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Have you heard of coral bleaching? That is what happens when corals lose their green or brown colored algae living inside of them due to environmental stress such as warmer temperatures. If conditions return to normal fairly quickly, the algae will come back; but if conditions change for too long then the coral will be permanently bleached and won’t be able to survive.
On the outside, green turtles are usually some combination of brown, black and grey in color, with yellow accents. They are called “green” turtles because their internal fat tissue is green due to their herbivorous diet.
Even though they live in the ocean, dolphins and whales are not fish! They are warm-blooded mammals that breathe air, and feed their calves milk, just like us. In fact, even though they have very smooth skinned bodies, they also have hair. Some shed these hairs when they are born, but others still retain small hairs on their faces.
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!
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.
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)