Underwater Ecology Rundown

Hover over these terms for definitions, but before you do see if you can guess what they might mean! How many can you guess correctly?

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Community of living organisms and their environment.

Ecosystem

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The study of ecosystems and the relationships between living things and their physical surroundings.

Ecology

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The natural home of an organism that has all of the conditions necessary for survival. 

Habitat

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An area of the ocean seashore that is covered in water when the tide is high and exposed when the tide is low. 

Intertidal

Zone

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A term used to relate to the water and organisms that live in the water.

Aquatic

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An area submerged by water most of the time and only exposed in times of extreme low tides.

Subtidal

Zone

Dark Waves

The physical, non-living components of an ecosystem (e.g. water temperature and light).

Abiotic

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Biotic

The living components of an ecosystem (e.g. animals and plants).

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An animal without a backbone. 

Invertebrate

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Opposed to an invertebrate, a vertebrate is an animal that has a backbone or spinal column.

Vertebrate

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Something an organism has evolved to do or a physical trait that helps them to thrive in their environment and survive.

Adaptation

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An organisms that has a soft body that is not divided in segments and typically also has an external shell.

Mollusk

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An aquatic mollusk or crustacean that has a shell.

Shellfish

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A type of animal with a hard exoskeleton, jointed legs, and no backbone.

Crustacean

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The order in which organisms (living things) eat other organisms in the environment.  

Food Chain

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An organism capable of making their own food, such as plants who get energy from the sun and convert it into food. 

Producer

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An organism that cannot produce its own food and must consume food to obtain energy, such as a crab.

Consumer

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An organism that breaks down or decomposes organic matter, such as a marine worm. 

Decomposer

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Responsible use, actions, and protection of aquatic resources to conserve ecosystems.

Aquatic Stewardship

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Collecting fish and other marine species and relocating them to another area.

Fish Salvage

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An organism that feeds by straining suspended food from the water like a filter, such as a sea urchin.

Filter

Feeder

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An aquatic organism that feeds at the bottom of a water body.

Bottom

Feeder