Book Review: The Curious Life of Krill

Author: Stephen Nicol | Reviewer: NPA book club

‘The Curious Life of Krill’ by Stephen Nicol was the book we discussed at our zoom meeting in March. We were all quite fascinated and had greatly enjoyed reading the book. It is hugely informative, well written and a good size.

Below questions are only a tiny example of all the extraordinary facts about krill we learnt, and the book dives into other important areas such as the protection of Antarctica and associated politics.

Verdict: a must read. – Enjoy!

All questions below relate selectively to the Antarctic Krill – Euphausia superba.

Please choose the one best answer.

  1. What is krill? (pages 38, 71)
    a) food of many large whales
    b) up to 6cm large crustaceans
    c) creatures with a genome sized 12 times that of humans
    d) all of the above
  2. Which seawater temperature range is comfortable for krill to live in? (page 68)
    a) to 16 degrees Celsius
    b) -2 to 10 degrees Celsius
    c) -1.5 to 5 degrees Celsius
  3. At what depth of the ocean do krill live? (page 61)
    a) from the surface to down to 23m
    b) 5m below the surface to 40m down
    c) deep down from 40m to over 4500m below the surface
    d) all of the above
  4. Regarding the feeding of krill: (pages 72, 75+, 96)
    a) they feed as much as 20% of their own body weight per day
    b) they demise after 3 days of starvation
    c) the freshly hatched krill require the same food as their parents
  5. How long can a krill survive? (page 73)
    a) 11 days
    b) 11 months
    c) 11 years
  6. Who thrives by eating krill and how much? (pages 86+)
    a) Antarctic blue whales to sustain their bodyweight of up to 180 metric tonnes exclusively from krill
    b) Baleen whales, Antarctic Blue whales, Humpback whales as above and other whale species, seals – 20kg of krill daily, penguins – 5kg daily, dolphins
    c) terrestrial animals – size dependant up to 20kg daily


1d, 2c, 3d, 4a, 5c, 6b, 7c, 8b

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