16 – Life in the Ocean Exercise: Tracking Marine Biota & Synthesis

Instructions

Ocean Tracks

This exercise includes assessment of maps illustrating the movement of various biota (Laysan Albatross, Bluefin Tuna, Elephant Seal and White Shark) in the Pacific Ocean (Ocean Tracks (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.). The website notes that Google Chrome (available from IU Ware (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.) is the preferred browser because of the integrated use of Google Earth to display the tracks by selecting the link to Ocean Track Maps (Ocean Track map (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.). You are strongly advised to use Google Chrome because the functionality of the website is undoubtedly optimized with this browser.

The ocean tracks Google map has six blue tabs – three on the left (Overlays, Tools & Tracks) and three on the right (Library, Measurements & Login). It is only the Tracks and Tools tabs (see Example 1 below) that are employed in this exercise:

  • Select the tracks tab and the tab will display a series of 4 species (Laysan Albatross, Bluefin Tuna, Elephant Seal and White Shark, plus Drifter Buoys. There is a + button to the left of each name that opens up the tab to provide a list of Track ID and square windows under Show that when selected displays the track on the map of the Pacific.
  • All of the Track IDs that have the show window checked will also display a circular window under Active that when selected adds data reference points (as filled circles) for the chosen track on the map (see Example 2 below).
  • Details of the track for an individual tagged animal can be accessed via the Tools tab on the left (see Example 3 below), which will show the entire record of data for the “active” animal. In addition data for any reference point on the animal’s journey can be accessed by selecting one of the circles on its track to display the data for that day, which include the speed and the greatest depth reached.
  • Note: On occasions the map may respond slowly and may even stall making the buttons inactive, and precluding selection of the desired menu option. In such instances either reload the webpage, or wait patiently and the functionality should be restored.

Example 1: Ocean Tracks website map of the Pacific (from Google Earth) with the six tabs. The tabs Tracks and Tools on the right are employed in this exercise.

OT Page.png

Example 2: Ocean Tracks with open Tracks tab active for chosen ID of Elephant Sea – highlighted by the red dots on the red line on the maps

OT Tracks.png

Example 3: Ocean Track with Tools tab open displayed showing information for chosen ID of bluefin tuna, including data regarding its speed and overall journey, and the window with details for a specific day.

OT Tools.png

QUESTIONS

Question 1 5 pts

Examine the track maps for bluefin tuna and summarize the patterns of their movement within the Pacific Ocean, noting their cruising speed (In km/hr) and describing whether there is uniformity in the behavior of the tagged population as shown by the proximity of the individual track maps.

A strong answer will describe the characteristics of tagged bluefin tuna noting their speed (in km/hr) and movement around the Pacific, describing locations by oceanic region (e.g. northwest Pacific, offshore California, west of Hawai’i) or by approximate co-ordinates (Latitude, longitude) that are representative of the areas visited by the fish, and commenting on evidence that suggests similar behavior of some or all of the individuals within the population based on whether the tracks are proximal to each other or dispersed.

Question 2 5 pts

Do the track maps for bluefin tuna suggest that their feeding is focused in a specific region or multiple regions of the Pacific? Also, is there consistency in the timing of the presence of several individuals tagged population of bluefin tuna in specific regions that might provide evidence for their seasonal migration to feeding grounds?

A strong answer will describe the locations in terms of oceanic regions (e.g. northwest Pacific, West of Hawai’i, East of Hawai’i) or co-ordinates (i.e. range of latitude, longitude) of bluefin tuna in the track maps to determine whether the presence of a representative proportion of the tagged population in a given area suggests that this region may represent a likely feeding location, coupled with evidence for the timing of their presence in that oceanic area.


Question 3 5 pts

Examine the track maps for white sharks and summarize the patterns of their movement within the Pacific Ocean, noting their cruising speed (In km/hr) and their deepest depths (m) on a daily basis describing whether there is uniformity in the behavior of the tagged population as shown by the proximity of the individual track maps.

