The purpose of this seminar is to explore the amazing variety of life forms and adaptations among the creatures of the sea, from abalone to zebra fish.
Oceans cover 75% of Earth’s surface and, with their depth, comprise 95% of living space on Planet Earth. Life thrived in the oceans long before the land was colonized. Indeed, life may have initially developed around deep-sea hydrothermal vents. From tidal pools and coral reefs to the black depths, colonies of living species have adapted within the extreme range of physical environments—light, temperature, pressure, chemistry— in remarkable ways. Evolution has taken many paths, from tiny seahorses to the complex social behavior of whales and dolphins. Today, life in the oceans is under threat from climate change and human-caused pollution. Concerted efforts will be needed to counter these impacts.
There are many books, articles, and online resources, such as PBS documentaries, the New England Aquarium website, and the Cousteau Society website. Moderators will suggest various books and articles, including The World Beneath (Richard Smith, 2019) and Creatures of the Deep (Erich Hoyt, 2021).