Tennessee Aquarium

By: Katie Bentley

At the Tennessee Aquarium, we saw many different species of animals and plants. We saw many different communities and habitats. The definition of a community is a group of organisms living in the same place and have some of the same characteristics. The definition of ecosystem is a biological community of interacting organisms and their physical environment. Biotic factors depend on abiotic factors because they provide them with shelter, a place to rest, and defense.  The Tennessee Aquarium smelled a lot like chlorine and different chemicals you would use to clean a pool. Also at the aquarium I heard a lot of people talking and I saw people admiring the fish.The species that caught my eye were the clown fish and the sea anemone. The clown fish belongs in the animal kingdom. The sea anemone belongs to the Anthoza kingdom. The clown fish and the sea anemone both live in the same habitat. They both live in warm, shallow oceans.

Also, all clown fish are born males, but they have the ability to switch their gender. But if they choose to change, it is irreversible.

The clown fish and the sea anemone are able to work together because of each one's abilities. The sea anemone is able to paralyze its prey because at the end of its tentacles, it stings its prey. Since it is able to do this, the clown fish has a safe home to live in. The clown fish also has a part when these two work together. The clown fish protects the sea anemone from butterfish, which eat the anemone. The sea anemone and the clown fish are an example of mutualism. Mutualism is when two organisms work together and depend on one another for the good of oneself. So it means that two organisms work together and both benefit. There is also commensalism. This is when two organisms work together and only one benefits but the other organism is unharmed. An example of commensalism could be the whale and a barnacle. The barnacle is transported by the whale to a place that has food but the whale is unharmed. Lastly, there is parasitism. This is when two organisms work together, only one benefits, but the other is harmed. An example of parasitism is a dog and a tick. The tick sucks the dog's blood, the dog, however, suffers from blood loss and might have different diseases inside of it's body from the tick.

You are probably wondering why the clown fish doesn't get stung by the sea anemone. That is because the clown fish has a special mucus on its scales that keeps it from getting stung. Another thing that the clown fish does for the sea anemone is that it eats up any kinds of bacteria or any other nutrients to keep the anemone clean and healthy. Before clown fish move into the anemone, they do a dance where they gently touch it's tentacles with different parts of their body until they accept their host.

Both the sea anemone and the clown fish are examples of individuals. The definition of individuals is single or separate from a distinct group. Population is all the inhabitants of a particular place live in the same area. The clown fish has the same kind of stimuli as a human does. They know what is bad, and know who their predators are. They know when to move away from something, or when something is dangerous. The sea anemone isn't able to respond to their environment, except for when they are catching their prey.

Every year, thousands of sea anemones are ripped out of the oceans and then put in aquariums at pet stores all over the world. Sea anemones only live for about a year so when they die, they release thousands of toxins into the tank, which kills many of the animals inside tank. The anemones don't reproduce quickly, so when all of them are dying they aren't going to make any more anemones and then there won't be any left.

In this collage, there are 4 of the 6 kingdoms. There is the animal kingdom, the protista kingdom, the plantae kingdom, and the fungi kingdom.

In the Animal kingdom there are animals such as deer, dogs, cats, and even birds.

In the Plantae kingdom, there are plants such as flowers, trees, weeds, grass, poison ivy.

In the Fungi kingdom there are mushrooms, and mold.

In the Protista kingdom, there is algae, and moss.

The clown fish falls into the Animal kingdom because it is able to reproduce sexually. Also because it is a heterotroph, which means that it can't make it's own food unlike plants. Lastly, they more than one cell.

The sea anemone falls into the Anthozoa kingdom. In the Anthozoa kingdom, the Anthozoa often have large polyps that allow digestion of a prey. The sea anemone is also related to the jellyfish, which is also from the Anthozoa kingdom.  

In the above collage, I've shown the food chain of the ocean that includes the clown fish. The smallest prey is the plankton which is the little organisms lighting up in the ocean. Then the plankton is eaten by small fish such as the clown fish. Then the clown fish is eaten by mackerel which is the big group of fish in this collage. After the mackerel has eaten the clown fish, it is then eaten by tuna. The tuna is a very large fish, but not larger than the top predator on this food chain; the great white shark's main food choice is tuna.

From this food chain, I picked the tuna because it is in the middle of the food chain. It uses a lot of energy to catch the mackerel, it's prey; and, the tuna is the prey of the great white shark. Tuna is a consumer in the ocean's food chain and is a heterotroph; this means that it has to use energy to get its own food, instead of producing it on its own.

Ocean's Food Web

This is an example of the ocean's food web. The killer whale gets it's energy from it's prey, the sea otter. The sea otter gets it's energy from sea urchins. The sea urchins get their energy from underwater kelp. The kelp gets it's energy from the sun.

In the collage above, I have shown three kinds of abiotic factors. There is the sun, the sky and rain. Biotic factors depend on the sun because it provides them with heat, and the sun is able to give energy to plants that animals eat. Abiotic factors also depend on the sky because the sky provides the earth with clouds in case the biotic factors get to hot. The sky also provides protection from the Sun's harmful rays. Lastly, biotic factors depend on rain because it helps plants grow and stay hydrated, so that then the biotic factors have healthy plants to eat.

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