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Transcript of Open Ocean
Features Hi Stephanie Locations of Ecosystem The open ocean (pelagic zone) consists of everything in the ocean outside of coastal areas. Adaptations Food
Influence Stephanie Turcescu & Leanne Davidson The Open Ocean The open ocean is the sunlit top layer of the ocean beyond the continental shelves.
covers over 360,000,000 square kilometers of the Earth's surface.
sometimes referred to as the 'marine desert' because nutrients are lower here than in the shallow seas and life can be scarce.
predators here therefore have to travel fast and far to find food
The ocean covers 72% of this planet and is home to most of the globe's biomass and biodiversity.
At least 80% is yet to be explored. Coloration Symbiosis Anatomy/Physiology Behavior The Open Ocean Fishing Whaling Minerals Pollution Global Warming Marine plants
Worms Sponges Jellyfish
(Cnidaria) Molluscs :
Cephalopoda Clams Whelks Sea Slugs Mussels Octopus Squid Bristleworms Plankton Algae Kelp Sea Grass Sargassum Harp Sponge Crystal Jelly Sun Jellyfish Lion's Mane Jellyfish Giant Pacific Octopus Giant Squid Dumbo Octopus Firefly Squid European Squid Temperature T
s Pressure Light Depth Geologic Features/Processes The temperature depends on your location.
In the tropics: 20-25°C all year long.
In temperate climates: 20°C in the summer and 5°C in the winter.
Polar regions: The summer temperature can be around 10°C and the winter temperature can be below 0°C.
The deep ocean is much colder than the ocean's surface.
Water below 2 kilometers depth is at a temperature of 2-4°C.
The temperature of the deep ocean is the same all the time. Open-ocean tides are important in mixing deep-ocean water.
Tides are caused by gravity from the moon.
The moon’s gravity is pulling on every atom of the Earth - only atoms of water are free to move towards it.
The water closest to the moon gets the most effect - High Tides.
The Low Tides are in the top and bottom of the Earth. (90 degrees to each side of the high tide.)
The side of the Earth farthest from the moon is not affected.
The low tides lose water to the high tides.
The deepest spot of all is the Challenger Deep, which lies in the Mariana Trench in the Pacific Ocean near the island of Guam. Its depth is not known, but the most accurate measurements put the Challenger Deep at 11,000 meters (36,198 feet) below the ocean’s surface—that’s more than 2,000 meters (6,000 feet) taller than Mount Everest, the Earth’s highest point.
The pressure in the Challenger Deep is about 8 tons per square inch
Fish are adapted to their habitat's pressure - if they are lifted out of their pressure very quickly they can have internal damage Light is abundant in the epipelagic zone, so photosynthesis can occur in the open ocean.
However, once in the mesopelagic zone, there is not enough light for photosynthesis to occur.
Light influences the oxygen levels in the ocean because the photosynthesis can only occur when there is light.
Light influences temperature because the warmth of the sun heats the ocean surface.
Light can influence the bottom of the ocean as well, because since there is no light there, the animals are pale and blind. The ocean is separated into these areas, which are distinguished by their depth and the ecology of the zone:
closest to the surface and stretches down 200 m.
an abundance of light allows for photosynthesis by plants and nutrients for animals like tuna and sharks
"the twilight zone"
begins at 200 m down and reaches a depth of 1,000 m
has a little light but not enough for photosynthesis to occur.
follows from 1000-4,000 m in depth,
a subzone containing the bioluminescent organism.
unique animals like the marine hatchet fish and giant squid live in this subzone, surviving mostly on the detritus that drifts down from the epipelagic zone
located from 4,000 m to directly above the ocean floor
is a completely dark area home to colorless and blind animals
The deepest subzone
refers to the ocean water in submarine trenches.
Rising from the abyssal plains in each major ocean is a huge chain of mostly undersea mountains.
Called the mid-ocean ridge, the chain circles the Earth, stretching more than 40,000 miles.
Much of the mid-ocean ridge is split by a deep central rift, or crack.
Mid-ocean ridges mark the boundaries between tectonic plates.
Molten rock from the Earth’s interior wells up from the rift, building new seafloor in a process called seafloor spreading.
Hydrothermal vents form at ridges. Ocean water filters down into rock fractures and meets rising magma.
Super-heated water, gases, and minerals escape from deep within the Earth.
These vents provide the raw materials for communities which enables a rich variety of organisms to live in deep water, far from sunlight. ~ * ~ Crustaceans ~ * ~ ~ * ~ Echinoderms ~ * ~ ~ * ~ Cartilaginous
Fish ~ * ~ ~ * ~ Other Open Ocean Animals ~ * ~ Helps fish blend in to their surroundings. Hides body parts. Species such as the jackknife fish (Equetus lanceolatus), high-hat (Equetus acuminatus) and some angel fishes (Pomacanthidae), have dark lines that run through the eyes which hides the eyes so that other animals can't tell where the fish is looking or even if it is a fish.
