Note:Full text accompanies
each panel. Only a portion of this, the introduction, is shown below.
The word plankton means, “that which drifts”.
By this token a colossal number of marine creatures, both plants
and animals, vertebrates and invertebrates, qualify as members of
this extraordinarily important mass of life that glides and wanders,
flaps and flips, floats and flies, sinks and swims within the oceans.
The very biggest jellyfish weigh more than half a tonne, some deep
sea relatives of the Portuguese Man-O-War would cover a football
pitch and some of the colonial salps are the size and shape of ballistic
Much of plankton is small. Diminutive though
these forms are in size, their habits, colour, life cycles and relationships
are some of the most bizarre in the animal kingdom and many billions
directly comprise the staple diet of the ocean’s very largest inhabitants.