Term: plankton (singular plankter)
Origin: Anc Greek πλαγκτός/plagtos(="wandering, drifting)
Πλαγκτός <πλάζομαι/plazomai (=to drift)
Coined: by Victor Hensen (1835-1924) a German Physician and zoologist, although plankton was described as "animalcules" by Antoni van Leeuwenhoek in 1673 using a microscope of his own design.
Free floating microrganisms inhabiting in large amounts the surface layer of a sea or lake. Plankton is divided in two major groups : zooplankton and phytoplankton. Phytoplankton are fundamentally important to life on Earth because it is the beginning of the food chain. The most common phytoplankton are diatoms and dinoflagellates.
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