Depth

  
The Monterey Bay has many different habitats in different depths of water. Some animals and plants in the intertidal zone live in tide pools. Tide pools are small puddles or pools of seawater, which are left behind during low tide. These habitats can contain only an inch or two of water. Many pelagic animals swim freely in water of any depth, while other animals live in the deep dark water of the Monterey Canyon.

Deep water is a very special environment that contains fascinating and sometimes spooky forms of life. Deep-water environments like the Monterey Canyon contain lots of zooplankton, which provide food for many animals in the food chain. Animals that live in deep water have to adapt to the pressure of all the water above them. Many deep-water animals live in total darkness and have adapted to the dark and the pressure in strange and bizarre ways.

The anglerfish attracts its prey with a lure that glows in the dark. The vampire squid had adapted to the darkness in the Monterey Canyon by having very large, sensitive eyes.

 

Questions: Click on the question to see the answer

Do you think you would find any phytoplankton at the bottom of the Monterey Canyon?

How deep can a human being dive without a submarine?

How deep is the deepest place in the ocean?

Marine Biology
Marine Ecology
Marine Navigation

ADAPTATION
Changes that occur in a species over time so that it adjusts to a new or changed environment.

ENVIRONMENT
All the living and nonliving things with which an organism interacts.

MONTEREY CANYON
A submarine canyon located in the Monterey Bay that is over 15,000 feet in depth.

PELAGIC
Having to do with the open ocean or open water; away from the shore or coastline. A pelagic animal swims freely in the open ocean.

PHOTOSYNTHESIS
Process in which light energy is converted to chemical energy by plants using water and carbon dioxide; results in the production of oxygen and carbohydrates such as sugar and starches.

PHYTOPLANKTON
Microscopic, single-celled, drifting photosynthesizers not able to swim against currents.