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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.
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.
Can you imagining putting a person in a time capsule and then opening it up 80 million years later to discover that they’re still alive? Scientists have found a bacterial colony buried 100 feet deep in the Pacific Ocean floor that hasn’t received light, oxygen, or food for over 80 million years, and they’re still alive! A very slow metabolism and dividing to make identical copies of themselves allow these bacteria to survive for so long.
In the deep ocean, a hairy-armed crab called the "yeti" crab has an interesting source of food. The crab farms bacteria on its hairy arms and then scrapes the bacteria into its mouth. Talk about self-sustaining!
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.
In a world of growing scientific knowledge and an explosion of data, it is a difficult task to synthesize a high number of studies to make conclusions that drive political, management, and research decisions. In the field of coral reef science, the literature on coral bleaching and the susceptibility of corals to thermal stress is rapidly expanding. In an attempt to gather and group this information for coral reef conservation, Swain and colleagues (2016) have conducted a major meta-analysis of the coral bleaching data currently available and created a “global index” of the most sensitive... (more)