COLORFUL SEAS

The Sea life is bountiful with its diversity of c o l o u r f u l coral cities and blooming seasons of the seas.

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                                                     Colourful Seas 

 

Underwater Coral Cities ;

 Sea life exhibits an immense diversity of c o l o u r f u l shapes in the coral reefs. Such dazzling phenomenon of varied c o l o u r s can hardly be seen anywhere on the earth.

Coral reefs form the underwater cities of the seas, crowded bustling ones with creature communities belonging to animal kingdom.The coral reef world grows  in the myriads of dazzling colours ,creeping, burrowing worms ,flower like sea anemones crustaceans . Some animals exhibit their brilliant colourations to attract a mate ,others being camouflaged to scare away the potential predators.

 

The reef builds large cup coral polyps with food gathering tentacles.

Slowly year by year ,a coral reef grows as million of tiny animals ,the limestone skeletons in millions of polyps accumulate to form the mighty coral reefs in the sea water.

The reef itself is craftsmanship of the living things.

The corals change minerals dissolve into limestone.

The Clams tubeworms give hard part to the skeletons of the reef. The Algae repair the rough edges of the reef by cementing powdered remains of one celled organisms to fill the tiniest openings.

Formed over thousands of years ,say centuries together ,the coral reefs expand around a couple of inches every year and thus extend to the miles together. The largest reef ; Great Barrier Reef , is nearly 1300miles along the north-eastern coast of Australia.

It could supply limestone to build eight million replicas of Egypt’s largest Pyramid.

The coral reef is dynamic process of creation not a static structure of a man.

It is never ending process ,some animals building it some tearing it ,resulting in crevices, tunnels burrows and ledges.

Reef Building Corals abound and grow in warm clear shallow waters.

There are three types of Coral growths ;

1Fringing reefs extending directly from the shore

2.Barrier reefs run parallel to the shore but separated by deep waters

3.Atolls , which are circular ones enclosing the quiet lagoons.

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SEA FAN  Thousands of tiny polyps  fringe sea fan’s branches during night and contract during day into skelton

 

A small Atoll is having zones above and below water surface with plants and animals.

Each Atoll and Reef are different from others.

Atoll reef on the lagoon side ,the shore slopes down to the base of the water . The lagoon waterline falls and rises with the tides .The snails escape the heat of the shore and bury themselves deep into the coral rubble.

On the sloping side of lagoon reefs corals grow abundantly and many beautiful shaped corals grow , some slender tapering ones ,getting interwined, and many others heavy and massive.

 

Growing Coral Colonies.

 A coral colony usually consist of thousand polyps , arising from single individual. The fertilized eggs of

Of reef building corals grow into free swimming larvae , the larges sized about 1/25 inch long.

A larvae settles down on a surface with mouth upwards ,it secretes a limestone cup around itself and spends rest of life in this external skeleton.

Surrounding the mouth are delicate food gathering tentacles that collect plankton from the water.

As time speds away each new polyp buds in turn and thus grows closely knit coral community in beautiful colours ,brown ,lavender, yellow greens etc.

 

A reef colony is huge complex of many colonies and kinds of corals mostly growing on limestone laid down for generations. The Great Reef Barrier contains more than 350 species and millions of active colonies.

The reef colonies of this earth exist within radius of 3,600 mile wide band ,about 30 degrees north and south of Equator, roughly from the northern latitude of Florida to that of southern Brazil.

A giant single polyp housed in a stony skelton up to up to 7 inches long , called mushroom coral , is oldest and most beautiful of corals.

 

 

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Coral Reefs  in colourful display.

 

 

Seas, a source of magnificient discoveries , fascinating ,luring mankind to its fathoms for more and more revelations unknown and unheard ,much to the amazement of human minds.

    

 

    

 

 

 

 

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THE MARVELS OF EVOLUTION OF WHALES .

 

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BLUE FAMILY

 

The whales are mightiest awe inspiring creatures of the world.

They are the descendants of land mammals that took to seas some 70 million years ago.

The first signs in that long marvelous evolution may have come from land mammals wading through shallow waters in search of plentiful of food availability in the deep waters of sea.

The ancestors of whales adapted to ocean life for their survival .

The earliest history is traced to the very known fossil ‘Archaeocetes’ old whale ,closely resembling the modern Whales.

During 20 million years of whale evolution ,the hind legs disappeared ,forelegs became flat flippers and tails acquired dominant role in locomotion .The tail Vertrabrae assumed largest size to accommodate the powerful swimming muscles.

The whales evolved in striking resemblance to fishes, differing in one major respect only.

The fishes have vertical tails and the whales have horizontal tails.

Fishes swim by undulating their bodies and beating their tails from side to side.

Whales swim by fanning their broad tails up and down

 

The two groups of living whales –Toothed whales and Baleen whales have finally evolved to stay conquering the seas.

Toothed Whales

Toothed Whales use their teeth not for chewing but to grasp the prey .

Continue reading “THE MARVELS OF EVOLUTION OF WHALES .”

THE BEAUTIFUL SEAS

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THREE QUARTERS OF THE EARTH is covered by the beautiful sea.

The earth being the only planet in solar system with water in much more appreciable quantity covering seven –tenths of the surface of this globe.

This boon from God bestowed upon the mankind need to be preserved to balance the Nature to sustain life itself.

