copepod

noun
co·​pe·​pod | \ ˈkō-pə-ˌpäd How to pronounce copepod (audio) \

Definition of copepod

: any of a large subclass (Copepoda) of usually minute freshwater and marine crustaceans

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from copepod

copepod adjective

Examples of copepod in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web And finally, warming oceans have forced copepods, a tiny crustacean that’s the main staple of the North Atlantic right whale’s diet, to migrate north. Brian J. Skerry, National Geographic, "CREATE A FREE NAT GEO ACCOUNT TO CONTINUE READING," 20 May 2020 But as the distribution of copepods, the zooplankton that are the whales’ main food source, shifted north, so too did the whales. Nick Hawkins, National Geographic, "6 recent deaths push rare whales closer to extinction," 11 July 2019 As right whales' preferred food, which are called copepods, move further north to avoid the warming waters, right whales are more concentrated in the US and Canada. Allen Kim, CNN, "A right whale is entangled in fishing gear off the coast of Massachusetts and officials are worried it may drown," 30 Jan. 2020 Many of these seabirds eat tiny shrimplike creatures such as krill and copepods, whose numbers -- according to federal marine surveys -- have declined as the water off Alaska has warmed. Hal Bernton, Anchorage Daily News, "Why are birds and seals starving in a Bering Sea full of fish?," 10 Nov. 2019 During a monthlong visit last summer, biologist Alexis Will observed auklets diving into the water in search of copepods. Hal Bernton, Anchorage Daily News, "Why are birds and seals starving in a Bering Sea full of fish?," 10 Nov. 2019 The cold waters off the Oregon coast usually support a robust community of copepods, a nutrient-rich type of zooplankton that provide an important food source for fish large and small, from herring to salmon. oregonlive, "Return of The Blob: Oregon researchers investigate latest marine heatwave that could hurt Pacific ecosystems," 20 Sep. 2019 All of this was a buffet for zooplankton, tiny creatures such as copepods and krill that are rich in fats and are key food sources for young fish, birds and some marine mammals. Hal Bernton, The Seattle Times, "As Bering Sea ice melts, Alaskans, scientists and Seattle’s fishing fleet witness changes ‘on a massive scale’," 15 Sep. 2019 Bowheads, on the other hand, have longer, fine baleen, specifically adapted to eating copepods and unsuitable for eating fish. Christian Åslund, National Geographic, "Melting ice may be a boon for some Arctic whales—then a bust," 2 July 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'copepod.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of copepod

1836, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for copepod

ultimately from Greek kōpē oar, handle + pod-, pous foot; probably akin to Latin capere to take — more at heave entry 1, foot

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about copepod

Time Traveler for copepod

Time Traveler

The first known use of copepod was in 1836

See more words from the same year

Statistics for copepod

Last Updated

13 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Copepod.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/copepod. Accessed 9 Jul. 2020.

More from Merriam-Webster on copepod

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about copepod

Comments on copepod

What made you want to look up copepod? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

A More Exception(al) Quiz

  • hot dog  hot dog  hot dog  hot dog cat
  • Which of the following words is not a synonym for ‘a young person’?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Bee Cubed

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!