When did life begin in the ocean?

Actually, before there was life on land there was life in the ocean. Life in the ocean began about 3.1 to 3.4 billion years ago. Life on land began only 400 million years ago.

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How do you say ocean in … ?

Czech … oceánu

Dutch … ocean

Bulgarian … океан

Filipino … karagatan

Finnish … meressä

German … ozean

Hungarian … ocean

Indonesian … samudra

Italian … oceano

Latvian … okeāna

Lithuanian … vandenynas

Maltese … oċean

Polish … oceanu

Portuguese … oceano

Spanish … océano

Turkish … okyanus

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What am I?

Here are some clues:protozoa

Lives at the surface of the ocean.

It is only one cell.

It is an animal that eats, breathes and moves like any other animal.

The blue rays in the center hold algae.

You can find it at the American Museum of Natural History.

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Why do you hear the ocean echo from a shell?

The larger the seashell the louder the sound, right? It is the space inside the shell that creates the sound. Well, the space inside the seashell bouncing against the sounds of your surroundings.

For the most part people are experimenting with this seashell symphony at the beach where there is a lot of  space for sounds to resonate inside the seashell.

It would be the same type of sound when you put a glass up to your ear. It you put a glass up to your ear in the bathroom with the door shut you will hear very little. If you put the glass up to your ear outside, you will hear the “ocean”.

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Are the fried scallops at the take-out place really scallops?

These days – Absolutely! In past decades it was not uncommon to substitute succulent scallops with shark or the wings of a sting ray. The scallop industry has been thriving since 1970’s and this has not been the norm. How can you tell? Real scallops will break apart very easily when separated, also, the meat will be lengthwise.

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How did fiddler crabs get their name?

The male fiddler crabs have one claw that is much larger than the other. This extra large claw is shaped like a fiddle.fiddles 015

It is useful for two main reasons.

The first being that if waved in a certain manner it attracts some hot chicks, er, female fiddler crabs. The second is that it is a  useful tool for defense when other dudes like to create drama during mating season.

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Image (c) decksfiddles.com

Why are mussels always found on pilings?

Well, it is important to mention that not all mussels are found on pilings. Mussels attach themselves to any type of hard substrate in the intertidal regions, including pilings. On pilings the top most mussels indicate the high tide line.

To go off on a random tangent, here is a yummy mussel recipe: http://allrecipes.com/HowTo/Cooking-Mussels/Detail.aspx

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What is the difference between a marine biologist and an oceanographer?

A marine biologist studies the life in the ocean (“bio” = life). An oceanographer studies the physical elements of the oceans.

A marine biologist will study dolphins.

An oceanographer will study tides.

A marine biologist will study jellyfish.

An oceanographer will study the salt content of seawater.

A marine biologist will study algae.

An oceanographer will study the volcanic activity of the sea.

A marine biologist will study horseshoes crabs.

An oceanographer will study the plate tectonic action of the ocean.

Of course, I do not think they are at all exclusive. But, that is the general break down of who studies what.

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14 fascinating facts about the blue whale

Blue Whale

  1. A toddler can fit into a blue whale’s blowhole. The spray can reach up to 30 feet high.
  2. The blue whale’s scientific name is Balaenoptera musculus.
  3. Blue whales live in all oceans of the world.
  4. A blue whale’s tongue weighs more than an elephant.
  5. Blue whales are the loudest animal on Earth reaching up to 188 decibel.
  6. A blue whale’s heart weighs up to 2,000 pounds. Their heart can be the size of a Mini Cooper.
  7. Blue whales are the fastest growing animal or plant on Earth.
  8. Blue whales can be up to 100 feet long. That is about the length of a NBA basketball court.
  9. A medium sized dog can comfortably walk through a blue whale’s arteries.
  10. Blue whales can live up to 90 years in the wild.
  11. Blue whales look blue underwater, but gray above the surface of the water.
  12. Blue whales tend to sleep in the middle of the day.
  13. Blue whales eat krill.
  14. Blue whales can swim up to 30 miles per hour.

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How do female terrapins navigate to a nesting site?

The answer is “very carefully”.250px-Diamondback_Terrapin

Female terrapins need to look for a spot above the high tide line to lay a nest for their eggs (They lay on average 2 clutches of approximately a dozen eggs each summer).

The challenge is getting to a spot on the beach above the high tide line (dunes are usually the best spot) all the way from the estuaries (a.k.a. bays – spots where fresh and saltwater mix).

Terrapins lay their eggs at all times of day and night so you may see them venturing from the bay to the beach at anytime.

All too often you may see female terrapins crushed on the side of the road since a motorist was not paying attention as the female tried to make her way from the bay to the beach or back again. A good idea is to stop your car and let the terrapin continue across the road in the direction she was headed.

For more information check out the Northern Diamondback Terrapin Association.

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Image (c) Wikipedia Commons.