a warm-blooded vertebrate having the skin covered with hair
If this happens, many other fish that depend on these fish will also be in trouble....So will
mammals that eat fish, such a whales, porpoises, and seals.
all the people living at the same time or of the same age
And so you have more opportunities and more responsibilities than any other
generation in history.
taxonomic group whose members can interbreed
In his book, Darwin explained the order of nature as a system in which all the many various plant and animal
species struggle for survival.
be larger in number, quantity, power, status or importance
He did not see nature as particularly nice or kind, but as a cruel system in which species attempt to kill and
dominate other species in order to secure the survival of their own kind.
animals having a bony or cartilaginous skeleton
They also belong to the same phylum, which is
vertebrates (animals with spines).
devouring or craving food in great quantities
They hunt voraciously the species living directly over and beneath them, and have white flesh greatly favored by Homo sapiens.
the diversity of plant and animal life in a habitat
In science, it is known that life depends on a large variety. This is known as
a living thing that can act or function independently
So it is not surprising that we humans have the greatest affection for
organisms that are biologically close to us.
an organism that has characteristics resulting from mutation
Darwin's great contribution was to understand that in the struggle for survival, nature puts out
variations: the species that successfully adapt through the use of
variations survive, and the others become extinct.
no longer in existence
Darwin's great contribution was to understand that in the struggle for survival, nature puts out variations: the species that successfully adapt through the use of variations survive, and the others become
present in great quantity
Species moved into and out of areas, there were changes in weather, some species were eliminated and others became extremely
Each shift, sometimes as
minuscule as a shift in the wind, day by day—even hour by hour—changed the order of nature.
sequence of events involved in the development of a species
It is out of this process, known as
evolution, that monkeys eventually developed into human beings.
of or relating to the sea
Though Darwin wrote only a little about the sea,
marine life is linked in the same system as all life on Earth.
Even the smallest changes can have
unforeseen results that are extremely difficult to change back.
connected with or engaged in the exchange of goods
commercial extinction, which is when there are so few of a particular kind of fish that it is no longer profitable to fish for them is increasingly common.
allowing light to pass through diffusely
Coral reefs are made up of coral polyps, tiny, soft-bodied
translucent animals related to sea anemones and jellyfish.
a group of organisms of the same type living together
When the polyps attach themselves to rocks on the seafloor, they reproduce by dividing and growing, connecting to one another to create a
colony that acts as a single organism.
a systematic interpretation or explanation of a topic
Chapter One: Being a short
exposition about what could happen and how it would happen
a sudden violent change in the earth's surface
Nevertheless, considering overfishing, pollution, and global warming, the entire system of ocean life could completely unravel within a relatively short time—and then we would be helpless spectators to a
relating to the study of heredity and variation in organisms
They are also the neediest species, more fragile than the less evolved species that have managed to survive for millions of years with few, if any,
any animal that lives by preying on other animals
Schools of tuna are known to swim near or alongside dolphins for protection against
predators, such as sharks.
characteristic of an earlier ancestral type
(Elephants might last longer, however, because they feed on squid, a
primitive invertebrate that would survive the rapid extinction of marine life.)
a small and inadequate amount
Some of the most highly evolved tropical seabirds seem peculiarly build for a world with a
scarcity of prey.
relating to part of the Earth's surface with hot climate
Tropical seabirds fly great distances in search of prey.
eject the contents of the stomach through the mouth
They're graceful fliers—but very awkward on land—that would probably survive for a while because, though much of their food consists of fish (they harass gulls and other birds to
disgorge their meals). they also eat jellyfish.
native to or confined to a certain region
This species of petrel,
endemic to Chile, is now on several endangered watch lists.
aggregate of small organisms that float or drift in water
The total population of
plankton and krill is already the largest mass of protein in the world today.
the major taxonomic group of animals and plants
We don't think much of jellyfish because, like insects, they are not even in our
an elongated tactile or prehensile flexible organ
A jellyfish eats by stinging its prey with
tentacles and then feeding it into its floating belly, which acts as a kind of pump that gives it the ability to travel through water.
belonging to or existing before recorded times
As evolution reversed itself, worse things than jellyfish would flourish, including
annoy continually or chronically
Already, little-known prehistoric organisms have emerged in nearly a dozen places around the globe—bacteria that prospered 2.7 billion years ago have been
plaguing fishermen in recent years in the form of hairy-looking growths that constrict the throat, making breathing difficult and causing severe welts on the skin.
a raised mark on the skin
Already, little-known prehistoric organisms have emerged in nearly a dozen places around the globe—bacteria that prospered 2.7 billion years ago have been plaguing fishermen in recent years in the form of hairy-looking growths that constrict the throat, making breathing difficult and causing severe
welts on the skin.
have an effect upon
And this would eventually
impact land-based mammals, including us.
an unpleasant or difficult situation
But before we know what to change and how to change it, we need to understand how we got into this
predicament in the first place.