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ZingPath: Reproductive Systems

Bees, Flowers and Pollination

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Reproductive Systems

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Lesson Focus

Bees, Flowers and Pollination

Life Science

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You will learn about the importance of oceans.

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Now You Know

After completing this tutorial, you will be able to complete the following:

  • Explain how humans depend on oceans.

Everything You'll Have Covered

When we observe Earth from outer space, it looks very blue. This is because about three-quarters of its surface is covered by water. The vast majority of the water found on Earth is located in its oceans. There are four major oceans: the Pacific, Atlantic, Indian, and Arctic oceans.

These massive bodies of water play a critical role in the lives of many different organisms. A wide variety of plant and animal species call the oceans home. These varied organisms live throughout the oceans, but the largest concentrations of marine life are found in places such as reefs.

Among the many organisms that live in the oceans, perhaps the most important is algae. In addition to its crucial place in the oceanic food web, algae are also responsible for producing the majority of Earth's oxygen through photosynthesis.

For humans, the oceans are a source of many items we depend upon. We harvest things such as food, raw materials (some of which are used for medicine), salt, and much more from the oceans. Although we might tend to think of creatures like fish, crab, and lobsters as food items that humans get from the ocean, many of the food products we eat contain compounds that have been extracted from ocean creatures. Carrageenans and alginates from seaweeds are commonly found in cakes, puddings, chocolate milk and even ice cream. Examples of medicines that have been developed from marine sources include the antiviral drug acyclovir and the anti-cancer drugs cytarabine and vidarabine, which originate from sponges.

The oceans also have a significant impact on weather and weather patterns around the world. Much of the precipitation that we experience on land, such as rain or snow, is the result of the evaporation of ocean water. More importantly, certain aspects of regional climate can be affected by ocean currents. For example, although England and Canada are both located along the same longitudinal line, they often exhibit significantly different climates because of currents in the Atlantic Ocean. While the Gulf Stream usually makes England's climate mild and rainy, the Labrador Current makes Canada colder.

Tutorial Details

Approximate Time 2 Minutes
Pre-requisite Concepts There are no specific pre-requisites necessary.
Course Life Science
Type of Tutorial Concept Development
Key Vocabulary ocean,,