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Marine Food Chains

Food energy in the marine environment comes from photosynthesis at the surface or chemosynthesis at hydrothermal vents.

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Her Deepness

Her Deepness

License: CC BY-NC 3.0

Born in 1935, Dr. Sylvia Earle has been at the forefront of ocean exploration for her entire career. She has become an important advocate for ocean stewardship. One of her nicknames is “Her Deepness,” another is the “Sturgeon General.”

Why It Matters

Credit: USFWS/Jim Maragos
Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/usfwshq/8425324622/
License: CC BY-NC 3.0

Coral reefs are one of the most diverse ecosystems [Figure2]

  • Life began in the oceans and there is more biodiversity in the oceans than on land.
  • Many marine organisms exhibit bioluminescence. These animals emit light or have a symbiotic relationship with organisms that emit light.
  • To study the oceans, Dr. Earle has done countless scuba dives, cruised the seafloor in small submersibles and lived in submerged laboratories.
  • Dr. Earle is a National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence.
  • In Dr. Earle’s lifetime, the human population has grown from 2 billion to 7 billion.

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With the links below, learn more about Sylvia Earle. Then answer the following questions.

  1. What attributes do scientists and kids share?
  2. Why is bioluminescence common in the oceans? What might animals do with it?
  3. How could Dr. Earle say that tuna are endangered? There were so many of them and they are not on any endangered list.
  4. Why does Dr. Earle say that we should eat low on the food chain? What does she mean?

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Image Attributions

  1. [1]^ License: CC BY-NC 3.0
  2. [2]^ Credit: USFWS/Jim Maragos; Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/usfwshq/8425324622/; License: CC BY-NC 3.0

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