Horizontal lines may be a sight-line for aiming attacks on prey. Some fishes, like butterflyfishes (Chaetodontidae), have spots on their body that resemble eyes which confuses prey and predators.
The sea dragon (Phyllopteryx) has a body shape that can further mimic their habitat. Catching prey/Protection. Many sharks have coloration known as counter shading.
Dark on the dorsal (upper) side and light on the ventral (lower) side.
Any prey looking down on the shark will see a dark shark against a dark sea bottom and any prey looking up at the shark will see the light belly of the shark on the light background of the ocean surface water Chromatophores : a skin cell that contains pigment.
Iridophores : a chromatophore with light reflecting crystals.
Countershading : a color pattern that results in a dark back and a light belly; most common in epipelagic fishes not on the bottom of the ocean.
Warning Coloration : coloration that allows organisms to escape from predators by advertising something harmful or distasteful.
Cryptic Coloration : a color pattern that allows an organism to blend with the surrounding. Ex: Camouflage
Disruptive Coloration : a color pattern that helps break the outline of an organism. Avoid being seen be a predator. ~ * ~ Bony
Fish ~ * ~ Pacific Sea Nettle Pelagic Tuna Crab Caridean Shrimp Spiny Lobster Atlantic Krill Yellow Sea Cucumber Great White Shark Basking Shark Pelagic Stingray Ocean Sunfish Tuna Fish Pacific Mackerel Yellow - Bellied Sea Snake Brown Pelican California Sea Lion Blue Whale Killer Whale
Cold surface currents come from polar and temperate latitudes, and they tend to flow towards the equator. They are driven by atmospheric forces.
Water flows in a circular pattern - clockwise in the Northern Hemisphere, and counterclockwise in the Southern Hemisphere.
The ocean is warmer on top and colder at the bottom
Currents flowing near the surface transport heat from the tropics to the poles and move cooler water back toward the Equator, which keeps the ocean from becoming extremely hot or cold.
Deep, cold currents transport oxygen to organisms throughout the ocean. Currents Currents are streams of water running through a larger body of water
Currents are affected by wind, salinity, heat content, bottom topography, and the earth's rotation.
Deep water forms when sea water entering polar regions cools or freezes, becoming saltier and denser which tends to sink.
A global "conveyor belt" set in motion when deep water forms in the North Atlantic, sinks, moves south, and circulates around Antarctica, and then moves northward to the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic basins.
Warm surface currents flow from the tropics to the higher latitudes, driven by atmospheric winds, as well as the earth's rotation. •Polychaetes (bristleworms) are segmented marine worms that have evolved into a wide variety of forms and many different lifestyles.
•They are an important food source, with their soft bodies providing a nutritious food for fish, wading birds, and many other predators
•commonly found crawling and burrowing in bottom sediments, but also live in crevice environments, on marine plants and plant-like animal growths, and free swimming in the plankton
•At least 828 species are known, although only about 500 of those have published names
•Are vulnerable only when they come to the surface to feed, excrete, and mate. Drifters of the ocean
cannot swim or move against currents, but can move vertically
some are found in the deep ocean but others are found at the surface
Picoplankton: Smaller than 2 m ; includes bacteria, prochlorophytes, and viruses
Nanoplankton: 2 to 20 m; includes diatoms, coccoliths, and silicoflagellates
Microplankton: 20 to 200 m; includes large diatoms, dinoflagellates, and small zooplankton, such as ciliates
Macroplankton: 200 to 2,000 m; includes large zooplankton, copepods, and invertebrate larvae
Megaplankton: Larger than 2,000 m; includes fish larvae and gelatinous zooplankton
Zooplankton—this is a broad group of heterotrophic organisms
Bacterioplankton—this group is composed of the bacteria that drift in open water. They can be autotrophic or heterotrophic. Algae is a very large and diverse group of simple (usually autotrophic) organisms
Can be unicellular or multicellular
Most are photosynthetic
Lack distinct cell and organ types found in land plants
Algae is adapted to its enviornment by airbladders (swim bladders), holdfasts, and multi layered cell walls.
Air bladders are air-filled structures that functions to maintain buoyancy, or to aid respiration. This makes it easy for the algae to float in the water and helps the algae be able to breath in the ocean.
The holdfasts are organ or structure of attachment and that is a root-like formation by which the algae is attached to a substrate.
A substrate is where an organism lives.
Multi layered cell walls helps the algae from injury. Kelp has to withstand ocean currents.
Their roots are adapted to dig deep into the rocks and soil to make sure not to drift away.
