- Plankton – organisms that exist in a drifting state in both marine and fresh water. Some examples are certain algae, bacteria, protozoans, crustaceans and mollusks.
- Zooplankton – plankton of animal origin.
- Phytoplankton – plankton of plant origin.
- Organic matter – the residues of decaying plants and animals
- Sticklebacks have no scales, although some species have bony plates on the outside.
- Different species of sticklebacks have different numbers of dorsal spines, ranging from 2-16.
- Sticklebacks are known for their elaborate and cooperative reproductive behavior, as described by Ranger Russ in the accompanying video. Check it out if you haven’t already!
- Once the eggs are laid, it is only the male that protects them and then stays with the young once hatched, until they can survive on their own.
Question from the audience!
How long does it take for the eggs to hatch?
A study done by researchers over 60 years ago described in detail the developmental stages of the threespine stickleback. (Swarup, H. Development 1958 6: 373-383) Once the eggs are fertilized, it will take 6-8 days for them to hatch. The larvae will then continue to grow while consuming the yolk sac over the next 4 days. It will be another 12 days before the young fish will develop into juveniles, who can survive independently of their fathers.