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The Hawaiʻian Islands chain found in the Pacific Ocean is the most isolated Archipelago, located approximately 2,550 miles southwest of Los Angeles and about 3,900 miles southeast of Tokyo.
Did you know that some sharks can live in freshwater? The bull shark is able to withstand changes in salinity and swim from the ocean into freshwater rivers.
Even though it’s harder for humans to hear when underwater, sound travels much faster and farther in the ocean than in the air. That allows some animals, like humpback whales, to communicate over very large distances and is why you can sometimes hear them singing loudly while underwater during the winter months.
The air above the ocean is intricately connected to the ocean floor miles below. Carbon dioxide dissolves into the surface of the ocean from the atmosphere and phytoplankton use the carbon dioxide for photosynthesis. Other organisms at the surface eat the phytoplankton and when they die they sink down towards the sea floor. Creatures living in the deep sea depend on this falling matter for food.
You may have known that corals are living animals but did you know that they have a partnership with algae living inside of them? Algae known as zooxanthellae (zo-zan- thel-ay) live in the coral’s tissue. The coral gives the algae protection and nutrients while the algae provide food and oxygen to the coral in return. When two living organisms help each other out like this we call it a symbiotic relationship.
Photo: Luiz Rocha/California Academy of Sciences, ABC News Climate change is increasing the severity and frequency of coral bleaching events as a result of rising sea surface temperatures. The coral animals that build the foundation framework of coral reef ecosystems are sensitive to these thermal stress events that occur in the marine environment and can respond to this stress in a visually striking way known as coral “bleaching”. When corals bleach, the symbiotic algae held in their tissues are lost, generating the stark white color giving this response its name. Under normal... (more)