Whales and Krill- Food Web

From: Kim Marshall (kimm@oceanalliance.org)
Date: Mon Feb 10 2003 - 16:44:17 EST

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    Question:
    Why is krill important to the food web? We have to write an article from a
    whales point of view telling krill why they are important to the food web.

    Reply:
    Larger whales like humpback whales and blue whales are part of a vast ocean
    food web. They eat small creatures such as krill and sand eels which bloom
    during summer months in cold waters in the number of hundreds of thousands
    to millions. The life cycles of these small animals and the large whales
    are linked together much as the lives of any prey-predator situation. In
    many prey species, if the number of predators decreases, the number of prey
    generally increases until the prey species begins to overuse its resources.
    The population of the prey then plummets. Conversely, if the number of prey
    decreases, the predator species have a harder time finding food. The prey
    and the predator situation generally keeps the populations level, thereby
    making sure that other resources are in adequate supply. Donšt forget to
    search WhaleNet for more information about krill and whales.

    Good luck!
    Kim

    Kim Marshall
    Executive Director
    Ocean Alliance (Whale Conservation Inst. & the Voyage of the Odyssey)
    191 Weston Road, Lincoln, MA 01773
    781.259.0423 ext. 14 fax 259.0288
    www.oceanalliance.org www.pbs.org/odyssey
    Please support our efforts to conserve whales and their ocean environment
    through research and education :)



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