Saturday, January 7, 2012

Stuffed Krill

One of the smallest animals in the world, yet it feeds some of the biggest!

Our Plush Krill

This unusual-looking stuffed krill is soft, cuddly, and easy to hold. The legs are short, flexible, and are made of soft light pink, plush fabric. The body is bright pink and the head is covered with ribbed, silver-colored cloth with pink fur gills on each side. Two large black eyes, lots of antennae and a green thorax round out this lovely sea creature. Our krill has a kindly expression and wants to be your friend. This krill makes a nice pet or gift. Check out our other shrimp, lobster and krill toys and gifts.

About Krill

The krill are shrimp-like crustaceans that make up a vital part in the food chain. It is a small animal and varies in size from 1 to 4 inches. It is eaten by large mammals such as baleen whales and seals, by fish, and sea birds. Krill are the favored died of the blue whale, the largest aimals on earth. A blue whale can eat up to six million krill per day! Krill can be found in all the oceans and are near the surface at night and at greater depths by day. The name krill comes from Norwegian meaning small fry of fish.

There are many species of krill found throughout the world's oceans, but the most well-known krill is the Antarctic Krill or Euphausia superba. It can form large, dense swarms that attract whales, seals, penguins, squid, and predatory fish. By biomass, krill are perhaps the most successful multicellular animals in the world.

Krill are a type of plankton (actually zooplankton or "animal drifter"). Krill will eat even small zooplankton, but they prefer to dine on phytoplankton ("plant drifter") - and it is the abundance of this plant-life in their bellies that accounts for the green splotch visible through their transparent skin.

Although the international community outlawed the hunting of blue whales in 1966, many countries continue to harvest krill! Much of what is harvested becomes aquarium fish food, bait, or food for aquaculture fishes. But some is also used for human consumption. Krill have an intense, shrimp-like taste and are very salty. They are generally served minced or as a paste. However, because their exoskeletons contain a toxic fluoride, krill need to be processed immediately after harvesting. Otherwise, even little krill can kill.

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

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