Thursday Aug 11, 2022
Krill – The Heroic Ocean Organisms - Dr Rodolfo Werner - #35
Thursday Aug 11, 2022
Thursday Aug 11, 2022
I’m thrilled to bring you this special edition to celebrate the inaugural World Krill day with my guest Dr Rodolfo Werner, marine biologist, wildlife conservationist, science and policy advisor who has dedicated decades of his life to working as a consultant alongside organisations like the Antarctic and Southern Ocean Coalition, The PEW Charitable Trust and the Antarctic Wildlife Research Fund to protect and preserve the precious continent of Antarctica.
He provides a fascinating insight into why krill deserve to have a day dedicated to the crucial work these crustaceans do to sustain the health of our ocean.
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Dr Rodolfo Werner
Rodolfo Werner - Senior Advisor for ASOC
ASOC (Antarctic and Southern Ocean Coalition)
Donate to support ASOC’s work for Antarctica:
PEW Charitable Trust
Variety of links Rodolfo’s has been part of
Movie with National Geographic Pristine Seas about the Antarctic Peninsula to highlight the importance of protecting this beautiful area – October 2020
Series of short films with Paul Nicklen and Cristina Mittermeier during an expedition to the Antarctic Peninsula, where I went as science and policy advisor in July 2020
- Antarctica Krill - https://only.one/watch/the-antarctic-krill
- A Delicate Balance: - https://only.one/watch/delicate-balance
- Protecting Antarctica - https://only.one/watch/protecting-antarctica
TEDxArchivorum talk on the need to protect the ocean around Antarctica – Jan 2022
TEDx talk in Bariloche about the need to protect Antarctica (Spanish) – Feb 2022
Article on CLARIN (one of the main newspapers in Argentina) on Sunday 27, March 2022 on the visit of Philippe and Ashlan Cousteau, and the current efforts to protect Antarctica, and my connection with Philippe. (Spanish)
Article on the ‘Secret Life of Antarctic Krill (14.9.2020)
Rodolfo’s personal Poetry blog (Spanish):
Rodolfo’s personal Monologue ‘When you lose a friend’:
Rodolfo’s favourite quote:
Only those who grow up and remain a child are human – Erich Kastner
Petition to Protect Antarctica
Show your support to designate 30% of the Southern Ocean as marine protected areas and help pressure CCAMLR to create the largest act of ocean protection in history.
11th August at 7pm EST – Friday 12th August at 11am
Join ecologist Kim Bernard and her team live from Palmer Station, Antarctica in a live zoom event to honor the first ever World Krill Day to learn how researchers study krill.
Fun Krill facts
- There are 5 Antarctic species.
- They live for 5 to 10 years
- Adults can revert to juveniles
- They can survive up to 200 days without food
- It’s estimated there are 400 million tonnes of Antarctic krill in the Southern Ocean.
- Repackaged krill poo produces 23 million tons of carbon a year
- Scientists believe that the total weight of all Antarctic krill is greater than the cumulative weight of any animal species on Earth except for humans.
- Krill are mostly transparent, although their shells have a bright red tinge from small pigment spots. Their digestive system is usually visible and is often a vivid green from the microscopic plants they have eaten. They have large black eyes.
- Adult Antarctic krill are approximately 6 cm in length and weigh over 1 gm.
- Antarctic krill aggregate in schools or swarms, where the density of the animal can be as high as 30,000 individuals per cubic metre.
- Krill retain the ability to moult for life. They use this ability to continue growing and reducing their body size to help them survive. ‘Downsizing’ enables Antarctic krill to use their own body proteins as a source of fuel.
- At the end of summer, adult krill begin to lose their sexual characteristics. After a series of moults they again resemble two-year-old juveniles, giving no indication that they were ever adults. In spring, adults once more begin to develop sexual characteristics and become mature before the spawning season.
- Antarctic krill are thought to lay a number of broods of eggs, with as many as 8,000 eggs per brood. The season may last as long as 5 months.
- Larvae swims to approximately 800 m to the surface for food –the equivalent to a human swimming 20 miles.
- Krill usually feed on the surface of the water at night and sink deeper in the water column during the day. The primary food of krill is phytoplankton, which are microscopic ocean plants suspended in the upper water column where light is sufficient to allow for growth.
Theme music ‘Joyful’ by TimTaj from Pixabay
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