|Compare nekton the organisms inhabiting the surface layer of a sea or lake, consisting of small drifting plants and animals, such as diatoms|
|[C19: via German from Greek planktos wandering, from plazesthai to roam]|
plankton [%PREMIUM_LINK%] (plāngk'tən) Pronunciation Key |
Small organisms that float or drift in great numbers in bodies of salt or fresh water. Plankton is a primary food source for many animals, and consists of bacteria, protozoans, certain algae, cnidarians, tiny crustaceans such as copepods, and many other organisms. Compare benthos, nekton.