Kelp is adapted to the open ocean by its stipe (stem), with their floats, fronds (leaves), and the blades.
Floats are gas-filled compartments that help the blades reach the sunlight at the ocean’s surface.
The leaves have to be very strong to hold the amount of water to protect the kelp from drying out.
The blade’s job is to catch sunlight for photosynthesis. Sea grass is adapted to the open ocean by its stem, or rhizome
The blades grow from the rhizome and are flexible and bend with the water movement
The roots anchor to the ground and absorb dissolved nutrients
the air spaces through these three parts provide floatation
Many herbivores eat the sea grass Looks like brown seaweed.
Sargassum has berrylike gas-filled bladders, rough sticky texture, and being self-fertile to help it survive
The gas-filled bladders help keep the fronds afloat to promote photosynthesis.
Their rough sticky texture helps withstand strong water currents.
Being self-fertile helps the sargassum reproduce if seperated from other individuals. Velcro-like barbed hooks cover the sponge's branching limbs to catch food
They eat crustaceans as they are swept into its branches by deep-sea currents.
Once the harp sponge has its meal, it envelops the animal in a thin membrane, and then slowly begins to digest its prey.
The sponges cling to soft, muddy sediment on the ocean floor
The swollen balls at the tip of the harp sponge's upright branches hold sperm packets (spermatophores)
The balls release the spermatophores into passing currents, and other nearby sponges capture the packets on fine filaments along their branches.
The sperm then works its way from the packets into the host sponge to fertilize its eggs The crystal jelly lives both nearshore and offshore in the eastern Pacific Ocean.
Crystal jellies can live from the Bering Sea to Southern California.
The body is nearly transparent and has long, delicate tentacles.
The bell usually does not get larger than three inches.
Crystal jellies feed on copepods but sometimes may consume ctenophores and other jellyfish.
Most probably live six months or less in the wild.
The crystal jelly can give off a green glow around the edge of the bell.
This is caused by a photoprotein (aequorin) which emits blue light (bioluminescence), and an accessory protein, called the green fluorescent protein (GFP), which emits green light. GFP accepts energy from aequorin and re-emits it (called fluorescence) as green light
Crystal jellies can expand their mouth to eat prey half their size! There is a reddish tint on the bell of this jellyfish
The bell can span over three feet and the tentactles can be up to 15 feet long
Lives in the Pacific Ocean near California and Oregon
Can catch prey in its tentacles and then takes the food to its mouth
The stomach lining produces enzymes to break down the food
Eats small fish, plankton, and crustaceans
Will sometimes eat larvae of other jellyfish, eggs from fish, or anything else they can find in their environment Located in the ocean around the world.
Lifetime: 3 - 6 months
Does not have a central nervous system, a respiratory system, an osmoregulatory system, or a circulatory system.
It’s body consists of 90-94% water.
Due to their invisibility in the sun, this jellyfish can be dangerous to humans as their sting is extremely painful and attributed to various allergies in humans Largest species of jellyfish in the world
Live in cold weather conditions
Found in the Artic ocean and Northern Pacific Ocean
The size of the jellyfish decreases the farther south on the planet
The color is dark crimson but becomes a lighter orange the farther south on the planet
Eats zooplankton, small fish, and other jellyfish
Eaten by seabirds, larger fish, other jellyfish, and sea turtles The largest was 30 feet across and weighed more than 600 pounds.
Average sizes are more like 16 feet and 110 lbs
The giant Pacific octopus grows bigger and lives longer than any other octopus species. They live to be about four years old, with both males and females dying soon after breeding. Females live long enough to tend to their eggs, but they do not eat during this months-long brooding period, and usually die soon afterwards. Symbiotic relationships can be categorized into three different parts:
The first type of relationship is the mutualistic relationship: each organism benefits from the effects of the other organism’s activities.
The pilot fish swim really close to the sharks. When the sharks attack prey, the pilot fish gets to eat some of the scraps. The pilot fish gets protection by the shark from other predators who will not attack the shark. The pilot fish does remove bacteria, parasites and leftovers from the skin of the shark.
A second type of relationship is a commensalistic relationship: one organism benefits from the other organism’s activities, while the other organism is not harmed nor helped by the activities of the other organism.
