Biomes are the world's major ecosystems that are classified by their predominant flora (vegetation) and fauna (animals).  They do not have distinct boundaries and overlap each other.  The marine biome is the largest of all the Earth's biomes.  In this activity, you will take a field trip through the ocean ecosystems of the marine biome.  You will discover the plants and animals that inhabit it and what adaptations these organisms have developed in order to successfully live  here.



This fieldtrip is a two day excursion. 
Day 1: answer the questions in the marine biome and shorelines.
Day 2: answer questions in temperate, tropical oceans, and ocean deep.


1.  Click on the picture of each section. 
2.  Read through the section.
3.  Follow the links within each section.
4.  Answer the questions for the section.
5.  Submit the completed worksheet to your instructor.


The Marine Biome
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1.  What percentage of the Earth is covered by the marine biome?

2.  What are the three main ecosystems of the marine biome?

3.  What is the approximate salinity of the ocean?

4.  What is the average depth of the ocean, the deepest depth?


5.  Describe the conditions of the intertidal zone. 

6.  What are some of the adaptations of the animals in this zone?

7.  List some of the animals of this zone.

8.  Define a barrier island and tell where most are located in the United

9.  What benefit do the dunes provide to the barrier island?

10.  What is the main force that the animals of rocky shores must be
        able to withstand?

11.  Name the main animals that live in the tide pools.

12.  Describe the water conditions in estuaries.

13.  Name and describe the two important functions estuaries provide to
       an ecosystem.

14.  Explain why salt marshes are productive ecosystems.

15.  What common condition exists in estuaries, salt marshes, mud
        flats, and mangrove forests? 

16.  Explain adaptations animals have made in order to survive the
        changing conditions in these ecosystems due to the tides.

17.  What is the dominant flora of the mangroves and why is it so
        important to protect this ecosystem?

18.  Click on the "Tide Predictions for the US" link and answer the two
        questions posed above the link.

19.  List the three factors that determine the size of a wave.

20.  Explain how the different densities of water help replenish
        oxygen in the ocean.


1.  Name the five main "oceans" and give their relative size and location in
     comparison to each other.

2.  What is the difference between a "sea" and an "ocean"?

3.  Name the two horizontal zones of the ocean and name the main   
     factor that distinguishes each zone.

4.  Contrast the neritic and oceanic zones.

5.  What is the main process of food production that occurs in the
     euphotic zone and explain why most organisms live within this zone.

6.  What process do organisms of the aphotic zone use to obtain energy?

7.  Explain how the layers of the marine forest are similar to a rainforest.

8.  Explain the importance of phytoplankton to the marine food chain.

9.  Explain how the ocean "refreshes" itself. 

10.  Why is overfishing our oceans so dangerous and how can we prevent
       continued overfishing?

11.  What is a coral reef, how much area of the ocean do they comprise,
        and how many species live within them?

12.  How does a coral reef regenerate itself?

13.  What make a coral reef hard?

14.  Name the countries and continents where most coral reefs are found
       and describe the climatic conditions that are common to all reefs? 

15.  Describe the threats to coral reefs.

16.  Name five animals and their adaptations that allow them to thrive
       within coral reefs.

Due to the favorable conditions of coral reefs, they are highly diverse. 
Click on the links at the bottom of the present page to explore the many interesting flora and fauna.


The Ocean Deep
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17.  Describe the location of the abyssal zone.

18.  Name and explain the five physical conditions that characterize this

19.  Why do most deep sea animals live near hydrothermal vents?
(click on the hydrothermal vent communities link and observe the video)

20.  What are some of the adaptations of the animals of this zone?


Congratulations, you have completed your field trip!

  There's so much more to be discovered, and the beauty of the internet is that you can continue on your own personal trip by exploring the many other sites available.