Photo: Tim Evanson/Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)
Early last year, at the Australian Antarctic Division (AAD), Lisa Roberts saw an unusual sight: the birth of a live Antarctic krill, Euphausia superba.
The newborn appeared on a video screen that projected the view of a camera poised over a petri dish. A tremulous form emerged from its egg with its legs beating furiously!
This event began a continuing conversation with krill research leader, So Kawaguchi.
Back in Lisa’s Sydney studio, she worked with So’s words and images. He explained (by email) how krill grow, and sent diagrams by John Kirkwood to work with. Lisa also found data sets online of how krill appendages move (Uwe Kils).
Piano music was improvised by an 11 year old friend, Sophie Green.
This is the first of some animations that Lisa’s making to more fully describe this elusive and most important creature.
Krill are central to the marine life food web. Their health is endangered as a result of oceans becoming more acidic (as carbon increasingly enters the atmosphere and then dissolves into the water).
A new research project at the AAD is to record changes in normal krill development in increasingly acid water. Next month (June 2010) Lisa will return to the AAD krill nursery to find out more about this research.
She will also record So Kawaguchi describe what he has identified as a circling krill mating dance. What a fine gesture of continuity!
This video is released by Lisa Roberts under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 license. More animations can be found at AntarcticAnimation.com.
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