Zoogeography and Pacific Ocean-related questions

From: Dagmar Fertl (dfertl@geo-marine.com)
Date: Mon Nov 24 2003 - 09:39:54 EST

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    I am doing a project in school comparing the differences between living
    organisms found in two different oceanic enviroments at low tide. I was
    wondering if you could answer a few of my questions, since I am not able to
    find the answers anywhere on the web. I was first wondering if there was a
    difference between the quantity and kind of animals found on a Pacific Ocean
    beach at low tide and a Puget Sound beach (inland saltwater) at low tide. If
    there is a difference, what causes it? If you could direct me to any
    websites that would help me in my research, that would be great too. Thank
    you so much for your help!

    I think I figured out what your question was about. First, realize that
    technically, Puget Sound is part of the Pacific Ocean. Also, realize that
    the Pacific Ocean is a very nebulous term, because it covers a huge expanse
    of water.

    Your question essentially is about zoogeography and what drives animal
    distribution and densities. Resources (e.g., food, shelter) and physical
    parameters (e.g., salinity tolerance, temperature tolerance, habitat type
    [e.g., rocky bottom vs sandy bottom] are these driving factors.

    I cannot emphasize enough to everyone out there -- the Internet, while it is
    a wonderful resource, is NOT the end-all be-all for researching a topic. It
    can be a good starting point, but I cannot urge you enough to go use a
    public or school library to fully research your topic. Telling me that you
    looked all over the Internet to find the answer to your question tells me
    that this was the starting (and probably you hoped it was the ending as
    well) point for your research.

    That said, since this is a school project, you're on your own for finding
    out the rest of the answers to your questions. If you get stuck, you can
    write back to either me or WhaleNet.

    Good luck!
    Dagmar Fertl

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