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Task - Release the Kraken


Biological oceanography is one of the most intriguing fields of oceanography. Many animals and plants in the ocean remain to be discovered. Marine biologists are just beginning to comprehend the ocean ecology, or relationships of the organisms with the ocean. Much marine biological research is focusing on how marine animals and plants interact with each other and the environment. The often involves a detailed knowledge of water chemistry and sometimes physical oceanography and marine geology as well as an understanding of basic biological processes. 

The Captain's Orders

Read the log book Taxonomy to learn about ocean productivity and marine life classification. You will need external resources to help you answer some of the questions below. Make sure you make a note where you got your information. Answer the questions and complete the following tasks using the log book and your internet ready computer.


  • Investigate the relationship between productivity, net productivity and respiration.
  • Classify marine organisms according to the modified Linnean system of classification.

Task Questions


  1. How old is the Earth?
  2. When did the first organisms exist; how long ago? 
  3. How are prokaryotes important to humans? What role do they play? 


  1. What is the size of the smallest organism in the ocean? What is the name of that organism? 
  2. What is the size of the largest organisms in the ocean? What is the name of that organism? 


  1. What types of organisms account for 90% to 96% of the ocean’s primary productivity?
  2. What are the limiting factors for marine productivity? 
  3. Where/when in the oceans is productivity high at the surface? Why? 
  4. Where/when in the ocean is productivity low at the surface? Why? 

Quiz Questions


  1. The first organisms to exist on planet Earth were:  A. eukaryotes B. prokaryotes
  2. Organisms with a nucleus: A. eukaryotes B. prokaryotes
  3. Organisms with sexual reproduction: A. eukaryotes B. prokaryotes
  4. Organisms with the highest oxygen needs:  A. eukaryotes B. prokaryotes


  1. Which kingdom are prokaryotes? A. Animals B. Bacteria C. Fungi D. Plants E. Protozoa
  2. Which kingdom(s) are Eukaryotes?  A. Animals B. Bacteria C. Fungi D. Plants E. Protozoa
  3. Which kingdom(s) are single-celled autotrophs?  A. Animals B. Bacteria C. Fungi D. Plants E. Protozoa
  4. Which kingdom(s) are multi-celled autotrophs?  A. Animals B. Bacteria C. Fungi D. Plants E. Protozoa
  5. Which kingdom(s) are multi-celled heterotrophs?  A. Animals B. Bacteria C. Fungi D. Plants E. Protozoa
  6. Which kingdom contains both multi- and single-celled organisms? A. Animals B. Bacteria C. Fungi D. Plants E. Protozoa
  7. Organisms that live in or on the sea bottom are:A. benthos  B. nekton C. plankton
  8. Organisms that swim freely from one location to another are: A. benthos B. nekton C. plankton
  9. Salmon are:  A. benthos B. nekton C. plankton
  10. Oysters and mussels are:A. benthos B. nekton C. plankton
  11. Sea cucumber are: A. benthos B. nekton C. plankton
  12. Whales are:A. benthos B. nekton C. plankton
  13. Jellyfish are:A. benthos B. nekton C. plankton
  14. Diatoms, coccolithophores, radiolarian, foraminifera are: A. benthos B. nekton C. plankton


  1. Which of the following choices is most evolved? A. Bacteria B. Brown algae  C. Animals D. Red algae  E. Protozoa F. Plants
  2. Which of the following choices best describes Kelp? A. Bacteria B. Brown algae C. Green algae D.Animals E. Protozoa F. Plants
  3. Which of the following choices best describes roots and covered seeds? A. Bacteria B.Animals C. Green algae D. Red algae E. Protozoa F. Plants
  4. Which of the following choices best describes single-celled organisms: A. Bacteria B. Brown algae C. Green algae D.Animals E. Protozoa F. Plants
  5. The amount of sugar or food produced by autotrophs living in an area minus the amount they use up daily to supply their own respiration needs: A. gross primary productivity B. net primary productivity C. super primary productivity D. secondary productivity
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