Euphausia superba – Antarctic krill – is an essential organism in the Antarctic ecosystem. A species of zooplankton invertebrates, krill float in huge swarms in Antarctic waters and feed on microscopic algae. Importantly, they represent an essential component of the Antarctic food chain, serving as a food source for a variety of Antarctic marine life, including whales, seals, and penguins.
Krill spend most of their lifespan of five to seven years in large, densely populated swarms, which can extend over several kilometers of ocean. Krill are pelagic (live relatively near the ocean’s surface) and migrate vertically through the water column. For example, krill dive to great water depths during the day to avoid being eaten, and resurface in the evening to feed on plankton.