Tuesday, March 15, 2016


The Ocean's Predators 

  I posted a discussion post a couple of weeks ago about two of the major predators of the ocean, killer whales and sharks. The article discussed how killer whales have been known to prey on sharks. This post led me to the idea of researching the ocean's toughest marine predators and the animals they prey on. These predators include killer whales, sharks, polar bears, and seals. I think it's interesting that some of these predators actually prey on each other. 

      I would like to talk about the different parts of the ocean both the predators and their prey inhabit along with the predators' hunting strategies. For example, I found that great white sharks can actually detect movement from as far away as 820 feet. They also have a very keen sense of smell. Another interesting fact is that although polar bears are land mammals, they spend a lot of time in the ocean and are incredibly strong swimmers. 

       Another topic I stumbled upon during research is about grazers and predators and how they benefit both terrestrial and marine ecosystems. The role that these predators play is actually very important in the survival of the ecosystem. I would discuss the trophic cascade and how when the keystone species is removed, it causes dramatic changes in the ecosystem. One example can be seen when sea otters are removed from an area, the sea urchins in that area overpopulate. The sea urchins graze on benthic algae in these environments, which disrupts the food web by leaving little food for other organisms. 
       

https://sites.psu.edu/siowfa15/2015/10/22/killer-whales-the-apex-predator-of-the-ocean/


References: 

https://www.eaglewingtours.com/top-of-the-food-chain-5-deadly-marine-predators

http://animals.mom.me/top-animal-ocean-predators-3061.html

http://marinebio.org/oceans/grazers-predators/


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