The publications in this collection do
not reflect current scientific knowledge
or recommendations. These texts
represent the historic publishing
record of the Institute for Food and
Agricultural Sciences and should be
used only to trace the historic work of
the Institute and its staff. Current IFAS
research may be found on the
Electronic Data Information Source
site maintained by the Florida
Cooperative Extension Service.
Copyright 2005, Board of Trustees, University
LIFE IN THE SEA
Florida Cooperative Extension Service
Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences
University of Florida, Gainesville
This leaders' guide contains the same questions which appear in 4-H 359, LIFE IN THE SEA -4H MEM-
BERS' PROJECT RECORD and the answers to those questions.
This publication and the project record should be used in conjunction with 4H 358, LIFE IN THE SEA -
A PROJECT GUIDE FOR 4H MEMBERS. The project guide contains seven activities which can be used
while visiting an oceanarium such as Sea World in Orlando, Marineland of Florida south of St. Augustine,
Seaquarium south of Miami, Ocean World in Ft. Lauderdale, or Gulfarium in Ft. Walton Beach.
Answers to Dolphin Questions
1. What is the difference between the mammal
"dolphin" and the fish "dolphin?"
The mammal "dolphin" is a warm blooded
animal with hair (located on its head), lungs
for breathing air and gives birth to living
young. The fish "dolphin" is a cold blooded
Fish with scales, gills, etc.
2. What is the difference between a dolphin and a
Although the words "dolphin" and "por-
poise" are used interchangeably when talking
about the mammal, there is a difference sci-
entifically. A dolphin has a prominent snout,
such as the bottlenosed dolphin. A porpoise
does not have a prominent snout. A por-
poise's head is rounded off with the snout-
3. What is the blowhole used for?
Breathing and making sounds.
4. Why is it an advantage to the dolphin in having
its blowhole connected directly to its lungs?
The young can breathe while feeding on the
milk from its mother's mammary glands.
The adults can feed on fish while breathing.
5. Do dolphins have vocal cords? How do dolphins
make sounds? What kind of sounds do they
No! As air escapes through the blowhole, the
size of the blowhole changes, making sounds.
Air also moves back and forth within sac-like
sinuses producing squeeks, clicks and whistles.
6. Why are dolphins considered to be mammals?
They are warm blooded, have hair (on top of
head), breathe air with lungs and give birth
to living young.
7. Do dolphins chew their food? What dothey eat?
No! They hold the food with their teeth and
swallow it whole. Fish, squid and octopus.
8. How long do dolphins live?
Varies between species but for about 25 years.
9. How large do they get?
Adults (depending on species) vary from 50
to 500 Ibs. The adult of the Atlantic bottle-
nosed dolphin weighs between 330-450 Ibs.
10. How intelligent are dolphins?
There is no general agreement asto ddlphin's
intelligence. Some individuals seem to be
smarter than others, as is true with dogs, cats
and even humans. Dolphins are easy to train.
Their so called intelligence, is enhanced
through their ability to carry on echolocation.
Answers to Manatee Questions
1. What is the difference, structurally (anatomi-
cally), between a manatee and a sea cow (du-
A manatee has a rounded tail and a deeply
cleft upper lip. The dugong's tail is shaped
like a dolphin's fluke and its upper lip is not
2. What is the distribution of the manatee? The
sea cow (dugong)?
Manatees exist along the coast of the south-
east U. S., The West Indies, northern part of
South America, the Amazon River and west
part of Africa. The sea cow (dugong) lives in
the Indo Pacific.
3. Why do manatees go into rivers during the win-
To get away from the cold water of the
4. Why are manatees considered to be mammals?
They breathe air with lungs, have hair (on
upper lips and scattered over the body), are
warm blooded and give birth to living young.
5. How do manatees feed? What do they eat?
They bring food toward their mouth with
front flippers, upper lips tear food, whiskers
help put food into the mouth and teeth
(molars) in the back of the mouth grind up
the food. They eat vegetation.
6. Are manatees dangerous to man? Why or why
They are not dangerous to human beings.
They have no way of hurting humans.
7. About how long do manatees live?
8. How large do they get?
Around 14 feet long and 1500 Ibs.
9. How are manatees protected?
Florida law ($500 fine and 6 months prison
term for molesting), Marine Mammal Protec-
tion Act of 1972 ($20,000 fine and one year
prison term), and by the Endangered Species
Act of 1973.
10. Do manatees have any other enemiesthan man?
If so, what is it?
There are not many other enemies than man.
Sharks could possibly be an enemy in the
SEALS AND SEA LIONS
Answers to Seal and Sea Lion Questions
1. How has the absence of ear flaps helped the
-seal in its environment?
Provides for a more streamlined body.
2. In what ways does the layer of blubber under
the skin of a seal help it?
Protects them against cold, serves as a source
of energy, helps to buoy them up and acts as
3. Why have some seals and sea lions almost be-
They have been hunted by man for their
meat, skin and fur. They have also been killed
by fishermen who think they eat their com-
4. Why are seals and sea lions considered to be
They breathe air with lungs, have hair, are
warm blooded and give birth to living young.
