Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. The collection of small marine crustaceans of the order Euphausiacea that are the principal food of baleen whales.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. any of several small marine crustacean species of plankton in the order Euphausiacea in the class Malacostraca

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. shrimp-like planktonic crustaceans; major source of food for e.g. baleen whales

Etymologies

Norwegian kril, young fry of fish.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Dutch kriel ("puny/tiny"), applied to fish fry (in the sense of hatchlings); sometimes interpreted as "whale food". (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Their definition of forage fish includes fishes, squids, and the shrimp-like crustaceans called krill that swarm in cold waters where they feed everything from seabirds to whales.

    Carl Safina: Seabirds: The Other Seafood Lovers

  • Krill oil is an oil extracted from shrimp-like crustaceans called krill.

    The Debate Over Men And Omega-3

  • Antarctica was the antithesis of the jungle or the rain forest, where everything burgeoned and mutated and thousands of species and tens of thousands of * A krill is a small, shrimplike marine crustacean and a vital constituent of the Antarctic food chain.

    Terra Incognita

  • The sex lives of the ocean-dwelling crustaceans known as krill have been largely a mystery.

    Yahoo! News: Business - Opinion

  • The whales feed on small sea creatures known as krill, which in turn eat microscopic marine algae.

    Greenpeace UK - Comments

  • Asper says about a half-dozen dead shrimp-like creatures known as krill were atop a sample taken two miles south of the well - but there's no way to tell whether oil killed them.

    hattiesburgamerican.com -

  • '' Copepods are 120 times smaller than krill, which is inevitably going to affect all the things that feed in that area.

    Global Warming RSS Newsfeed

  • Blue and some other whale species eat by taking enormous mouthfuls of water and filtering out their meals, often tiny crustaceans called krill, using plates of baleen made of keratin, a protein found in hair, fingernails and feathers.

    The Globe and Mail - Home RSS feed

  • Known as the gentle giants of the sea, blue whales consume 7,000 pounds of tiny shrimp called krill daily, but still scientists know very little about the massive mammals.

    ABC News: ABCNews

  • As with other baleen whales, its diet consists almost exclusively of small crustaceans known as krill •

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