Marine Ecology, a sub-discipline of Ecology, is an integrative science focused on research on and assessment of the biotic and abiotic components and processes of Earth's marine and oceanic environments. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration estimates that oceans comprise an astonishing 70 percent of the Earth's surface.
This environmental medium is supplemented by estuaries and coastal areas, and such other brackish bodies of water as the Great Lakes. Marine environments and their ecology are, therefore, critical for life, human habitation, and food and other natural resources. Also, basic and applied marine ecological research address human activity that affects ocean ecosystem composition, structure and function.
Wrasses (the family Labridae) are the most abundant and conspicuous fishes on tropical reefs around the world. Wrasses also comprise an important element of the coldwater fish...
Spinner dolphinLast Updated on 2014-04-17 17:28:05The Spinner dolphin (Stenella longirostris), a marine mammal in the family of oceanic dolphins, gets its name from the spinning behavior it shows when it leaps out of the water. This cetacean species lives in schools showing a dominance hierarchy and displays complex interactions among individuals. S. longirostris also engages in intricate echolocation underwater acoustics. Spinner dolphins attract tourists for dolphin watching. The species is of special interest for scientific investigation because of its remarkable capacity to learn.
Species:--------Stenella longirostris... More »
OrcaLast Updated on 2014-04-16 15:11:43Orcinus orca, or simply orca, is in fact the largest of the dolphins within the order of cetaceans. This species of marine mammal, also commonly known as the killer whale, is easily identified by its black and white coloration; the underside is white with white patches behind the eyes and a greyish white area called a saddle-patch behind the dorsal fin. The shape of the saddle is unique in each animal, and can help to identify individuals. The dorsal fin is also used to recognize individuals. Male orcas have the tallest dorsal fin known in the animal kingdom, measuring up to six feet high in mature males. Females have shorter, more curved dorsal fins.
Kingdom: Anamalia (Animals)
Class:------ Mammalia... More »
Pan-tropical spotted dolphinLast Updated on 2014-04-12 15:29:32The Pantropical spotted dolphin (Scientific name: Stenella attenuata) is a marine mammal within the family of ocanic dolphins, part of the order of cetaceans, that is found in all the world's oceans between about 40°N and 40°S. The gregarious Pantropical spotted dolphin forms schools that can range in size from less than one hundred to thousands of individuals.
The pantropical spotted dolphin is well known for its tendency to associate with schools of tuna in this region. While this may be due to an overlap in diet, other reasons for this association have also been suggested, such as increased protection from predators, as there is safety in numbers. As a result of this association, Pantropical spotted dolphin have been frequently killed in as a bycatch in the fishing of yellowfin tuna with purse-seine nets.
The pantropical spotted dolphin is a fast swimmer that... More »
Coral reef fish feeding behavior in the CaribbeanLast Updated on 2014-04-02 14:51:20
Fishes living in the Caribbean Sea rely on a variety of food sources including plants, plankton, invertebrates, and other fishes. Fishes can feed either on the reef or off of the reef in the sandy bottoms or sea grass beds. Fishes can feed either diurnally (during the day) or nocturnally (at night). Their diet and mode of feeding strongly influences their morphology. Moreover, their foraging strategy should affect their susceptibility to predators and thus influence their anti-predator mechanisms.
Only 10 – 25% of species on a Caribbean reef fishes are herbivores. Although there are relatively few herbivorous fish species, these species tend to have relatively large population sizes such that the total biomass of herbivores is high. Herbivorous fishes are most common in shallow water which is not surprising because light levels are higher in shallow water which promotes... More »
Emperor penguinLast Updated on 2014-01-16 15:03:05The Emperor penguin (scientific name: Aptenodytes forsteri G. R. Gray, 1844) is one of seventeen species of flightless birds in the family of penguins, and with the King penguin forms the genus Aptenodytes or "Great penguins".
Class:------ Aves (Birds)
Family:-------- Spheniscidae (Penguins)
Genus:--------- Aptenodytes (Great Penguins)
Species:--------- Aptenodytes forsteri G. R. Gray, 1844
Like all penguins, the Emperor penguin is characterized by its erect posture, stiff wings, excellent swimming ability, awkward movement out of water, and coloring. The black back and white front, make penguins difficult to... More »
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