sp01u1p3 - Unit One Antarctic Ecology Antarctic Ecology II...

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Unit One Antarctic Ecology Project Oceanography Spring 2001 11 Antarctic Ecology II Penguins and Seals Lesson Objectives: Students will be able to do the following: Indicate the location of Antarctic endemic and circumglobal species on a map Identify three categories of adaptations Compare and contrast penguin and seal adaptations Key concepts: endemic species, circumglobal species, behavioral adaptations, morphological adaptations, physiological adaptations, community, niche Classification of Adaptations Organisms of the Antarctic can be divided into the endemic and circumglobal species. These categories describe the geographic range of organisms. The Antarctic, endemic animals are those that are found exclusively in the Southern Ocean. They will only be found south of 60 ° south latitude, because they are confined to the Antarctic ecosystem. The circumglobal species are found at all longitudes in waters between 40 ° south latitude and 40 ° north latitude. They may be found in a variety of habitats. Both groups of organisms have adapted to this harsh environment by finding diverse solutions to some common problems. They use a combination of behavioral , morphological , and physiological adaptations to meet their needs. Behavioral adaptations describe how the animal lives. For instance in what season will penguins lay their eggs, how many will be laid, and who will take care of them. Morphological adaptations describe the appearance of an organism. This includes their size and shape. It is the reason a penguin looks like a penguin. Physiological adaptations describe body processes. For instance, seals provide adequate oxygen to their bodies during long dives by shutting down oxygen flow to their extremities. If we look at a typical Antarctic food chain , we can see how organisms have adapted to their situation. For instance, we find a combination of circumglobal and endemic species at the lower levels of the Antarctic food chain that are ectothermic or “cold blooded”. The body temperature of these organisms depends on the surrounding water. These include the copepods, krill, and fish. The microscopic phytoplankton, consisting mainly of diatoms , drift along with the currents photosynthesizing while the sun’s energy is optimum. Copepods, comprising the major portion of the zooplankton, use their oil reserves to float in the water. As
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Unit One Antarctic Ecology Project Oceanography Spring 2001 12 the winter days grow shorter copepods become dormant to conserve energy while their main food source of phytoplankton are in short supply. Krill become opportunistic, scouring the bottom of the sea ice looking for plankton . If plankton are in short supply, they live off their fat reserves. As the winter grows longer, the krill slow their living processes as they rise and fall through the water column. They pass through several larval stages of development until they reach maturity over a two-year period. The krill all the while are excreting
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This note was uploaded on 07/31/2011 for the course OCB 6050 taught by Professor Staff during the Spring '11 term at University of South Florida.

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sp01u1p3 - Unit One Antarctic Ecology Antarctic Ecology II...

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