5. Sea Lions can rotate the hind flippers under
their bodies, so they can "gallop" along on all
four flippers. Seals "hump" along undulating
their bodies like caterpillars and pushing with
their front flippers. Which animal is better a-
dapted to a marine environment and why?
Seals! Seals are more streamlined and are
able "to swim like a fish".
6. Sea lions toss and catch pebbles in their mouths.
How might this be useful in catching food in
It will help in giving them the ability to
catch food head first. This is important be-
cause spines, scales, fins, etc. going down the
wrong way can cause injury.
7. Seal and sea lion pups play mock battles, joust-
ing chest-to-chest, weaving their necks and nip-
ping and barking. How will this behavior be
used as adults?
This behavior will later be used in battling
for mates. The stronger bull will get to mate
with the cows providing for stronger offspring.
8. During the breeding season and when sunning
on the rocks, seals and sea lions group together.
What are some of the advantages of this social
As a group they are able to see and hear en-
emies who might be trying to sneak up on
them. Also as a group it would be easier in
9. Seals and sea lions must return to land to rear
their young. Why do you think this is necessary?
The newborn does not have a sufficient layer
of blubber to protect it against the cold water.
Answers to Penguin Questions
1. Is the penguin more at home on land or in the
In the water. The penguin is designed for
swimming. Its wings have developed into
swimming flippers, feet and tail are used in
steering like a rudder and the body is stream-
lined so as to move easily in water.
2. Where are penguins naturally found on earth?
They are found in the Southern Hemi-
sphere, usually in cold areas.
3. What two penguins are restricted to the Antarc-
The Adelie penguin and the Emperor pen-
4. Are any penguins found naturally as far north
as the equator? Yes
If so, which one (ones)? The Galapagos
5. How do penguins stay warm? Match the left column with the right by placing the correct letters in the
(1) d Tucking-in neck & flippers
(2) g "Tripod" stance
(3) B Warm blooded
(4) f Overlapping feathers
(5) e Thick layer of fat
(6) a A rookery
(7) c Digging tunnels
6. If penguins are chased by predators on land
what method do they use for getting away fast?
"Tobagganing" (sliding along on their belly
and kicking with their feet).
7. How do penguins breathe when they are swim-
They take a breath of air as they come to
the surface while porpoisingg" and when
they leap out of the water.
8. Why do some penguins make their nests out of
In order to keep the eggs from rolling away.
a) keeps penguins warm by huddling or grouping to-
b) helps to keep the body temperature at 38 0 C.
,c) is a method used by the jackass penguin to keep
d) reduces the body's surface area and helps conserve
*e) is a stored food and water source as well as a layer
f) acts like shingles and helps keep out the cold, freez-
g) allows only a small part of the body to touch the
9. What are three kinds of food that penguins like
10. What are some natural enemies of penguins?
Skuas, because they will eat the eggs and the
TREASURES FROM THE SEA MOLLUSKS
Answers to Treasures From the Sea Questions
1. What is meant by the word univalvee"? "Bi-
"Univalve" is a single shelled mollusk such as
a conch, whelk, abalone and cowry.
'Bivalve" is a double shelled mollusk such as
an oyster, mussel, scallop and turkey wing.
2. How are sea shells used commercially?
Sea shells are used for ornamental purposes.
Making "pearl handled" knives, necklaces,
They are used in making ashtrays, dishes,
soup bowls and cups.
The American Indian used the elephant tusk
shell for "Wampum" (money).
Sea shells are sold to tourists as decorative
items and curios.
3. What is the difference between a natural and a
A natural pearl is formed in a mollusk with-
out the aid of humans.
A cultured pearl is formed due to the intro-
duction of a foreign particle into the mol-
lusk by humans.
4. What standards are used to value the pearl?
Diameter (size), shape and coloration.
5. What forms the nucleus of the natural pearl?
Eggs from marine worms or grains of sand
may form the nucleus in natural pearls.
Beads (2-7mm. in diameter) formed from
freshwater mussels in the Mississippi River
make excellent nuclei for forming cultured
pearls in oysters.
6. What environmental changes are being brought
on by man that are beginning to seriously af-
fect the future of pearls and oyster farming?
Pollution can destroy oyster beds. Also
when an upset in the balance of nature oc-
curs, predation may increase to destroy oys-
ter farming pearls.
7. How does a pearl form inside an oyster?
The thin, fleshy, mantle secretes calcium car-
bonate in layers around the foreign particle
(sand, eggs, etc.). The layers build up forming
a spherical mass of calcium carbonate and
conchiolin. This spherical mass is called a
8. How are pearls used today in jewelry?
As settings in rings, ear-rings, necklaces and
9. Why are oysters cultivated "vertically"? What
advantages does this method have over "bot-
Vertical cultivation is used so that more oys-
ters can be grown per given area.