The remora fish has a fin that acts as an organ for suction. The fin lets the remora to attach to the sides of larger fishes and turtles, which allows them to have a method of transportation and a chance at the remnants of food
The third type of relationship is a parasitic relationship: one of the organisms, the parasitic organism, benefits at the expense of the other organism, or the host. Adaptation: Body Shape
Rounder, flat bellied
Purpose: Feeds off or rests on the bottom; less conspicuous to predators
Examples: Sucker, catfish, sturgeon
Oval, fairly long
Purpose: Prefers more open water or a few weeds
Oval, very long, eel-like
Purpose: Fast-moving in quick bursts; Agile around rocks and weeds
Examples: Northern pike, burbot
Thin, shorter, disc-shaped
Purpose: Agile around rocks/weeds; round shape harder for predators to swallow
Exmaples: Bass, perch
Purpose: Stream-lined for high speed or swimming in currents
Examples: Brook trout, rainbow trout, arctic char
Purpose: Used for protection; speed not needed to catch food
Examples: Carp, sucker
Small or non-existent
Purpose: Fish more streamlined and fast-moving to catch prey
Examples: Northern pike, catfish, burbot Giant Pacific octopuses have huge, bulbous heads and are generally reddish-brown in color.
They use special pigment cells in their skin to change colors and textures, and can blend in with even the most intricately patterned corals, plants, and rocks.
They hunt at night, and eat shrimp, clams, lobsters, and fish, but have been known to attack and eat sharks as well as birds
They use their sharp, beaklike mouths to puncture and tear flesh. Adaptation: Mouth
Terminal (at the end of the snout)
Purpose: Feeds throughout the water
Examples: Walleye, sauger, northern pike
Under the snout/longer upper jaw
Purpose: Feeds on prey it sees below it; usually
feeds off the lake or river bottom
Examples: Bullhead, whitefish, carp,sucker
Angled upward/longer lower jaw
Purpose: Feeds on prey it sees above it; small fish, or aquatic insects, often at surface of water
Examples: Goldeye, rock bass, smallmouth bass,
Ventral (under the head)
Purpose: Feeds off the bottom
Purpose: "Vacuums" up food off the bottom; eats aquatic insects, vegetation
Examples: Sucker, sturgeon
Strong jaws and well-developed teeth
Purpose: Feeds on other fish
Examples: Northern pike, walleye
Purpose: Feeds off the bottom; Can sense food in
Examples: Catfish, bullhead, stonecat, sturgeon Adaption: Eyes
Purpose: Feeds by sight
Examples: Walleye, perch, goldeye, bass
Purpose:Likely feeds off the bottom and
relies on barbels to detect food
Examples: Catfish, bullhead, stonecat,
Purpose: For protection or to stiffen fins
Examples: Catfish, bullhead, stonecat,
perch, walleye, bass, sturgeon Adaptation: Colouration
Fairly uniform, no markings
Purpose: Swims in open water
Examples: Walleye, goldeye
Purpose: Hides in weeds for protection or
to ambush prey
Examples: Perch, smallmouth bass, rock bass
Purpose: Hides in rocks or on bottom
Examples: Northern pike, young sturgeon
Dark on top
Purpose: Less visible to predators above it
Examples: Catfish, sturgeon, carp
Light Colored Belly
Purpose: Less visible to predators below it
Examples:Perch, walleye, sturgeon, sucker,
- Courtship is a series of behaviors that serve to attract mates.
- Simultaneous Hermaphroditism : when an organism can produce both sperm and eggs at the same time.
- Sequential Hermaphroditism : when males change their sex to females. (Protandry) Or when females change their sex to males. (Protogyny)
- Internal Fertilization : when the sperm is directly transferred from males to females through the act of copulation.
- External Fertilization : when both males and females release their gametes (Sperm and Eggs respectively) into the water, or broadcast spawning, which is a much more common way of reproducing. Schooling- Many fish from well defined groups or schools function as well coordinated units with no leaders. It could be used as protection from predators as well. Schooling also allows for an easier chance for reproduction, survival, and feeding. It’s also very difficult to target individual fish when there’s such a huge population. Migration- Migration is regular mass movement from one place to another. This could occur either once a day, once a year, or even once in a lifetime. Migration usually occurs to find food, live in different temperatures, explore new environments, and for reproduction purposes. For thousands of years, people have depended on the ocean as a source of food and as a route for trade and exploration.
Today, people continue to travel on the ocean and rely on the resources it contains.
Fishers catch more than 90 million tons of seafood each year, including more than 100 species of fish and shellfish.
Millions of people depend on fisheries for their livelihood.
Fishing can be classified in two ways.
Subsistence fishing: fishers use their catch to help meet the nutritional needs of their families or communities.
Commercial fishing: fishers sell their catch for money, goods or services.
Popular subsistence and commercial fish are tuna, cod, and shrimp.
Ocean fishing is also a popular recreational sport. Whaling is a type of fishing that involves the harvesting of whales and dolphins.
It has declined in popularity since the 19th century but is still part of many cultures, such as Scandinavian, Japanese, Canadian, and the Caribbean cultures
The ocean offers plenty of fishing and whaling resources, but these resources are threatened.
