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Chapter 14 Animals of the Pelagic Environment PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Chapter 14 Animals of the Pelagic Environment. Essentials of Oceanography 7 th Edition. Pelagic organisms. Organisms that live in the pelagic environment: Live suspended within the water column Can float or swim Have adaptations that allow them to stay above the ocean floor.

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Chapter 14 Animals of the Pelagic Environment

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Chapter 14 Animals of the Pelagic Environment

Essentials of Oceanography

7th Edition

Pelagic organisms

  • Organisms that live in the pelagic environment:

    • Live suspended within the water column

    • Can float or swim

    • Have adaptations that allow them to stay above the ocean floor

Staying above the ocean floor

  • Adaptations for staying above the ocean floor:

    • Rigid gas containers

    • Swim bladder

    • Ability to float

Swim bladder

Figure 14-2

Gas containers in cephalopods

Figure 14-1

Microscopic floating organisms: Radiolarians

  • Radiolarians produce a hard test composed of silica

  • Tests have projections to increase surface area

Figure 14-3

Microscopic floating organisms: Foraminifers

  • Foraminifers produce a hard test composed of calcium carbonate

  • Test is segmented or chambered

Figure 14-4

Microscopic floating organisms: Copepods

  • Copepods have a hard exoskeleton and a segmented body with jointed legs

  • Relatives of shrimp, crabs, and lobsters

Figure 14-5

Macroscopic floating organisms: Krill

  • Krill are related to copepods but are larger in size

  • Abundant in Antarctic waters, where they are a favorite food of the largest whales

Figure 14-6

Macroscopic floating organisms: Coelenterates

  • Coelenterates are soft-bodied organisms including:

    • Siphonophores (Portuguese man-of war)

    • Scyphozoans (jellyfish)

Figure 14-7a

Swimming organisms (nekton)

  • Larger pelagic organisms can swim against currents and often migrate long distances

  • Nektonic organisms include:

    • Squid

    • Fish

    • Marine mammals


  • Squid are invertebrates that swim by taking water into their body cavity and forcing it out through their siphon

Figure 14-8

Fish: Swimming motions and fins

Figure 14-9

Fish: Adaptations

  • Feeding styles: Lungers versus cruisers

    • Lungers sit and wait for prey to come close by

    • Cruisers actively seek prey

  • Cold-blooded versus warm-blooded

    • Most fish are cold-blooded

    • A few active fish are warm-blooded

  • Many fish school to avoid predators

Fish: Deep-water nekton

  • Adaptations of deep-sea fish:

    • Good sensory devices

    • Bioluminescence

    • Large, sharp teeth

    • Large mouths and expandable bodies

    • Hinged jaws

Figure 14-11

Marine mammals

  • Characteristics of marine mammals:

    • Warm-blooded

    • Breathe air

    • Have hair (or fur)

    • Bear live young

    • Females have mammary glands that produce milk for their young

Marine mammals: Order Carnivora

  • All members of order Carnivora have prominent canine teeth

  • Includes:

    • Sea otters

    • Polar bears

    • Pinnipeds (flipper-footed)

      • Walrus

      • Seals

      • Sea lions/fur seals

California sea lions

Figure 14-17c

Differences between seals and sea lions/fur seals

  • Seals:

    • Lack ear flaps

    • Have small front flippers

    • Have claws

    • Cannot rotate hind flippers beneath themselves

Figure 14-18

Marine mammals: Order Sirenia

  • Sirenian characteristics:

    • Large body size

    • Sparse hair all over body

    • Vegetarians

    • Toenails (on manatees only)

  • Includes:

    • Manatees

    • Dugongs

Marine mammals: Order Cetacea

  • Cetacean characteristics:

    • Blowholes on top of skull

    • Skull telescoped (streamlined shape)

    • Very few hairs

  • Includes:

    • Whales, dolphins, and porpoises

Marine mammals: Order Cetacea

Figure 14-20

Two suborders of order Cetacea

  • Suborder Odontoceti (toothed whales)

    • Echolocate (send sound through water)

    • Includes killer whale, sperm whale, dolphins, porpoises, and many others

  • Suborder Mysticeti (baleen whales)

    • Have rows of baleen plates instead of teeth

    • Includes blue whale, finback whale, humpback whale, gray whale, and many others

Differences between dolphins and porpoises

  • Dolphins have:

    • An elongated snout (rostrum)

    • A sickle-shaped (falcate) dorsal fin

    • Teeth that end in points

Killer whale jawbone

Figure 14-22

Generation of Odontoceti echolocation clicks

Figure 14-23

Odontoceti echolocation

  • Sound is bounced off objects to determine:

    • Size

    • Shape

    • Distance

    • Internal structure

Figure 14-24

Mysticeti: The baleen whales

  • Mysticeti whales have baleen instead of teeth

  • Baleen plates:

    • Hang as parallel rows from the upper jaw

    • Are made of keratin

    • Are used as a strainer to capture zooplankton

    • Allows baleen whales to eat krill and small fish by the ton


Figure 14-25

Types of baleen whales

  • Baleen whales include three families:

    • Gray whale (a bottom-feeder with short baleen)

    • Rorqual whales (medium-sized baleen)

      • Balaenopterids (blue whales, finback whales, and other large whales )

      • Megapterids (humpback whales)

    • Right whales (surface skimmers with long baleen)

An example of migration: Gray whales

  • Gray whales undertake the longest annual migration of any mammal:

    • Spend wintertime in birthing and breeding lagoons in Mexico

    • Spend summertime feeding in highly productive Arctic waters

Figure 14-27

End of Chapter 14

Essentials of Oceanography

7th Edition

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