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Sea Turtles

Sea Turtles are found in

feet in length and weigh 440-1,100

warm and temperate oceans

pounds—the largest leatherback

throughout the world. Adults of

specimen recorded weighed 2,019

most species are usually found in

pounds!

shallow coastal waters, bays,

Unlike tortoises seen on

lagoons, etc. Sea Turtles are

land, sea turtles have unique non-

characterized by a large,

retractable limbs which serve as

streamlined shell and and non-

flippers adapted for swimming.

retractable head and limbs.

This attribute makes the turtle

Depending on the species, they may

very vulnerable and awkward

be olive-green, yellow, greenish-

while on land. Foreflippers are

brown, and even black. Adult

used like wings beating in the

males and females are equal in

water while the hind flippers serve

size. Due to the variety of species

as rudders, stabilizing and

of the sea turtle, their size comes

directing the animal as it swims.

in a wide range of lengths and

The large, bony shell

sizes. The Kemp’s ridley and olive

provides protection from predators

ridley are the smallest species;

and abrasion. With the exception

mature individuals will reach 22-

of the leatherback, the shell of all

30 inches and range from 66-110

species is covered with a layer of

pounds. The leatherback is the

horny plates called scutes. These

largest of all the living sea turtles.

scutes allow each species to be

Adult leatherbacks will reach 4-6

correctly identified based on the


number and pattern of the scutes.

Diet varies with species may

The top section of the shell is

be carnivorous, herbivorous, or

called the carapace. The shape of

omnivorous; the jaw structure of

the carapace ranges in shape from

the species indicates their diet.

oval to heart-shaped depending on

Green and black sea turtles have

the species. Again with the

finely serrated jaws adapted for a

exception of the leatherback, the

vegetarian diet of grasses and

bony shell is composed of

algae. Loggerheads’ and ridleys’

broadened, fused ribs, and the

jaws are adapted for crushing and

backbone is attached to the

grinding, so their diet consists

carapace (shown in figure 3).

primarily of crabs, mollusks,

Sea turtles are not generally

shrimp, jellyfish, and vegetation.

considered social animals;

The hawksbill species has a

however, some species do

narrow head with jaws meeting at

congregate offshore. Although they

an acute angle that allows it to

exhibit this type of behavior, they

search for feed within crevices and

do gather together to mate. Little

coral reefs—their diet consists of

is known about the individual

sponges, tunicates, shrimp, and

behavior of sea turtle species, but

squid.

they generally are solitary animals

Like other turtles, sea turtles

that can be seen floating on the

lay eggs. Females nest a few weeks

surface and will on occasion beach

after mating during the warmest

themselves to bask in the sun.

months of the year (with another exception of the leatherback turtle


which nests in fall and winter).

years living an oceanic existence

Relative to the species, the female

before appearing in coastal areas.

will deposit 50 to 200 ping pong

Although the migratory patterns of

ball-shaped eggs. Incubation time

the young turtles during the first

for most species is 45 to 70 days,

year has long been a puzzle, most

so most sea turtles hatch in

researchers believe that they ride

summer. After hatching, the

prevailing surface currents,

hatchlings may take three to seven

situating themselves in floating

days to dig their way to the surface

seaweed where they are

of the sand from which they were

camouflaged and where they can

laid. They will usually wait until

find food. Research suggests that

night to emerge from the nest so as

hatchlings of the flatback species

to reduce their exposure to daytime

do not go through an oceanic

predators. Theoretically, during

phase. Evidence shows that they

the crawl to the sea, the hatchlings

young turtles remain inshore

may discriminate light intensities

following the initial swim frenzy.

and head for the greater light

Most remain within 9.3 miles of

intensity of the open horizon.

land.

During the first year, many species of sea turtles are rarely seen. This first year is known as the "lost year." Researchers generally agree that most hatchlings spend their first few


Ammonite Ammonites are perhaps the most

widely

to attack from other predators,

known

fossil,

typically

ribbed

protective outer shell that shields

spiral-form shell as pictured above.

their soft interior from damage.

These

lived

Evidence shows that ammonites

during the era of the dinosaurs

gained size and mass rapidly, with

and likewise became extinct during

females growing up to 400% larger

the same period of time. The name

than the males.

possessing

the

unique

creatures

they

quickly

develop

a

strong

“ammonite” originates from the

Likewise to their nautilus

Greek Ram-horned god Ammon.

relatives, ammonites moved by jet

Ammonites belong to a group of

propulsion—expelling

predators known as cephalopods,

through a funnel-shaped opening

which relatives

includes the

their

living

to

octopus,

squid,

opposite direction. They typically

cuttlefish, and nautilus. During

water

the

propel

lived

for

themselves

two

years,

in

but

the

some

ammonites’

species survived beyond this and

adolescence, ammonites begin life

grew very large. Evidence of their

as tiny planktonic creatures less

short lives is estimated by looking

than 1 millimeter in diameter.

at

Although they are very vulnerable

nautilus. These species exist within

their

living

relatives,

the


modern day oceans and possess

tube called the Siphuncle links the

many

chambers.

attributes

similar

to

ammonites.

