling) molecules, such as fats and waxes.
Meroplankton are organisms that spend a portion of their lives in the plankton.
Metamorphosis is a biological process that occurs over development involving a distinct change in an organism's body form, in zooplankton commonly from larva to juvenile or adult.
Microplastics are defined as plastic particles ranging from 5 millimeters down to 1 nanometer. They include small parts of large plastic material such as fishing line and bags, as well as small plastic beads used in personal health care products.
Nekton are organisms that can move independent of water currents; e.g. fishes and crabs.
A niche is the position or function an organism has in the greater community of plants and animals.
Omnivores are organisms that obtain energy by eating both plant and animal material.
Photosynthesis is a process that allows organisms to convert light energy into chemical energy, which can then be used by the organism.
Phytoplankton are plant-like members of the plankton. Phytoplankton are predominantly preyed upon by zooplankton; and produce between 50% and 80% of atmospheric oxygen.
Plankton are organisms, plant or animal, that cannot move independent of water currents; e.g. phytoplankton and zooplankton. It comes from the Greek adjective, "planktos," which means wanderer or drifter.
Radial Symmetry is the organization of an animal's body plan around a central axis. You can divide organisms with radial symmetry in half along different axes and get mirror images.
Refraction, as it relates to plankton, is the deflection of light waves as they move from one medium to another. For example, when ctenophores, or comb jellies, beat their cilia, light is refracted to a human's eye looking at the ctenophore from outside of an aquarium.
A Taxonomic group is a collection of organisms that are classified as related on the basis of shared characteristics and genetic similarities.
Zooplankton are animal members of the plankton. A zooplankter is a single zooplankton individual; the singular form.