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How giant sea creatures eat tiny sea creatures - Kelly Benoit-Bird

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It's a paradox of ocean life: The largest mammals, like dolphins and whales, survive on the tiniest food -- krill, micro-size shrimps and organisms. (Picture trying to make a full meal out of flying kernels of popcorn!) So how do these big animals gather enough food to live? At TEDYouth 2012, Kelly Benoit-Bird discusses new research that shows large sea animals actually herding their tiny food into big, bitable chunks.

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In the ocean, most resources are heterogeneously distributed and highly dynamic. Kelly Benoit-Bird studies how animals in the ocean deal with this – how they find food while avoiding being dinner themselves. Because most of these behaviors occur beneath the surface of the water, I use sound (sonar – sound navigation and ranging) to observe what’s happening beneath the waves. We’re learning that patchiness, the variability in resources over space, is critical to how animals from plankton to whales make a successful living.Krill are small crustaceans and are found in all the world's oceans. The name krill comes from the Norwegian word krill, meaning "young fry of fish", which is also often attributed to other species of fish.The Spinner Dolphin is a small dolphin found in off-shore tropical waters around the world. It is famous for its acrobatic displays in which it spins along its longitudinal axis as it leaps through the air. It is a member of the family Delphinidae of toothed whales.Blue whales are the largest animals on the planet, but what helps them grow to the length of a football field? Asha de Vos explains why the size of krill make them the ideal food for the blue whale -- it's as if the blue whale was made to eat krill (and krill was made to be eaten by the blue whale).Legendary ocean researcher Sylvia Earle shares astonishing images of the ocean -- and shocking stats about its rapid decline -- as she makes her TED Prize wish: that we will join her in protecting the vital blue heart of the planet.David Gallo shows jaw-dropping footage of amazing sea creatures, including a color-shifting cuttlefish, a perfectly camouflaged octopus, and a Times Square's worth of neon light displays from fish who live in the blackest depths of the ocean.
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  • Educator Kelly Benoit-Bird

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