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Free Content Life history of Antarctic krill Euphausia superba: a new look from an experimental approach

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Recent experimental data on egg, larval, juvenile and adult stages of krill are reviewed. A growth scheme for krill constructed from experimental growth data suggests rapid growth up to the adult phase (35 mm body length), which then slows down towards full size (60 mm body length). The shortest possible life cycle (from egg to egg) is 700 to 820 days, assuming that krill grow during 4–6 months of a year (no growth during the rest of the year). The life span is 1,466–2,726 days (7.5–11.3 years) for these designated growth periods (4–6 months within a year). The improved fecundity of the female krill is suggested as an apparent advantage of a prolonged life of the adult phase. The proposed long life span of krill is consistent with the results from age-pigment analysis of Ettershank (1983), but the latter does not necessarily support the concept of a reduced growth rate in adult krill.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: September 1, 1985

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  • The Bulletin of Marine Science is dedicated to the dissemination of high quality research from the world's oceans. All aspects of marine science are treated by the Bulletin of Marine Science, including papers in marine biology, biological oceanography, fisheries, marine affairs, applied marine physics, marine geology and geophysics, marine and atmospheric chemistry, and meteorology and physical oceanography.
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