Zooplankton, tiny animals adapted to an existence in the ocean, have evolved clever mechanisms for obtaining their food, miniscule phytoplankton (plant plankton). A very specialized feeding adaptation in zooplankton is that of the tadpolelike appendicularian who lives in a walnut-sized (or smaller) balloon of mucus equipped with filters that capture and concentrate phytoplankton. The balloon, a transparent structure that varies in design according to the type of appendicularian in habiting it, also protects the animal and helps to keep it afloat. Water containing phytoplankton is pumped by the appendicularian’s muscular tail into the balloon’s incurrent filters, passes through the feeding filter where the appendicularian sucks the food into its mouth, and then goes through an exit passage. Found in all the oceans of the world, including the Arctic Ocean, appendicularians tend to remain near the water’s surface where the density of phytoplankton is greatest.