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Hawaiʻians are well known for their strong ocean voyaging heritage. Archeologists have discovered that Egyptians were also adept seafarers. The Egyptians built massive ships capable of traveling over 1000 miles. Furthermore, these ships were built to be disassembled and reassembled, because the Egyptians had to break them down and carry them 100 miles across the desert to trade goods.
Ocean acidification happens when increased carbon dioxide in the air dissolves into the ocean. The excess carbon dioxide lowers the pH of our oceans, making them more acidic. This becomes a threat for sensitive animals like corals and shellfish because it reduces their ability to build calcium carbonate skeletons.
If you could take all of the bigger organisms of the ocean (whales, sharks, fish, squid) and add up their total weight, and then took all of the microscopic organisms (like plankton) in the ocean and added up their total weight, which one would weigh more? You might be surprised to hear that the microscopic organisms weigh over 40 times more than all other organisms in the ocean combined!
Many fish change gender over the course of their lifetimes. For instance, parrotfish generally begin life as female and then become male as they mature. They also travel in harems with typically one male escorting a group of females. If the male dies, another female in the harem may change into a male.
Ocean phytoplankton produce at least half of the oxygen that we breathe. Though small in size they are able to produce as much oxygen as all of the land plants on earth combined. While trees and plants usually get all the credit for our oxygen, we actually should be thanking our marine plankton!
Photo: Kristen Marhaver A new study found that healthy reef coral populations are an important source of the next generation of corals. The study, published in Conservation Letters reports that healthy coral populations produced more offspring per square meter than nearby degraded reef sites. The authors of this study measured live coral cover as a metric of the health on 6 reef sites on the island of Curacao in the Caribbean. Three of the sites were located in an undeveloped area of the island while the other three were in an urban area with higher human impact. The researchers then... (more)