Stellwagen Bank

From: Pieter Folkens (animalbytes@earthlink.net)
Date: Tue Mar 25 2003 - 12:26:03 EST

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    > hi, i was wondering, what is the importance of stellwagen bank to
    > whales, i know that there is a lot of upwelling there, but is there
    > anything else?
    >  
    > thank you,
    >  
    > a customer

    The two most important things an animal does is 1) eat, and 2)
    reproduce. Stellwagen Bank has oceanographic features that make it an
    ideal place for servicing the whales' #1 need: eating.

    The upwelling brings nutrients (essentially fertilizer) up from the
    bottom towards the surface where light and nutrients feed
    photosynthesis in the phytoplankton (small marine plants). Zooplankton
    (small marine animals) eat the phytoplankton. Fish eat the zooplankton,
    and so on up the food chain.

    So, in addition to a lot of upwelling, there are many plants and
    animals that live there, or come there because of the upwelling. It's
    like the farm and the farmers' market all in one place.

    We have a similar place out here in California call Cordell Bank, but
    it isn't quite as large as Stellwagen.

    Cheers,

    Pieter Folkens



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