Planktons are animals and plants that live in water and are carried around by the current. Plankton can therefore not move in a targeted manner. The Greek word for plankton means “what wanders about in the water”.
Plankton is found in seas, lakes, and rivers. Plankton feed on tiny parts in the water. This can be marine feces, manure from agriculture, but also residues of detergents, and other substances that people discharge into the water.
The individual parts of the plankton can be so small that they cannot be seen with the naked eye, but only with a powerful microscope. But even giant jellyfish are part of the plankton because they can only move with the current.
Many aquatic animals feed on plankton. They suck in a lot of water and filter out the plankton. These animals include whales, sharks, crabs, and mussels, but also sardines, and flamingos.
A major hazard is a plastic floating around in the water. Many animals also filter these pieces of plastic out of the water and swallow them along with the plankton. If they swallow too many pieces of plastic, they can die from it.