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349 MBCB Challenge Questions 

Chapter 3:  Oceanic Nekton


1.                  Explain what happened during the biological phenomenon called the bends.  Why are SCUBA divers subject to them while free-divers and snorkelers are not?

2.                  Why arenít nektonic marine mammals subject to the bends?

3.                  How does baleen act as a sieve in the blue whale?

4.                  What purpose (s) do the accessory air sacs in the seal ( Histriophoca fasiata ) serve?

5.                  What is a heteroceral tail and how does it aid in keeping nektonic organisms afloat?  What is an epicercal tail?

6.                  How do squids ( oceanic or otherwise 0 produce a jet for their jet propulsion?

7.                  How is Nautilus like a hot air balloon?

8.                  What function ( s ) does the ventral keel in fish serve?  Discuss.

9.                  What is the lateral line system?  How does it aid in schooling of fish?

10.              How are sperm whales similar to bats and the Highway Patrol?  Discuss.

11.              Compare migration of birds and whales as it relates to their reproductive cycle.  How are they similar and how are they different?

12.              How do salmonids find their way back to their home stream?  Consider several factors involved in this phenomenon.

13.              How can penguins stand on ice without having their feet melt the ice, which then might refreeze around their feet locking them in place?

14.              How do marine-diving mamals hold more oxygen per kg body weight than their terrestrial counterparts?

15.              What is myoglobin?  Do humans have it

16.              What is oxygen debt and how is it repaid?

17.              How are killer whales ( Orcinus orca ) like lions, wild dogs, wolves, hyenas, etc. ?

18.              How is it possible for sperm whales to dive to depths of at least 2000 m and hold their breath for over 1 hour?  Discuss.