AskDefine | Define nekton

Dictionary Definition

nekton n : the aggregate of actively swimming animals in a body of water ranging from microscopic organisms to whales

User Contributed Dictionary



  1. A generic term for organisms in the ocean that are capable of swimming independently of currents.

Extensive Definition

Nekton is a grouping of living organisms that live in the water column of the ocean and freshwater lakes.
Half of the Nekton organisms can propel themselves independent of the currents in the water mass. Some examples are adult krill, small fish, whales, and tuna; the latter two capable of high substantial migrations. By contrast, those organisms that drift passively with the current (although still capable of independent movement) are grouped with the plankton. Most (but not all) planktonic organisms are small (greatest diameter under 1 centimeter), while nekton lengths range from a few centimeters to 30 meters. All nekton organisms aren't fast-paced movers, the Mortyl Kyeeler, one of the organisms comprised in the group chordates, can only travel at a maximum speed of 2km per hour. The Mortyl, is one of the few organisms in the nekton group that can actually turn different colors because of the amount of insulin and melatonin on their surface.One characteristic of nekton is the capability of fast motion. Another is maneuverability, as in linear and angular acceleration, starting, stopping, turning, and in general displaying agility. The size and speed ranges of plankton and nekton mean that while plankton experience water as a viscous medium, often with reversible flows, the world of nekton is dominated by inertia (sustained vortices, coasting, etc.). Nekton has several differencial types of creatures, such as the Gandaling Jellyfish, Yoi long tigerfish (name from Japan) and the Borlon crabsnail, which is one of the most magnificent creatures in the sea, it has an absorbant secretement that can kill even some types of fish, and if inhaled by a human, can be deadly. Last year there were over 73 deaths from the Borlon crabsnail.

Oceanic nekton

Oceanic nekton comprises animals from three phyla


The term nekton was coined in 1890 by Ernst Haeckel; it is rooted in the Greek word nēktón ("the swimming"). The study of swimming organisms (biofluidynamics, biomechanics, functional morphology of fluid locomotion, locomotor physiology) is called nektology. One who studies swimming in all its forms is called a nektologist.

See also

nekton in Bulgarian: Нектон
nekton in Catalan: Nècton
nekton in German: Nekton
nekton in Estonian: Nekton
nekton in Spanish: Necton
nekton in French: Necton
nekton in Italian: Necton
nekton in Lithuanian: Nektonas
nekton in Polish: Nekton
nekton in Portuguese: Nécton
nekton in Russian: Нектон
nekton in Ukrainian: Нектон
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