Antarctic krill – not just whale food – Greenpeace New Zealand
Being eaten is an ever-present threat for krill. Not only do blue whales gulp down massive mouthfuls of millions of krill, but humpback, fin and minke whales travel to the Antarctic every year to gorge on them too. Antarctic penguins like Adélies and Gentoos also eat krill directly (something that is very evident when it makes their poo pink!) and regurgitate it for their fluffy chicks, as do other seabirds. Small fish eat krill, and there’s even an Antarctic seal (confusingly called a ‘crabeater’) which has evolved krill-catching dentistry to allow it to feast on these tiny crustaceans too.
Krill is the living lifeblood of the Antarctic Ocean. Anything that doesn’t eat krill tends to eat something that just did, so the toothfish, leopard seals, albatross and orcas all depend on it too.