People have harvested so much fish and marine life for food and other products that some species have gone extinct Many minerals come from the ocean.
Sea salt is a mineral that has been used as a flavoring and preservative since ancient times.
Sea salt has many additional minerals, such as calcium, that ordinary table salt does not have
Oil is one of the most valuable resources taken from the ocean today.
Offshore oil rigs pump petroleum from wells drilled into the continental shelf.
About one-quarter of all oil and natural gas supplies now comes from offshore oil deposits around the world. Most oil pollution does not come from oil spills but comes from the runoff of pollutants into streams and rivers that flow into the ocean.
Most runoff comes from individual consumers. Cars, buses, motorcycles, and even lawn mowers spill oil and grease on roads, streets, and highways
Storm drains or creeks wash the runoff into local waterways, which eventually flow into the ocean.
For centuries, people have used the ocean as a dumping ground for sewage and other wastes.
Another source of pollution is plastics.
Most ocean debris, or garbage, is plastic thrown out by consumers.
Plastics such as water bottles, bags, six-pack rings, and packing material put marine life at risk.
Sea animals are harmed by the plastic either by getting tangled in it or by eating it.
Another source of pollution is carbon dioxide.
The ocean absorbs most carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.
Carbon dioxide forms many acids, called carbonic acids, in the ocean.
Ocean ecosystems have adapted to the presence of certain levels of carbonic acids, but the increase in carbon dioxide has led to an increase in ocean acids.
This ocean acidification erodes the shells of animals such as clams, crabs, and corals. Global warming contributes to rising ocean temperatures and sea levels.
Global warming causes cold-water habitats to shrink, meaning there is less room for animals such as penguins, seals, or whales.
Plankton, the base of the ocean food chain, thrives in cold water, so warming water means there will be less plankton available for marine life to eat.
Melting glaciers and ice sheets contribute to sea level rise.
Rising sea levels threaten coastal ecosystems and property.
River deltas and estuaries are put at risk for flooding.
Coasts are more likely to suffer erosion.
Seawater more often contaminates sources of fresh water.
All these consequences (flooding, erosion, water contamination) put low-lying island nations, such as the Maldives in the Indian Ocean, at high risk for disaster.
Although the ocean is huge, it is more easily polluted and damaged than people once thought. Great
Sunfish Algae Jellyfish Zooplankton Phytoplankton Basking
Whales Krill Has two eyes, a beak, eight arms, two feeding tentacles, and a funnel (also called a siphon)
Can snatch prey up to 33 feet away by shooting out their two feeding tentacles
It has eight thick arms speckled with 2-inch wide toothed suckers which guide prey from the feeding tentacles to a sharp beak in the center of the arms, where the prey is sliced into bite-sized pieces. These bites are further cut and ground by the radula (a tongue-like organ covered with rows of teeth) that is inside the squid's beak.
The eyes are the size of dinner plates with a 1 foot diameter. These huge eyes absorb a lot of light which allows the squid to glimpse bioluminescent prey in the dark.
The squid's brain is tiny compared to its body and is shaped like a donut.
The main part of the body, or mantle, contains all the basic organs.
On the body’s underside is the funnel. By pumping water and other fluids through the funnel, the squid uses it to exhale, expel waste, lay eggs, squirt ink, and move through the water by jet-propulsion.
the longest total length (including tentacles) of a squid on record is 43 feet.
It’s believed that giant squid live about five years and, in that time, reproduce only once.
Giant squid mostly eat deep water fishes and other squids
The sperm whale is a predator of the giant squid. They are benthic creatures, living at extreme depths: 3000-4000 meters
They can flush the transparent layer of their skin whenever they want
They hover above the sea floor, searching for worms, bivalves, pelagic copepods, and other crustaceans to eat
They move by pulsing their arms, shooting water through their funnel, or by waving their ear-like fins
The females lay eggs consistently, with no distinct breeding season.
Can grow to 20cm
Found in every ocean •Bioluminescent
•Gets its name from the flashing lights that resemble those of a firefly
•Every year, they flock to the Japanese coast to spawn
•Grows to three inches long
•Have special light producing organs called photophores which are found on many parts of the squid’s body and can illuminate the whole body
•Photophores produce a deep blue light, and they can be flashed in unison or alternated into patterns
•Believed to have color vision
•Live in the western Pacific Ocean at depths of about 1,200 feet (365 meters). At night, they migrate up to the surface to search for food before returning below.
