Welcome to zooplankton.nl! The goal of zooplankton.nl is to show everyone how beautiful, bizarre and special zooplankton is. This site is created and operated by Dr. Lodewijk van Walraven, marine biologist.

Below and on the diversity page is an overview of different groups that you can encounter in the plankton, with background information and photo and film images of each group. I also explain different aspects of zooplankton research, and how you can get started yourself. Enjoy watching!

My short movie “Zooplanktonic” below gives a nine-minute overview of bizarre and beautiful creatures you can find in the plankton. Check out my new website plankton.photography for  much more plankton imagery !

What is zooplankton?

Plankton is a collective term for all aquatic organisms that live in the water (not on the bottom) and cannot swim against the flow of water, as, for example, fish can.

Zooplankton or animal plankton eat other organisms and can not themselves use sunlight to get energy like plants and algae can. From the birdbath in your garden to the deepest point of the ocean, you will find zooplankton everywhere!


The diversity of zooplankton is enormous and includes protists and various different phyla of the animal kingdom. Zooplankton can vary orders of magnitude in size, from microscopic protozoa to massive jellyfish. This page shows an overview of different zooplankton groups that can be found in Dutch waters. Click on the group to go to a page with background information and photos and videos of the group.