Definition of nekton in English:

nekton

Line breaks: nek¦ton
Pronunciation: /ˈnɛkt(ə)n
 
, -tɒn/

noun

[mass noun] Zoology
  • Aquatic animals that are able to swim and move independently of water currents. Often contrasted with plankton.
    More example sentences
    • On average, collections were made every 3-4 d for phytoplankton and zoo-plankton, 7 d for benthos, and 10-14 d for nekton (fish and swimming benthic invertebrates).
    • This may have made it the most easily accessible prey for predators in the nekton, such as fishes.
    • It is the region inhabited by plankton, which are minute organisms that drift or float at various depths in the water, and by nekton, which are free-swimming organisms.

Derivatives

nektonic

adjective
More example sentences
  • Sponges, corals, bryozoa, gastropods, bivalves, and ammonoid and belemnite cephalopods all flourished, the latter two groups becoming the dominant nektonic invertebrates for the rest of the Mesozoic.
  • In fact, cephalopods themselves were the only Ordovician nektonic durophagous predators.
  • This shows on one hand a strong correspondence of nektonic life with sea level changes and, on the other, the strong interrelationship (competitive and/or predatory) of the nektonic biota.

Origin

late 19th century: via German from Greek nēkton, neuter of nēktos 'swimming', from nēkhein 'to swim'.

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