•Spawn from March to May
•Once the eggs have been released into the water and fertilized, the adult squid begin to die. This completes the one-year life cycle of the squid. This ten-armed squid can grow to a length of 75 cm
The fins covers approximately two thirds of the body length
migrate to the coast to spawn
European Squid are found in the northeast Atlantic Ocean, but are most abundant in southern areas.
becomes sexually mature within one year.
lays several batches of eggs over several months and then dies. Atmospheric pressure is about 15lb/sq.in = 1 atm
Every 10 meters of water depth adds another atmosphere of pressure
Some areas of the ocean floor have deep, narrow depressions called ocean trenches which are the deepest parts of the ocean. The ocean floor has huge mountains, deep canyons, steep cliffs, and wide plains.
The ocean's crust is a thin layer of basalt.
The ocean floor is divided into different areas:
Continental shelf: nearly flat, covered in sentiment from the nearby continent.
Continental slope: Outer edge of continental shelf, the land drops off sharply, the slope descends almost to the bottom of the ocean.
Continental Rise: Descends to the deep ocean floor.
Abyssal Plains: broad flat areas, lie at depths of about 4,000 m - 6,000 m, over 30% of the ocean floor is abyssal plains, flattest feature on Earth, covered by fine grained sediment (clay and silt), abyssal hills and seamounts (volcanic peaks) are scattered along the plains. Pelagic Tuna Crab ( Pleuroncodes planipes ) :
Pelagic tuna crabs (Pleuroncodes planipes) are normally found off the Pacific coast of Baja. When they are found in California it is a sure sign that southern water has moved north.
They are one to three inches in length, and swim backward by flipping their tails and streamlining their legs.
At times they settle to the ocean bottom and hide in holes in the sand. At other times they drift and swim with currents, moving up and down the water column in search of planktonic bits of food that they capture with appendage hairs.
They are known to be a food source for the blue whale (Balaenoptera musculus).
They can congegrate in vast swarms, thick enough to color the ocean surface red and washing ashore in great drifts to be mistaken for baby lobsters. Such swarms are often in association with El Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO) events. Fun Facts : Tuna crabs are also a source of food for fish, especially yellowtail and various tuna species, and for rays and pinnipeds as well. At times marine birds gorge so heavily on tuna crabs that they cannot fly! Caridean Shrimp ( Para Pandalus richardi ) :
Carideans are found in every kind of aquatic habitat, with the majority of species being marine.
Around a quarter of the described species are found in fresh water.
The marine species are found at depths of up to 5,000 metres (16,000 ft) and from the tropics to the polar regions. As well as the great variety in habitat, carideans vary greatly in form, from species a few millimetres long when fully grown, to those that grow to over a foot long.
Most carideans are omnivorous, but some are specialised for particular modes of feeding. Some are filter feeders, using their setose (bristly) legs as a sieve; some scrape algae from rocks. Many cleaner shrimp, which groom reef fish and feed on their parasites and necrotic tissue, are carideans.
In turn, carideans are eaten by various animals, particularly fish and seabirds, and frequently host bopyrid parasites. Fun Facts : In most species of caridean shrimp, the females lay 50,000 to 1 million eggs, which hatch after some 24 hours. The Caridean Shrimp spew light as a defense mechanism. Spiny Lobster ( Panulirus argus ) :
Spiny Lobsters get their name from the forward-pointing spines that cover their bodies to help protect them from predators.
They live in the Open Ocean, sponge flats, near shore nursery, and also in crevices of rock and coral reefs.
They dig out spaces in the sand under coral, or find crevices to hide in during the day.
They come out to eat at night and feed on both live and dead prey. Spiny Lobsters are Nocturnal and they feed primarily on gastropods, chitons, bivalves, and carrion.
They also navigate by using the smell and taste of natural substances on the oceans floor. Fun Facts : They use their antennae to keep contact with one another. When Spiny Lobsters Migrate, it can be a line as big as 50 lobsters. Antarctic Krill ( Euphausia superba ) :
Krill are zooplankton invertebrates that float in huge swarms in oceans all over the world. These swarms sometimes reaching densities that can turn the surface of the ocean pinkish-red.
There are 85 known species of krill. The most well known species of krill are the Antarctic Krill (Euphausia superba).
Antarctic krill are one of the most abundant animal species, there are about 500 million tons of krill in the Southern Ocean.
Krill travel in swarms primarily as a defense mechanism to confuse predators that would pick out single krill. In additional efforts to avoid predators, krill are found to spend their day at greater depths in the ocean and rise during the night toward the surface.
The lifespan of a krill is typically up to 10 years, six years on average which is not bad for a heavily sought after creature. Fun Facts : No other marine animal produces such large amounts of vitamin A. Most krill have a light organ in each eye and in parts of their body which make them glow in the dark. Actual Size: 2½ inches (or your pinky finger). Yellow Sea Cucumber ( Colochirus robustus ) :
The Yellow Sea Cucumber which originates from the Indian Ocean is very striking in appearance. They are bright yellow in coloration and have an elongated body with spikey projections.
