Tag: Ecosystems

Natural History / Natural History - 8 months ago

What is a watershed?

While some watersheds are relatively small, others encompass thousands of square miles and may contain streams, rivers, lakes, reservoirs, and underlying groundwater that are hundreds of miles inland. Shown here: an aerial view of Drakes Bay, par...

Natural History / Natural History - 11 months ago

What is a backscatter?

VIDEO: How does backscatter help us understand the sea floor? Here's what you need to know in less than a minute. Transcript Backscatter is the reflection of a signal (such as sound waves or light) back in the direction from where it originat...

Natural History / Natural History - 11 months ago

What is a ghost forest?

A ghost forest on Capers Island, South Carolina. As sea level rises, more and more saltwater encroaches on the land. Along the world’s coasts and estuaries, invading seawater advances and overtakes the fresh water that deciduous trees rely upo...

Natural History / Natural History - 1 year ago

What is eutrophication?

This NASA Earth Observatory image shows the region where the Mississippi River meets the Gulf of Mexico. It illustrates how sediment is moved from the land to the sea. The Mississippi River carries millions of tons of nutrient-rich sediment into...

Natural History / Natural History - 1 year ago

How does sand form?

The giant bumphead parrotfish is an amazing fish that can live to be 40 years old, growing up to four feet long and 100 pounds. They use their large head bumps to literally bump heads during competitive displays, when large numbers of fish aggreg...

Natural History / Natural History - 1 year ago

What are brain corals?

Brain coral in the Dry Tortugas, Florida. The cerebral-looking organisms known as brain corals do not have brains, but they can grow six feet tall and live for up to 900 years! Found in the Caribbean, Atlantic, and Pacific Oceans, brain corals...

Natural History / Natural History - 1 year ago

What is a catcher beach?

A classic example of a catcher beach along the shores of Hawaii. This map shows debris concentrations from an aerial survey done in Alaska in 2012. The map points to two known catcher areas, along Kruzof Island and Gore Point. Not to be...

Natural History / Natural History - 1 year ago

Are all fish cold-blooded?

Fisheries biologist Nicholas Wegner of NOAA Fisheries' Southwest Fisheries Science Center in La Jolla, California, lead author of the a 2015 research paper that discovered the unique warm-blooded characteristics of the opah (shown here). Not a...

Natural History / Natural History - 1 year ago

What is ocean noise?

Humpback whales swimming underwater. Photo credit: Ed Lyman/NOAA, under NOAA permit #14682 Many marine organisms rely on their ability to hear for their survival. Sound is the most efficient means of communication underwater and is the primary...

Natural History / Natural History - 1 year ago

What is a sea lamprey?

The rasping mouth of the sea lamprey, an infamous Great Lakes invader. Image credit: Ted Lawrence/Great Lakes Fishery Commission Among the most primitive of all vertebrate species, the sea lamprey is a parasitic fish native to the northern and...