Mighty Water Week: Day #1

Greetings everyone,
Happy Mighty Water Week! This week National Geographic is highlighting water. As it can "submerge everything in its path, it contains secrets stuck in time, it jumps vertically from the edge of the world, it is a natural paradise home to a million living species, it is every flood, waterfall, every great lake and river, it is the ocean", and that doesn't even cover half of the reasons why water must be highlighted. As seen from space, our planet’s surface is overshadowed by the color blue, seventy five percent to be precise. A human brain is made up of ~75% water, we need it to stay healthy and alive, we need it to clean everything from our dishes to our bodies and cars, without water there would be no life. It can be pretty easy to take water for granted and we at #BioBunch are really happy to see that it is being featured this week. Hope you enjoyed our insight into the world of water. We're going to start off with talking about oceans and their residents and today we are presenting the Arctic Ocean.

The Arctic Ocean is the smallest and shallowest of the five oceanic divisions of Earth. It is located in the northern hemisphere and crowns the top of the world providing an unlikely home for a collection of fascinating and unique creatures. These range from the magnificent polar bear to the arctic fox; all exceptionally adapted to cope with extreme cold and seasonal conditions. The Arctic Ocean is acknowledged as an ocean, however some oceanographers call it the Arctic Mediterranean Sea or Arctic Sea classifying it as a Mediterranean sea or an estuary (mouth) of the Atlantic Ocean.

Image Source. Throughout most of the year much of the Arctic Ocean surface is covered by sea ice (ten feet thick) which usually shrinks during the summer months.

The Arctic Ocean extends between Europe, Asia and North America and most of its waters are north of the Arctic Circle, and only covers ~3% of the Earth's total surface area.

The Arctic Ocean is similar to the world's other oceans as it shares borders with both continents and marginal seas. A marginal sea is a semi closed sea adjacent to a continent and connected with the ocean. The Arctic Ocean encompasses the following marginal seas: Barents Sea, Kara Sea, Laptev Sea, Chukchi Sea, Greenland Sea and Beaufort Sea.

Image Source. A mother harp seal can distinguish it's harp seal pup on ice from hundreds of others by smell.
Harp Seal (Pagophilus Groenlandicus) is a sleek swimmer, spending as little time as possible on land. Their scientific name Pagophilus Groenlandicus means "ice lover from Greenland". They are widespread in the Arctic Ocean and the North Atlantic.
Conservation Status: Least Concern
Harp Seal pups have snowy white coats for up to about twelve days of age. After that they start developing dark saddle like spots on their backs and sides and their coats becomes silver-grey. Due to this they are also known as saddle back seals.

Image Source.Females sexually mature at age five to six. Annually consequently they bear one pup, usually in late February.
Harp seals combine anatomical and behavioral approaches to managing their body temperatures, instead of elevating their metabolic rate and energy requirements they have a thick coat of fat that insulates their body and supplies energy when food is insufficient, as well as streamlining their body for more effective swimming. Another adaptation for extreme conditions is that their flippers; which act as heat exchangers, can be used for warming or cooling the blood as required. On ice, the seal can compress its fore-flippers to its body and its hind-flippers together to decrease heat loss.

Image Source. Tusks are actually canine teeth and can grow to be about three feet long.
Walrus (Odobenus rosmarus) is a large marine mammal found near the Arctic circle.  The scientific name for the walrus is Odobenus rosmarus, which is Latin for "tooth-walking sea-horse." They are slow swimmers but can swim for more than a hundred of miles without stopping.
Image Source. 

Hopefully this has given you some insight into the Arctic Ocean. So get in touch with us, tell us what ocean life you would like us to include this week. Keep a look out for tomorrows article!
Over and out.

No comments

It's all about breathtaking and blockbusting science here on BioBunch. If you have an idea on what should be featured on the blog, leave a comment below... or just leave one to say hi!
Looking forward to hearing from you and enjoy the blog

Back to Top