Epi what?


Now, chances are that you have not heard of this. Nor had I.

Epishura inhabits Lake Baikal, the largest source of freshwater in the world. It contains 23% of the worlds’s freshwater, and is renowned for it’s pure H2O.

But how does the lake remain so clean? The answer lies in a zooplankton species called Epishura baicalensis.

The share of Epischura in Lake Baikal is about 80 % of all the crustaceans, and its total biomass in the lake is 60,000 to 950,000 tons, depending on the year and season. 

Epishura feeds itself by filtering food from the water with several pairs of mouthparts, which create a flow of water and simultaneously form a kind of a filter net to capture the desired food particles. The copepod is able to filter about one cup of water per day, thereby participating in the cleansing of Lake Baikal. 

Epishura feeds on bacteria and unicellular algae, mainly diatoms, and is itself food for other crustaceans (cyclops and macrohectopus) and for all pelagic fish (omul, golomyanka, sculpin, etc.). Thus, Epishura is an essential link in the energy transmission chain from phytoplankton to predatory zooplankton representatives and fish.

This is what a single crustacean can achieve, although inadvertently.

We on the other hand, are the most advanced species on earth, by far. And our gift to the earth is pollution and wastage and exploitation, to a point where climate change has become a frightening reality.

What a waste of intelligence.