Zooplankton are sea living creatures that are incapable of swimming against a current. Zooplankton are drifting, but that doesn't mean they can't swim. They feed on the fytoplankton of the sea: the algae that uses solar energy to live. At daytime ,the zooplankton lives near the surface. At night they descent to deeper layers of water, thus avoiding fishes that feed on them. Most of the zooplankton consist of crustaceans such as copepods and krill. Other important contributers are worms, salps, molluscs and arrow worms.

marine snow, sea snow

The dead bodies of zooplankton and fytoplankton fall down to the bottom of ocean, By falling they are already consumed by bacteria. It akes some weeks to reach the oceanfloor. Here the worms and snails finish the job. The nutrients are given back to the ocean water.

The cycle of sea live starts with fytoplankton and ends with sea snow.

1. Larva of the Panulirus, the spiny lobster
2. Egg of ansjofish
3. Egg of herring
4. Egg of razorback scabbardfish,
5. dolphinfish or Scomber pelagicus
6. Naucrates ductor - Pilot Fish,
7. Larva of the American Lobster or hommer
8. Macrosetella gracilis , copepods
9. Calocalanus plumulosus, copepod
10. Copilia vitrea,
11. Calocalanus pavo - Peacock Calanid,
12. Larva of a Lepadidae, goose barnacles
13. Collozoum inerme,
14. Oithona plumifera,
15. Oikopleura dioica,
16. Nematoscelis mantis,
17. Thalassicolla nucleata,
18. Mesosagitta minima,
19. Sapphirina ovatolanceolata,
20. Sapphirina auronitens,
21. and 22. Larva of Synapta digitata,
23. Larva of an Acorn Worm.

A drop of seawater under the miscroscope, there are many larva's to be seen: they are called mesoplankton:
1 larva crab
2 young jellyfish
3 larva beechcrab
4 Sea Sparkle,
5 larva of a shrimp
6 egg of a fish
7 Diatom Biddulphia en Navicula)
8 Radiolaria
9 Foraminifera
10 larva of a goose barnicle
11 krill
12 larva of a lobster
13 Amoeboid
14 Dinoflagellates
15 larva of a worm
16 Heliozoa are phagotrophs.
17 larva of a seastar
18 Vorticella
19 larva of a Bryozoa
20 Nematode

Zooplankton, an illustration from the Humboldt Universitat ("Schwebtiere").

1 Glaucus are snails
feeding on the man of war and other jellyfish.
for example: man of war
2 larva of the Maldanidae of bambooworms
3 Tomopteris are polychaete (worms) that produce light when disturbed.
Zij geven vaak licht wanneer ze aangeraakt worden.
4 Phyllosoma, larva of the spidercrab.
5 Lophius , larva of seadevils.
6 Elaphocaris larva of mysis
7 Calocalanus, a copepod