Some ammonite fossils bear

Most ammonite shells are

intricate patterned details on their

coiled, and all contain a series of

outer surface called Sutures. These

linked chambers. The body of the

are located beneath the external

ammonite was contained within

shell wall, and are often visible if

the large final, open-ended section

the

called the living or head chamber,

weathering or artificial polishing.

from

were

These patterns mark where the

The

walls of the chambers, Septum,

which

extended

to

the

tentacles

catch

prey.

fossil

has

been

subject

to

opening of the shell, called the

meet

aperture, was possibly covered by a

ammonite shell. The bulk of the

protective shield that could shut to

septum

protect the ammonite from As the

becomes folded where it meets the

animal grew, new chambers were

outer

added behind the head chamber.

construction is thought to have

The chambered interior of the

provided strength to the shell when

shell

diving to deeper depths. Suture

is

referred

phragmocone,

and

to in

as

the

life

this

the

outer

is

relatively

shell.

patterns

wall

are

This

very

of

flat,

method

useful

the

but

of

for

contained gasses which enabled the

distinguishing different species of

ammonite to regulate its buoyancy

ammonite.

within the water column. A small


Megalodon Megalodon was the biggest prehistoric shark ever to exist, but it was also the largest marine predator in the history of the planet. It’s closest living relative is the Great White Shark. The literal translation of Megalodon is “giant tooth” and it had seveninch

long

heart-shaped

teeth

(more than twice as large as that of the Great White Shark). A joint

research

team

from

Australia and the U.S. developed computer simulations to calculate Megalodon’s biting power. The results

were

horrifying—a

described modern

as Great

White bites with about 1.8 tons of

force,

but

Megalodon

annihilated its prey with a force of between 10.8 and 18.2 tons

which is enough to crush the skull of a prehistoric whale as easily as stepping on a grape. Because

Megalodon

is

known from thousands of teeth and a scarce amount of bones, its precise mass has been a matter of debate. Over the past century, paleontologists

have

come

up

with estimates based primarily on tooth size and comparison with the modern day Great White Sharks that the Megalodon could be anywhere from 40 to 100 feet in length. The agreement today is that full-grown adults were on average 60 feet in length and weighed as much as 100 tons. Megalodon had a diet more befitting of its being an apex predator, feasting on prehistoric whales. According to at least one


analysis, style

Megalodon’s

differed

modern

from

Great

White

hunting that

of

Sharks.

defeated by extinction. Experts are

unsure

as

to

why

the

legendary predator disappeared.

dive

It may have been doomed by

straight toward their prey’s soft

global cooling during the world’s

and

but

last Ice Age, or by the gradual

Megalodon’s teeth were adapted

disappearance of the giant whales

to biting through tough cartilage.

that served as a large portion of

There

that

their diet. There are a number of

indicates that it may have first

people who continue to believe

sheared off its victim’s fins before

that there is a possibility that the

lunging in for the final bite.

Megalodon still swims the oceans;

Great

Whites

tend

vulnerable

is

some

Although

to

tissue,

evidence

Megalodon

had

utter dominance in the water during

its

existence,

it

was

however, there is no concrete evidence so support this hope.


Side effects may vary among the consumer, as individuals often will respond differently to medications depending on a variety of factors such as age, overall health, species, gender and the severity of the condition or disease being treated. The comprehensive side effect pages provided enable fish consumers to better understand the risks associated with certain medications, helping the species to formulate questions for their doctors about new medications or current treatments. Side effects may include acne, high blood pressure, hives, hallucinations agranulocytosis, amnesia, increased appetite, anemia, increased saliva, anxiety, infection, birth defects, inflammatory bowel disease, cancer, heart and/or kidney failure, and possible pregnancy.

Questions? Call our Innovations Office at 1-888-NIUM-FOODS Visit us at www.radioactivedibles.com


Coral Reefs Coral reefs are the most

called polyp. They secrete a hard

diverse and beautiful of all marine

calcium carbonate skeleton, which

habitats. Large wave-resistant

serves as a uniform base or

structures have accumulated from

substrate for the colony. The

the slow growth of corals. The

skeleton also provides protection,

developments of these structures is

as the polyps can contract into the

aided by algae that are symbiotic

structure if predators approach. It

with reef-building corals, know as

is these hard skeletal structures

zooxanthellae. Coralline algae,

that build up coral reefs over time.

sponges, and other organisms,

The calcium carbonate is secreted

combined with a number of

at the base of the polyps, so the

cementation processes also

living coral colony occurs at the

contribute to reef growth.

surface of the skeletal structure,

Corals themselves are tiny

adding to the size of the structure.

animals which belong to the group

Growth of these structures varies

cnidaria. Other cnidarians include

greatly, depending on the species of

hydras, jellyfish, and sea

coral and environmental

anemones. Corals are sessile

conditions—ranging from 0.3 to 10

animals, meaning they are not

centimeters annually. Different

mobile but stay fixed in one place.

species of coral build structures of

They feed by reaching out with

various sizes and shapes, creating

tentacles to catch prey such as

amazing diversity and complexity

small fish and planktonic animals.

in the coral reef ecosystem.

Corals live in colonies consisting of

Various coral species tend to be

many individuals, each of which is

segregated into characteristic zones


on a reef, separated out of composition with other species and by environmental conditions. The reef is topographically complex. Much like a rain forest, it has many strata and areas of strong shade, cast by the towering coral colonies. Because of the complexity, thousands of species of fish and invertebrates live in association with reefs, which are by far our richest marine habitats. In Caribbean reefs, for example, several hundred species of colonial invertebrates can be found living on the undersides of platy corals. It is not unusual for a reef to have several hundred species of snails, sixty species of corals, and several hundreds species of fish. Of all ocean habitats, reefs seem to have the greatest development of complex symbiotic associations.



Ocean Life