The Curious Life of Krill : A Conservation Story From the Bottom of the World
LJ Reviews 2018 April #1
When most people consider krill, their initial thought is probably "whale food." Nicol (marine and Antarctic studies, Univ. of Tasmania) entertainingly demonstrates that these misunderstood crustaceans serve far more purpose than simply feeding cetaceans (and seals and penguins). Antarctic krill form the core of the ecosystem in the Southern Ocean and are one of the most abundant animal species on the planet. Contrary to popular belief, they are not microscopic; their average length is six centimeters or over two inches. These crustaceans, which live in enormous swarms, can have long lifespans and complicated life cycles. Antarctic krill are extremely difficult to study, owing to the inhospitable waters in which they live and the ice that covers their habitat each winter. Nicol describes the history of krill research and the difficulties encountered in observing, collecting, and studying the species. He also discusses the krill fishing industry and krill's potential as a human food source.
PW Reviews 2018 March #2
Marine scientist Nicol's passion for krill—the ocean-dwelling crustaceans that serve as the primary food source for baleen whales, and his subject of study for almost 40 years—certainly comes across in this accessible volume. The shrimplike creatures, which most laypeople mistakenly believe to be microscopic in size, spend their entire lives swimming, unlike many other crustaceans, and are an essential part of the ocean's food chain. The substantive results of Nicol's scientific work, which includes new discoveries about the presence of krill below the ocean's upper levels, aren't the main focus; Nicol wants to appeal to the nonspecialist and in so doing conveys facts that will probably be new to many lay readers—including that krill are "possibly the most abundant animal on the planet" and that, mysteriously, their genome is 12 times larger than the human genome—and discusses efforts to market krill as food for people. He also studs the narrative with frequent references to the animated film