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If you had to guess what the most abundant organism in the ocean was, would you guess microorganisms? There are about 1 billion cells of bacteria in every liter of seawater. Marine viruses, which generally attack other microscopic organisms, are even more abundant, with about 10 billion in one liter of seawater. Most bacteria and viruses in the ocean are not harmful to humans.
What’s the longest mountain range on Earth? Nope it’s not the Andes! The Mid-Ocean Ridge is a long connected series of underwater mountains that crisscross the globe like the seams on a baseball. This long mountain range is found in all of the world’s oceans and is made up of oceanic crust or rock that is 200 million years old.
In the ocean, as on land, elements are constantly being cycled through different animals. An important player in this cycling process is bacteria. Bacteria can take organic matter, such as a fish carcass, and break it down to some of the essential compounds required for life. Bacteria sometimes get a dirty reputation, but they’re actually nature’s recyclers!
We get excited when lava flows from our volcanoes, but actually 90% of the volcanic activity that happens worldwide occurs underwater!
Did you know that life in the deep ocean doesn’t just stop at the sea floor? Scientist have found evidence that microorganisms are living miles below the ocean floor deep down in the sediment! That’s a lot of real estate for some very small creatures.
Photo: NOAA Fisheries Researchers at the University of Washington have been tracking the Southern Resident killer whale population in the Salish Sea for several years in an effort to track their health and reproduction. The Southern Resident killer whales are endangered with continuing population decline. Debate exists on whether the decline in the whale population is due to food supply, pollutants, or boat traffic. In an effort to resolve this debate, Sam Wasser and colleagues at the University of Washington conducted a multi-year survey of the nutritional, physiological, and reproductive... (more)