When feeding, the Yellow Sea Cucumber extends their branchy feeding arms into the current.
The diet of a Yellow Sea Cucumber includes liquid or dried phyto plankton and zoo plankton.
When malnourished, they will shrink in size, and may lose feeding arms.
Fun Facts : The Yellow Sea Cucumber is very sensitive to copper-based medications and it will not tolerate high nitrate levels. If attacked or injured, it may release mild toxins. Great White Shark ( Carcharodon carcharias ) :
The great white shark is a type of lamniform shark that lives in the open ocean. Great white sharks occur in the coastal surface waters worldwide.
Females are generally larger than males. Great white sharks can grow up to 6 meters (20 feet) long.
Great white sharks feed on marine mammals, such as sea lions and seals, as well as other sharks, large bony fishes, and sea birds.
Females give birth to live young with litters from three to 14 young.
Males become mature at nine to 10 years and females at about 14 years. Great white sharks can have a life span of over 30 years. Fun Facts : The great white shark is capable of explosive bursts of speed and has been known to jump 3 meters (10 feet) out of the water. Great white sharks display countershading, having a white underside and a dark dorsal area. Basking Shark ( Cetorhinus maximus ) :
Basking sharks live in the open ocean and occur near the surface down to depths of 500 meters (1,640 feet).
They are found worldwide, however, only north and south of the equator in parts of the world with cooler water temperatures.
The basking shark is one of the largest species of sharks in the world, second only to the whale shark (Rhincodon typus).
Basking sharks can grow up to 15 meters (49 feet) long, but most are less than 10 meters (33 feet) in length.
Basking sharks feed primarily on zooplankton, such as copepods, barnacle larvae, krill, and fish eggs.
This shark is called the "basking" shark because it is mostly seen while feeding at the surface and appears to be basking in the warm surface waters. Fun Facts : The basking shark is the second largest species of fish in the world. Basking sharks are filter feeders, passing 2,000 tons of water over the gills per hour. Pelagic Stingray ( Pteroplatytrygon violacea ) :
Unlike other rays, which spend most of their time buried on the sandy seafloor, pelagic stingrays spend their time in open waters.
They are distinguished by their diamond-shaped bodies with rounded snouts and streamlined eyes that don’t protrude from their bodies. Pelagic rays are dark purplish above and purplish to gray underneath.
This coloration makes the rays harder for predators to see from above, as their dark backs blend with dark waters below, making these rays almost “disappear” from view.
Pelagic rays main source of food are all different types of jellies. Fun Facts : You’ll find the rays' venom glands in paired grooves running the length of their barbed poison spines. Their sting—which is extremely painful—is usually not fatal. Often seen feeding upside down, rays have many small, very sharp teeth for grasping pelagic prey. Sometimes pelagic rays use their pectoral fins to envelope and manipulate food into their mouths. Ocean Sunfish ( Mola mola ) :
The ocean sunfish (Mola mola) is the world's largest known bony fish. At least one estimate over 3000 lb. has been recorded and individuals reaching 11 ft. (3 m.) from fin tip to fin tip have been seen.
It is found in all oceans in tropical and temperate climes, and is known to eat gelatinous zooplankton (jellyfish) and probably small fishes and algae.
In the eastern Pacific, Mola mola is normally found from British Columbia to South America, although in El Nino events it has been recorded as far north as Alaska. Fun Facts : Molas are often seen basking flat on the ocean surface, nearly motionless. This may be a thermoregulation behavior. Sea lions often prey on Ocean Sunfish for their internal organs. Tuna Fish ( Thunnus thynnus ) :
Tuna live in the open sea rather than near the shore, and stay for the most part in the upper layer of water, called the mixed layers.
When tuna swim rapidly, their fins retract into grooves, and even their eyes form a smooth surface with the rest of the head.
Tuna never rest; they must always be moving. Their demand for oxygen requires moving one body length per second in order to get enough oxygen. They swim with their mouth open, which shoots a jet of water over their gills with which they extract oxygen from the water.
The daily menu for Tuna includes fishes, crustaceans and mollusks. They will eat whatever is available including their own relatives. Fun Facts : One large female Tuna may lay as many as 6,000,000 eggs in a single spawning. Tuna are not cold-blooded as most fish. Instead, warm-blooded tuna maintain their temperature a few degrees warmer than the water in which they travel. Pacific Mackerel ( Scomber japonicus ) :
The body of the Pacific mackerel tapers at both ends, is rather elongate, and is somewhat compressed. The head is pointed and is dark blue, and the mouth is large. The back is also dark blue with about 30 dark wavy lines, and the underside is silvery-green. The first and second dorsal fins are widely spaced.
They feed mainly on larval, juvenile or small fishes, but there are times when they feed on small crustaceans and squid.
