Nekton: Definition & Examples

An error occurred trying to load this video.

Try refreshing the page, or contact customer support.

Coming up next: What Are Minerals? - Types, Properties & Examples

You're on a roll. Keep up the good work!

Take Quiz Watch Next Lesson
 Replay
Your next lesson will play in 10 seconds
  • 0:01 Definition of a Nekton
  • 1:21 Other Examples of Nektons
  • 2:10 Lesson Summary
Save Save Save

Want to watch this again later?

Log in or sign up to add this lesson to a Custom Course.

Log in or Sign up

Timeline
Autoplay
Autoplay
Speed Speed

Recommended Lessons and Courses for You

Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Brekke Peterson Munks
If you've never heard of a 'nekton,' what do you visualize when you hear the word? You'd be forgiven for thinking of 'a type of necktie,' but a nekton is actually related to the world of marine life. Read on to better understand this ecological term.

Definition of a Nekton

A nekton is a group of water or marine organisms that travel together freely. These organisms can be fish, crustaceans or mollusks that live in an ocean or a lake. They tend to move without the help of the current. Generally speaking, they are vertebrates, or animals that have bones or cartilage, are powerful swimmers, and are larger than microbes.

The organisms in a nekton can be compared to the way plankton move; however, the major distinction is that creatures in nektons can move independently. Nekton organisms sometimes, when small, are similar to plankton and transition into nektons as they grow.

Individual organisms that form nektons are generally high on the food chain, ecologically, and some of their main predators are humans. Think of some of the most popular marine life that humans eat -- crabs, shrimp and tuna, for instance. These are all examples of organisms that form nektons. A general rule of thumb is that many organisms that humans eat that come from marine or lake ecosystems form nektons. This being said, there are a few nekton organisms that are endangered today:

  • The Blue Whale
  • Leatherback Turtle
  • Dugong (aka Sea Cow)

To unlock this lesson you must be a Study.com Member.
Create your account

Register to view this lesson

Are you a student or a teacher?

Unlock Your Education

See for yourself why 30 million people use Study.com

Become a Study.com member and start learning now.
Become a Member  Back
What teachers are saying about Study.com
Try it risk-free for 30 days

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 200 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? Study.com has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.

Create an account to start this course today
Try it risk-free for 30 days!
Create an account
Support