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Diving into the deep!

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Hi Kids! Are you reading to dive into the deep ocean with me? Scientists divide the ocean into zones and layers. I'm here to give you a tour of the pelagic ocean layers. The pelagic ocean zone is all the open ocean waters from the water surface down to the ocean floor.

 

 

The pelagic ocean zone is divided into three main layers: epipelagic, mesopelagic, and bathypelagic.




 

 

 

 

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The epipelagic layer is the uppermost zone in the water column extending from the surface to 200m.

 

 

 

 

This layer is sometimes called the "sunlight zone" because sunlight penetrates the waters.  The epipelagic layer is home to many plants and animals. Notice how the fish like to live here because of the warmth and sunlight!

 

 

 

 

 

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Descending through the epipelagic layer we encounter the mesopelagic layer (200–1000m). There is a dim light presence in the mesopelagic zone, so it is sometimes called the "twilight zone." No plants live in this zone because there is not enough sunlight to drive photosynthesis. Animals such as myself call this layer home!

 

 

At a depth of 1000m we encounter the bathypelagic layer. The bathypelagic layer extends to 4000m. Absolutely no light reaches this zone, so it is often called the "midnight zone."

 




 

 

 

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Notice how I need a light to see all the way down here! Once again, we see no plants living this deep. But, animals such as octopi and gulper eels call this layer home.

 

 

Wasn't our descent into the deep ocean exciting? I think I'll return to the mesopelagic layer so I can see again!

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Denise is a science education researcher with a strong background in the biological sciences as well as teaching and learning. She holds a PhD in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from The University of Tennessee Knoxville. Denise currently uses her expertise in her position as a laboratory coordinator for general education and majors Biology courses at the University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana. Denise takes a scientific approach to her research in order to attain a better understanding of teaching and learning in the biological sciences at all grade levels. She uses her research to drive curriculum development projects for K-12 and higher education instruction. In addition to her science education research Denise conducts biological research studies both in the laboratory and field setting (e.g., biodiversity inventories and genome sequencing). Denise is passionate about sharing her fascination of science and the natural world and as a result she is involved in many public education outreach endeavors.
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