The Pacific mackerel is found worldwide in temperate seas; in the eastern Pacific from Chile to the Gulf of Alaska.
A female mackerel can release about one million eggs at a time.
Mackerel are prized and are harvested for their meat, which is often very oily. They are known for their fighting ability, and are an important recreational and commercial fishery. Fun Facts : The Pacific mackerel is also known as the chub mackerel or blue mackerel. Pacific mackerel are related to tuna but only grow to a length of about 8 to 14 inches. Yellow - Bellied Sea Snake ( Pelamis platurus ) :
The Yellow-bellied sea snake has a paddle-shaped tail and distinctive colouring with a dark back contrasting with paler sides and belly in many patterns. Their average total length is around 1 metre.
This species lives in the surface layers of the open ocean and drifts passively in warm currents.
It is quite helpless on land because their compressed shape makes them roll onto their side and sea snakes washed onto beaches during storms seldom manage to return to the sea.
Unlike most other species of sea snake, the Yellow-bellied Sea Snake does not seem to have many predators.
The bright colouration of this species serves as a warning, not only that the snake is highly venomous, but also unpleasant and possibly even toxic to ingest. Fun Facts : They are capable of bursts of speed of up to 1m/sec when diving, fleeing and feeding. When swimming rapidly, they sometime carry their head out of water. Brown Pelican ( Pelecanus occidentalis ) :
The brown pelican is about four feet in length and has a wingspan from six to eight feet. It has a brown and gray body with a white head and a light brown crown. Young pelicans are all brown.
The brown pelican is a plunge diver; it drops from the air with its wings partly folded and dives into the water to catch its prey by using its bill and pouch like a net.
It scoops up water and fish, strains out the water from the side of its bill, then tips back its head and swallows the catch.
Brown pelicans eat mostly mid-sized fishes, such as sardines and anchovies.
Fun Facts : The brown pelican is the smallest of all pelicans and is the only one that plunges from the air into the water to catch its food. The huge pouch on the pelican bill can hold about 3 gallons of water and fish. California Sea Lion ( Zalophus californianus ) :
California sea lions have a warm, chocolate-brown colored fur coat. Males are slightly darker than females. When sea lions are dry, from "hauling out", their coats often appear lighter, and golden in color.
Sea lions are sleek with long front flippers and hind flippers that rotate under their body. This allows them to walk on all four "limbs" when they are out of the water, giving them extra mobility, and the ability to climb very well.
Sexual dimorphism, a difference in appearance between males and females, is especially apparent in the California sea lion.
Males are over two times as big as females (males are up to 850 lbs and 7.5 ft long, females up to 240 lbs and 5.5 ft long). Males also have a larger head with a mound or bump on top, called a sagittal crest. Fun Facts : Sea lions use their long front flippers to steer and propel themselves through the water. Most of the iconic trained seals of marine parks and circuses are actually California sea lions. Blue Whale ( Balaenoptera musculus ) :
Blue whales are the largest of all whales, as well as the largest living animal that has ever lived on earth. In the Northern Hemisphere, the largest blue whale reported is 85 feet, and in the Southern Hemisphere individuals may reach almost 110 feet in length.
They are found worldwide, but in the north Pacific they migrate from northern summer feeding grounds in Gulf of Alaska and the Bering Sea to their winter calving grounds by Baja California and the Sea of Cortez.
Recently blue whales have been observed feeding on krill during the summer in the Santa Barbara Channel.
Blue whales feed almost exclusively on krill and can eat over 4 tons a day. They feed by taking in tons of water, and filtering out the food with its baleen.
The blue whale has 260 to 400 baleen plates about three feet long on each side of the upper jaw. The throat has 55 to 94 grooves. Fun Facts : The blue whale is the largest living animal. Blue whale calves drink 100–150 gallons of milk a day. When relaxed, the blue whale takes a breath every 15 seconds for 5 to 20 minutes before its long dive of 5 to 20 minutes. Killer Whale ( Orcinus Orca ) :
The killer whale is a type of marine mammal that is found both offshore and in coastal waters. Killer whales are the most cosmopolitan of all whales as they occur in all the worlds' oceans.
The body is stout but streamlined with a striking black and white color pattern.
Some killer whales feed exclusively on fish, while others feed on marine mammals such as seals, sea lions, walruses and even large whales.
Female killer whales live about 50 years, with a maximum of 80–90 years. Males live around 29 years, with a maximum of 50–60 years.
Female killer whales mature at around age 15 and males mature at the age of 15 but do not typically reproduce until age 21. Gestation is from 15 to 18 months and mothers calve, with a single offspring, about once every 5 years. Fun Facts : The killer whale, as known as the orca, is the largest dolphin. The orca is the ocean's top predator. ~The End ~