Category : Natural History

Natural History / Natural History - 2 years ago

What is a High Seas Forecast?

The National Weather Service provides High Seas forecasts for large areas of the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, U.S. coastal areas, and the Great Lakes. Seafaring can be very dangerous for ships at sea. For centuries, little could be done to mak...

Natural History / Natural History - 2 years ago

What is a bight?

Can you spot the bight? This image shows the Southern California Bight—the curved coastline between Point Conception and San Diego that encompasses the Channel Islands (and NOAA's Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary). A bight is a long,...

Natural History / Natural History - 3 years ago

What is a thermocline?

The red line in this illustration shows a typical seawater temperature profile. In the thermocline, temperature decreases rapidly from the mixed upper layer of the ocean (called the epipelagic zone) to much colder deep water in the thermocline (m...

Natural History / Natural History - 3 years ago

What is a Portuguese Man o’ War?

The Portuguese man o’ war is recognized by its balloon-like float, which may be blue, violet, or pink and rises up to six inches above the water line. Image credit: Elizabeth Condon, National Science Foundation The Portuguese man o’ war, (Phys...

Natural History / Natural History - 3 years ago

What is subsidence?

This geodetic mark in Louisiana is anchored deep below the ground and was level with the ground when it was originally placed there, but now the ground around the mark has subsided. Subsidence—sinking of the ground because of underground mater...

Natural History / Natural History - 3 years ago

What is a wetland?

VIDEO: What is a wetland? Here's what you need to know in less than a minute. Transcript There are many different kinds of wetlands and many ways to categorize them. NOAA classifies wetlands into five general types: marine (ocean), estuarine...

Natural History / Natural History - 3 years ago

What is HAZMAT?

In January 2010, a crude oil tanker (T/V Eagle Otome) and a barge collided in Port Arthur, Texas. Oil spilled during this incident is an example of hazardous material, or HAZMAT. Under the National Contingency Plan, NOAA provides scientific suppo...

Natural History / Natural History - 3 years ago

What is an ocean glider?

Scientists are now experimenting with using gliders to locate populations of spawning fish. The glider illustrated here is outfitted with an acoustic receiver to “listen” for vocalizations—grunting sounds—made by some fish as they mass togethe...

Natural History / Natural History - 3 years ago

What is a marsh organ?

An installed marsh organ at the Apalachicola National Estuarine Research Reserve in the Florida Panhandle. A NOS-sponsored project in the Gulf of Mexico employs the marsh organ to mimic sea level rise impacts on marsh vegetation and inform foreca...

Natural History / Natural History - 3 years ago

What is a nautilus?

Writers, artists, and engineers have long marveled at the nautilus’s beauty and swimming abilities. The chambered or pearly nautilus is a cephalopod (a type of mollusk)—a distant cousin to squids, octopi, and cuttlefish. Unlike its color-chang...

Natural History / Natural History - 3 years ago

What is a platypus?

Sometimes known as a duck-billed platypus, this curious mammal combines the characteristics of many different species in one. The platypus is a duck-billed, beaver-tailed, otter-footed, egg-laying aquatic creature native to Australia. If its a...

Natural History / Natural History - 3 years ago

What is spat?

Once oyster larvae attach to a surface, such as other oyster shells, they are known as spat (shown in inset image). As generation after generation of spat grow into adult oysters, they form dense clusters known as oyster reefs or beds. Oysters...