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Monday
Dec202010

At the Bottom of the World, Bottom of the Food Chain Plays Critical Role

They’re called "the krillers" around Palmer Station, because they’re always on the hunt for Antarctic krill: tiny, shrimp-like crustaceans that form the foundation of the Antarctic food web. On some days the krillers call their Zodiac Psychokrillers. But on this mid-December morning, they chose a more respectable name for their inflatable boat: Sir Ernest Shackleton.

Kim Bernard, an ecologist at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science, College of William and Mary, steered Shackleton to the first of two sites not far offshore from Palmer, where she and her research assistant, Carolina Funkey, could cast a net and troll for as many krill as they could capture without squishing them.

(Click here to continue reading the blog, on OnEarth magazine's website.)

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