zooplankton

noun
zoo·​plank·​ton | \ ˌzō-ə-ˈplaŋ(k)-tən How to pronounce zooplankton (audio) , -ˌtän \

Definition of zooplankton

: plankton composed of animals

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from zooplankton

zooplanktonic \ ˌzō-​ə-​ˌplaŋ(k)-​ˈtä-​nik How to pronounce zooplanktonic (audio) \ adjective

Examples of zooplankton in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web In oxygen-thin water, lower parts of the food web, such as zooplankton and small fish like sardines and anchovies, suffer the most. Max Bearak, Washington Post, "A crisis in the water is decimating this once-booming fishing town," 27 Nov. 2019 Oceans are absorbing about 90 percent of the additional heat generated by climate change, which will likely have a substantial negative effect on phytoplankton and zooplankton—the base of the aquatic food pyramid. Melody Schreiber, The New Republic, "The Bittersweet Joy of Fat Bear Week," 8 Oct. 2019 Even zooplankton—the microscopic animals that are the basis of the marine food web—are heading polewards, according to findings published in the journal Nature this year. Zoë Schlanger, Quartz, "Sea creatures are moving towards the poles at a rate of 32 miles per decade," 25 Sep. 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 There, the sun and waves break the material down into particles small enough to be ingested by zooplankton, which are then consumed by fish and other animals that people eat. James Greiff | Bloomberg, Washington Post, "The Problem With Plastic," 5 Dec. 2018 The researchers theorize that’s because the native zooplankton are prone to ingest small particles, then either use them to fulfill critical nutritional needs or excrete them as fecal pellets. Los Angeles Times, "Will Lake Tahoe’s invasive shrimp become the next mass-market health supplement?," 7 Sep. 2019 As a result, the average trout size shrank and native zooplankton, including Daphnia, largely disappeared from the aquatic ecosystem. Los Angeles Times, "Will Lake Tahoe’s invasive shrimp become the next mass-market health supplement?," 7 Sep. 2019 His daughter and son, 12 and 14, will be working on a distance-learning curriculum from a company called Oak Meadow, as well as studying ocean plastic levels, zooplankton, and sea water chemistry by taking surface samples and measurements. Scott Kirsner, BostonGlobe.com, "Sailing like entrepreneurs: High-seas adventure, education await family of Workbar founder," 5 Aug. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'zooplankton.' 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 zooplankton

1897, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about zooplankton

Time Traveler for zooplankton

Time Traveler

The first known use of zooplankton was in 1897

See more words from the same year

Statistics for zooplankton

Last Updated

3 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Zooplankton.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/zooplankton. Accessed 14 December 2019.

More from Merriam-Webster on zooplankton

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with zooplankton

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about zooplankton

Comments on zooplankton

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

WORD OF THE DAY

to assail by words or arguments

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Great Scrabble Words—A Quiz

  • scrabble tiles that read scrabble quiz
  • Which of the following Q-without-U words means the number five in cards or dice?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Add Diction

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!