Ocean Answers

by Deb on August 13, 2011


From yesterday’s quiz. If you want to have a go before you read the answers, close your eyes and click.

1.   The deepest part of the ocean is the Challenger Deep in the Mariana Trench. It is 10 924 m deep, which means Mt Everest would disappear in there and not break the surface. It is directly north of Australia, about midway between New Guinea and Japan. The Mariana Trench is a subduction zone where the Pacific Plate is diving underneath the Mariana Plate. The Pacific Plate is the earth’s largest so it is extremely dense and heavy compared with the small Mariana Plate, which is why it dives so far underneath. subduction

2.   Black Smokers are hydrothermal vents found deep under the ocean, they are very rich in minerals, particularly sulfides. When the heated water meets the cold ocean water the chemicals precipitate out, forming fantastical chimneys and structures. The fascinating part is that there are thriving communities of bacteria and even animals on black smokers. Most deep ocean animals depend on organic material that rains down from shallower water, so are still dependent on photosynthesis even though there is no light down there. But the bacteria on black smokers use the sulfides, which are highly poisonous for most animals, to produce energy. They were the first ecosystem not dependent on the sun discovered and have had a profound impact on biology.

3.   The Dumbo Octopus is quite possibly the cutest marine animal. They are called that because they have two large fins on their head that resemble Dumbo’s ears. There are several species, not much is known about them because they live in very deep water and are rare. Have a look at the video at the bottom.

4.   Crayfish blood uses a different chemical to carry oxygen, haemocyanin. It is rich in copper, and like many copper salts appears blue. We use haemoglobin which is based on iron, so our blood is red like rust.

5.   The photo is actually a type of worm called a tube worm, more specifically a feather duster worm. They are very common, you’ve probably found tubes at the beach and thought they were some strange type of shell. They are, just shells for worms. They live in the shell but put feeding arms out to filter the water and catch tiny particles of food. That’s what you can see, when they are threatened they pull them in.

Octopus Ballet:

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Krys - Baby Massage August 14, 2011 at 10:59 am

Ah yes, hydrothermal vents. I’ve seen those on Octonauts.
That octopus is awesome!


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