Story: Open ocean

Neocalanus tonsus

Neocalanus tonsus

The tiny copepod crustacean Neocalanus tonsus is one of the most abundant animals in the ocean around southern and central New Zealand. Dense swarms appear in surface waters during spring and summer, when they become an important food for seabirds, sei whales and basking sharks. At the end of summer they descend to deep water. They spend winter there, undergoing a final moult before breeding.

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How to cite this page:

Janet Grieve, 'Open ocean - Plankton: the key to ocean life', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 15 June 2024)

Story by Janet Grieve, published 12 Jun 2006