Los Angeles Times

Q&A: They can shrink, glow and stain penguin poop pink. Why this scientist wants you to love krill

If you're like most people, you probably haven't given krill much thought.

You've heard of them, of course. They're the small, shrimplike animals that live in great swarms in most of the world's oceans.

You probably know that they're the primary food source of the largest animal on Earth, the blue whale.

Perhaps you don't know that seals, ocean birds, squid and penguins eat them too. In fact, some penguins consume so much krill that their krill-stained pink poop can be seen from outer space.

This fact - and many more - can be found in "The Curious Life of Krill," a book-length ode to the strange and enigmatic marine organisms.

It was written by biologist Stephen Nicol, a professor at the Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies at the University of Tasmania in Hobart

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