It keeps predation down. By growing oysters
suspended over the bottom, predators such
as starfish are unable to get to them.
CARIBBEAN/ATLANTIC COAST TIDE POOL
Answers to Tide Pool Questions
1. How is the Caribbean or Atlantic coast tide
pool formed and why is it one of the harshest
habitats on earth?
Pockets formed by rocks capture water
when the tide goes out, forming tidepools. It
is harsh because the temperature and salinity
change very abruptly over a short period of
2. Describe the action of the tube feet of the sea
urchin and how they are used for locomotion.
What is the sea urchin's primary method for de-
Describe how a fish such as the triggerfish
might catch and eat a sea urchin.
The sea urchin's tube feet are fleshy, extend-
able, little tubes which cover the surface of
the urchin. The tube feet work on a hydrau-
lic system utilizing sea water as the fluid.
The tube feet stick way out past the spines
and suck onto some type of hard substrata
(rock, shell, etc.).
The long, pointed, hollow spines are the sea
urchin's main form of defense.
A fish with a pointed snout and strong teeth,
like a triggerfish, can hold onto the spines of
the urchin, swim upward and drop the ur-
chin upside-down. The fish can then attack
and eat the softer under-side of the sea ur-
3. California's Pacific Ocean beaches are cooled
by the water flowing south from Alaska. Why
do we find warm water (around 72 F) in the
Atlantic coastal areas?
Westerly moving surface water near the
equator in the Atlantic Ocean is warmed by
the sun's radiant energy. By the time the wa-
ter reaches the Caribbean and Atlantic coast-
al areas it is quite warm. This warm water
which moves toward the north along our
coast is known as the Gulf Stream.
4. Where does the sea cucumber get its name and
what is its primary method of defense?
Sea cucumbers look similar to the vegetable,
cucumber, hence their name.
The sea cucumber can shrink up into a small
ball when provoked. It can also expel its in-
ternal organs which usually deters most
5. Discuss how the croaker fish got his name.
The common name "croaker" comes from
the noise that the fish can make. Special
muscles attached to the fish's air bladder vi-
brate and the air bladder, acting as a reso-
nance chamber, produces a croaking sound.
6. Where does the hermit crab make his home?
The hermit crab makes its home in old shells
of snails, conchs, whelks, etc. The hermit
crab does not kill the animal inside the shell
but finds a shell of a mollusk that has died.
Sometimes two hermit crabs will fight for
the same shell.
.r 1 -; .ihf
Answers to Coral Reef Questions
1 Where do we find coral reefs and what environ-
mental factors are necessary for their forma-
tion and survival?
Coral reefs are most often found off the east
coast of continents between latitudes 22
North and 22 South. The east coast of conti-
nents is where warm currents are found.
Some species of coral can be found in colder
waters but they don't form large reefs as do
warm water corals. Corals require clear water
which is warm. The temperature needs to be
fairly constant and not lower than 68 F.
They also like to grow where the bottom is
hard and rocky.
2. The coral reef has often been called a "living
apartment complex". What animal is responsi-
ble for the coral formation and explain how
this building process takes place.
The small, soft-bodied, polyp of the coral se-
cretes calcium carbonate (limestone). The
calcium carbonate builds up and forms the
hard skeleton of the polyp colony.
3. Why is the coral reef considered to be one of
the sea's greatest "nurseries"?
Coral reefs provide protection and food for
many different kinds of newborn animals
which live in the ocean.
4. What factors threaten the future of the coral
reef? How is man both helping the reef and
damaging the reef?
Dredging, filling, pollution, channelization,
diving, boat anchors, coral collecting and
lobster fishing all threaten the future of the
Man is helping the coral reef by providing
off-limit underwater parks to spear-fisher-
men, coral collectors, etc. Man is also realiz-
ing the effect of dredging and is starting con-
servation programs to save reef areas.
1. This document is 4HMEL40 of the Florida 4-H Youth Development Program, Florida Cooperative
Extension Service, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida. Printed 10/1990;
Reviewed June 2002. Please visit the EDIS website at http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu.
2. Publication contact: Nancy Johnson, 4-H Youth Development,
Department of Family, Youth and Community Sciences, Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of Food
and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida, Gainesville 32611.
0 UNIVERSITY OF
COOPERATIVE EXTENSION SERVICE, UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA, INSTITUTE OF FOOD AND AGRICULTURAL SCIENCES, Christine
Taylor Waddill, Director, in cooperation with the United States Department of Agriculture, publishes this information to further the purpose of
the May 8 and June 30, 1914 Acts of Congress; and is authorized to provide research, educational information and other services only to
individuals and institutions that function without regard to race, color, age, sex, handicap or national origin. The information in this publication
is available in alternate formats. Single copies of extension publications (excluding 4-H and youth publications) are available free to Florida
residents from county extension offices. Information on copies for out-of-state purchase is available from Publications Distribution Center,
University of Florida, PO Box 110011, Gainesville, FL 32611-0011.