A Tiny Crustacean Magnified
What Eat Zooplankton? Everything From Tiny Fish To Huge Whales. Photo:Uwe Kils

What eats zooplankton?

Zooplankton are tiny water animals. Many of these plankton look like shrimp and other crustaceans, as well as worms, fish and jellyfish. The animal in the photo at the left has been magnified many times, or else you would hardly be able to see it!

Often zooplankton can be found in huge swarms made up of billions and billions of individual little animals.

Zooplankton are at the very bottom of the ocean food chain and at the very outside of the ocean food web. That means many creatures eat them. For instance, the hugest baleen whales have mouths that are specially designed to scoop up zooplankton and strain the water out of them. The world’s largest animal, the great blue whale, is a zooplankton eater.

But many smaller animals and fishes also depend on zooplankton as their main source of food.

Because so many sea creatures eat zooplankton, without it the ocean would be a much emptier place.