For million of years The sea offerred open adventure and the explorers across the globe tore down the stormy seas to lay bare the secrets of life underneath,and along the coastal waters fringing the different continents.

The coastal seas

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Continental  Shelves

Coastal seas lie over the Continental shelves.

The Continental shelves, 45 miles wide stretches over the western coasts of North and South America to around 900 miles of the Arctic coast of Siberia.

At outer edge the sea is 450 ft deep and the continental shelves slope down to the depth of 20,000ft.

Glaciers have been useful natural bulldozer in moulding the Continental shelves by planning down the land around the coasts .The process is still on in the glacial coasts of Antartica.

Continental shelves are made of recently deposited deep layers of sediments turned to rock.

Four kinds of Continental shelves are as follows.

Fault Dam is made by volcanic or earth quake activity. The slope of the shelf floor is very steep.

Reef Dam consists of Algae or coral growths or even living coral — north- eastern Australia continent.

Salt Dam

When there is caused by upward movement of salt bed – the west Coast of the Gulf of Mexico.

No Dam is caused when no barrier holds back the sediments, the shelf slopes downwards as along the coast of Europe.

The Rivers of the world carry 750 million tons of sediments into the coastal waters every year.

The minerals present in the sediment, like phosphates, nitrates, calcium and silica are essential for life to plants in the sea as on the land.

The Natural cycle of life and death

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Whales  and Fishes 

Every animal of the ocean eats and is eaten in the natural cycle of life and death as on land.

The fate is same for even for the big whales as well. The whales when die, their bodies are broken down by living inmates and the nutrients released into the oceans form endless food reservoirs.

The plants like Diatoms, dinoflagellates, enrich the sea life by converting inorganic substances into the food through photosynthesis.

The most abundant animals in the sea, the copepods, and other minute creatures convert some of the sea plants into flesh ,which is eaten by bigger animals size ranging from Herring to blue whales.

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Blue whales in attacking mood

The number of animals decrease as the big carnivores, whales,, giant squid and large fish, white sharks dominate the animal spectrum.Some creatures such as sponges, mussels and sea squirts feed by filtering food particles from enormous amounts of water.Other ones burrow down the bottom eating from the embedded particles.

Brightly coloured Sea anemones hide in the bottom mud keeping mouth and tentacles visible to prey upon creature.

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Crabs and lobsters move across the ocean floor to pounce upon anything they can with their princers.

A star fish   entangles a mussel with its blue tube feet and when the shell open it inserts its stomach to digest the victim.

The battle of survival continues and the life moves on in the great simmering seas forever unabated.

 

 

 

NATURAL MEDIUMS OF COMMUNICATION.

LIKE HUMAN BEINGS  Animals and Birds have many natural means of communication with one another of their species .

FOR ORGANISMS such as Amoeba and Paramecium as well as birds ,bees , Monkeys ,communication is essential for their survival.

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Animals use signals to transmit information.

Males and Females signal each other for Mating, to threaten Enmies, or to warn Friends of approaching danger.

TOUCH METHOD

monkeyTactile touch signals are common among Animals .

In the Zoo for instance ,the Chimpanzees are often seen grooming each other.It is a Tactile signal, a sign of friendliness. It has nothing to do with searching of fleas as is commonly believed

Animals with well developed eyes use visual signs. Typical are the strange postures that many animals adopt during courtship or when they are threatened by enemies..

Monkeys ,when threatening others ,squat with its legs apart and make head nodding gestures.

BOWERBIRDS of Australia give one of the best known examples of this kind of signaling.The male constructs a bower and decorates it with flowers ,shells and white stones .when the female is attracted to his bower,their courtship takes place in it.

PENGUINS are the sea birds found on the southern shores of south Africa, Australia ,South America.

Penguins are found together in huge flocks around 10,000 in a rookery.The two species Adelie   and Emperor Penguins are most active in breeding .The Aldie penguins lay their eggs in summer when temperatures are above freezing whereas Emperor Penguin lay eggs in winter when temperature is about minus 60 C When Female Penguin lays her single egg, the Male Penguin incubates it for two months ,by warming the embryo inside by covering it with his skin of lower abdomen. A strange phenomenon. When the egg is hatched both parents feed it till summer and the Chick is strong mature enough to go to waters on its own.

Penguins can toboggan along the flat ground at surprising speed.,about 15 mph. Vow ;

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SOUND SYSTEM

love-birdsBirds ,frogs and insects communicate by sound. The sound signals have definite rhythms. The rhythms make signals clear and convey precise information to other animals.

When a male bird sings he discloses his identity to the female and invites her for mating.

The Honeybee system of communication is by performing Dances.

ROUND DANCE

When a bee finds nectar close say within radius of about 20 ft of the hive ,it performs the round dance. The other bees follow its movements and immediately learn that the food is nearby. From the performance of the dancer,

The bees learn whether source is rich or poor.

Sickle Dance  

The bees performs sickle dance to indicate the source is rich and within the radius of 30 to 60 feet from the hive. The movements indicate the direction in the relation of the sun .

Tail Waggle Dance

If the food supply is at greater distance from the hive say more than 60 ft, the bee does the Tail –Waggle dance. The bee makes short straight run, waggling its body as it goes. Then it moves to one side and returns in a semi-circle to its earlier position.

After the next straight run it comes back in a semi-circle on the other side. This indicates not only the quality of food but also the direction and distance at which place the nectar is situated.