Tag: Ocean Life

Natural History / Natural History - 9 years ago

What are phytoplankton?

Phytoplankton is the base of several aquatic food webs. In a balanced ecosystem, they provide food for a wide range of sea creatures including whales, shrimp, snails, and jellyfish. Phytoplankton, also known as microalgae, are similar to terre...

Natural History / Natural History - 9 years ago

How do people use kelp?

Kelp forests maintain a delicate balance in order to support a diverse range of sea creatures. Algin, an emulsifying and bonding agent, is extracted from kelp and used in these products. Kelp is also used as food on mollusk farms. Between 100,...

Natural History / Natural History - 9 years ago

Do sharks eat people?

Despite their scary reputation, sharks rarely ever attack humans and would much rather feed on fish and marine mammals. Only about a dozen of the more than 300 species of sharks have been involved in attacks on humans. Sharks evolved millions o...

Natural History / Natural History - 9 years ago

What is a kelp forest?

In ideal conditions, kelp can grow up to 18 inches per day, and in stark contrast to the colorful and slow-growing corals, the giant kelp canopies tower above the ocean floor. Like trees in a forest, these giant algae provide food and shelter for...

Natural History / Natural History - 9 years ago

What is a coral reef made of?

Coral polyps form a living mat over a calcium carbonate skeleton. Stony corals (or scleractinians) are the corals primarily responsible for laying the foundations of, and building up, reef structures. Massive reef structures are formed when ea...

Natural History / Natural History - 9 years ago

What is a mangrove forest?

Mangrove forest in Loxahatchee, Florida. There are about 80 different species of mangrove trees. All of these trees grow in areas with low-oxygen soil, where slow-moving waters allow fine sediments to accumulate. Mangrove forests only grow at...

Natural History / Natural History - 9 years ago

Is change important to estuaries?

Estuaries experience change many times a day due to tides. Shown here: Located at the northern end of the Ten Thousand Islands on the gulf coast of Florida, the Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve represents one of the few remaining u...

Natural History / Natural History - 9 years ago

What is marine snow?

VIDEO: Biological debris that falls from higher in the water column is also known as marine snow. Some flakes fall for weeks before finally reaching the ocean floor. As plants and animals near the surface of the ocean die and decay, they fall...

Natural History / Natural History - 9 years ago

What is marine debris?

With marine debris, pictures speak louder than words. Marine debris injures and kills marine life, interferes with navigation safety, and poses a threat to human health. Our oceans and waterways are polluted with a wide variety of marine debri...