A strong answer will describe the characteristics of tagged white sharks noting their speed (in km/hr), depths (m), and movement around the Pacific, describing locations by oceanic region (e.g. northwest Pacific, offshore California, west of Hawai’i) or by approximate co-ordinates (latitude, longitude) that are representative of the areas visited by the fish, and commenting on evidence that suggests similar behavior of some or all of the individuals within the population based on whether the tracks are proximal to each other or dispersed.


Question 4 5 pts

Do the track maps for white sharks suggest that their feeding is focused in a specific region or multiple regions of the Pacific, and/or at specific depths? Also, is there consistency in the timing of the presence of several individuals tagged population of white sharks in specific regions that might provide evidence for their seasonal migration to feeding grounds?

A strong answer will describe the locations in terms of oceanic regions (e.g. northwest Pacific, West of Hawai’i, East of Hawai’i) or co-ordinates (i.e. range of latitude, longitude) of white sharks in the track maps and report their depths, to determine whether the presence of a representative proportion of the tagged population in a given area suggests that this region may represent a likely feeding location, coupled with evidence for the timing of their presence in that oceanic area and the depths to which they descend.


Question 5 5 pts

Examine the track maps for elephant seals and summarize the patterns of their movement within the Pacific Ocean, noting their cruising speed (In km/hr) and their deepest depths (m) on a daily basis and describing whether there is uniformity in the behavior of the tagged population as shown by the proximity of the individual track maps.

A strong answer will describe the characteristics of tagged elephant seals noting their speed (in km/hr) and movement around the Pacific, describing locations by oceanic region (e.g. northwest Pacific, offshore California, west of Hawai’i) or by approximate co-ordinates (latitude, longitude) that are representative of the areas visited by these seals, and commenting on evidence that suggests similar behavior of some or all of the individuals within the population based on whether the tracks are proximal to each other or dispersed.


Question 6 5 pts

Do the track maps for elephant seals suggest that their feeding is focused in a specific region or multiple regions of the Pacific, and/or at specific depths? Also, is there consistency in the timing of the presence of several individuals tagged population of elephant seals in specific regions that might provide evidence for their seasonal migration to feeding grounds?

A strong answer will describe the locations in terms of oceanic regions (e.g. northwest Pacific, West of Hawai’i, East of Hawai’i) or co-ordinates (i.e. range of latitude, longitude) of elephant seals in the track maps to determine whether the presence of a representative proportion of the tagged population in a given area suggests that this region may represent a likely feeding location, coupled with evidence for the timing of their presence in that oceanic area and the depths to which they descend.



Question 7 5 pts

Examine the track maps for laysan albatross and summarize the patterns of their movement in the Pacific, noting their flight speed (In km/hr) and describing whether there is uniformity in the behavior of the tagged population as shown by the proximity of the individual track maps.

A strong answer will describe the characteristics of tagged laysan albatrossesnoting their speed (in km/hr) and movement around the Pacific, describing locations by oceanic region (e.g. northwest Pacific, offshore California, west of Hawai’i) or by approximate co-ordinates (latitude, longitude) that are representative of the areas visited by these seals, and commenting on evidence that suggests similar behavior of some or all of the individuals within the population based on whether the tracks are proximal to each other or dispersed.



Question 8 5 pts

Bonus Question (5 pt)

In what specific ways (give examples) does the information from ocean tracks provide insights of the lifestyles of marine animals that cannot be obtained by other approaches.

A strong answer will describe examples of how the data from ocean tracks provides evidence of aspects of the lifestyles of the four species of animals tracked on the website. It will focus on explaining why information derived directly from tracking the path of these organisms cannot be otherwise observed.



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16 – Life in the Ocean Exercise: Tracking Marine Biota & Synthesis was first posted on November 6, 2020 at 2:20 am.
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16 – Life in the Ocean Exercise: Tracking Marine Biota & Synthesis was first posted on November 6, 2020 at 2:29 am.
©2019 "Essay Lords | Bringing Excellence to students world wide". Use of this feed is for personal non-commercial use only. If you are not reading this article in your feed reader, then the site is guilty of copyright infringement. Please contact me at support@academicheroes

 
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