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Brief History of Marine Biology Chapter 1. Historical Context People have studied the ocean for millennia – Food – Shells for trading, monetary value.

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Presentation on theme: "Brief History of Marine Biology Chapter 1. Historical Context People have studied the ocean for millennia – Food – Shells for trading, monetary value."— Presentation transcript:

1 Brief History of Marine Biology Chapter 1

2 Historical Context People have studied the ocean for millennia – Food – Shells for trading, monetary value – Fishing tools – harpoons and hooks – Jewelry – Navigation (esp. ancient Pacific Islanders)

3 History of Ocean Exploration ~ 30,000 years ago – eastward migration in Pacific ocean from the area between what is now Australia and China to the Pacific Islands For ~ 25,000 years, Polynesians colonized the islands of the south and western Pacific, from New Guinea in the west to Fiji and Samoa in the middle. Moved to Tahiti and finally Easter Island in the eastern south Pacific. Colonized the Hawaiian Islands about 500 years ago.

4 Fijian Boats

5 Settlement Routes of Pacific Islands Two different forms of the stomach bacterium Helicobacter pylori show that the human settlement of Australia and the Pacific island was undertaken from different routes. Image: Max Planck Institute for Infection Biology/Achtman

6 Why did they do it? We are not exactly sure… Possibly borrowing, trade, competition, marriage, finding new fishing grounds, exploration, wanderlust, or just inventing new ways of meeting life's challenges

7 How did they do it? Good at making observations and remembering what was observed over generations: – Direction of waves and affect on canoe (rocking, etc) – Ocean currents – Variations in bird and sea life in different places in the Pacific. – Used astronomical observations of the stars to help them navigate across the ocean

8 Mediterranean Sea Exploration began several thousand years ago. Sailors from Egypt, Phoenicia and Crete mapped regional coastlines to establish some of the earliest trading routes. Early Mediterranean civilizations, including the Greeks, have passed down many myths that include gods and goddesses who ruled over nature, such as Poseiden with his triton.

9 Ocean Explorers Aristotle - Described many marine organisms (4 th century BC) Vikings – exploration of N. America (900 – 1000) Columbus – N. America (late 1400s) Magellan – sail around globe (early 1500s) Maps began to appear as knowledge about the oceans grew.

10 The Age of Discovery Ferdinand Magellan Ferdinand Magellan, the Portuguese navigator. First European explorer to cross the Pacific Ocean and the first to sail around the world. Palazzo Farnese Caprarola, Italy (Giraudon/Art Resource, NY)

11 The Age of Discovery Captain James Cook HMS Endeavour from Portsmouth, England More than 10 years Cook led three world- encircling expeditions Mapped many countries, including Australia, New Zealand and the Hawaiian Islands. Navigator, cartographer, and scientist One of the first ship captains to recognize that a lack of Vitamin C in sailors’ diets (due mostly to a lack of fresh fruit) caused scurvy. Cook always sailed with lots of pickled cabbage. No scurvy for his crew!

12 James Cook’s Voyages The routes of Captain James Cook's voyages. The first voyage is shown in red, second voyage in green, and third voyage in blue. The route of Cook's crew following his death is shown as a dashed blue line. (

13 Mid- to late 1700s - ocean currents off the US East Coast, especially the Gulf Stream – Fast-moving current of warm surface water from Florida, along the continental slope off the US East Coast, and eastward across the North America to Europe. – First to call the Gulf Stream a “river in the ocean.” As Deputy Postmaster General of the American colonies, Franklin promoted using the Gulf Stream to speed up delivery of mail from America to Europe and to improve other commercial shipping. Benjamin Franklin, Oceanographer

14 Sir Charles Darwin Tagged along on the HMS Beagle from 1831 - 1836 Geology of the islands and coastlines Proposed a theory about the formation of atolls. HMS Beagle

15 Darwin’s Atoll Formation Atolls - coral reefs that form small islands that enclose a lagoon mostly in the Pacific. Forms from a volcano sinking because of its weight. As the volcano sinks, coral reefs that rim the volcano grow upwards. As long as the rate at which corals grow kept up with how fast the island was sinking, then small coral islands would remain in a ring around the now sunken volcano.

16 Darwin’s Atoll A coral atoll, from Darwin's The Structure and Distribution of Coral Reefs, 1842.

17 Atoll Formation

18 The HMS Challenger Expedition 1872 - 1876 British Navy corvette (a small warship) was converted marine laboratories (biology, chemistry, carbonic acid) with microscopes and other scientific equipment onboard. The expedition was led by British naturalist John Murray and Scottish naturalist Charles Wyville Thompson. laboratories

19 The Challenger Expedition Ocean temperatures Seawater chemistry First plot of ocean currents and temperatures Marine life (4,717 new species) Marine life Map and geology of the seafloor of all ocean basins Discovered the mid-Atlantic Ridge

20 The Vessel All but two of the ship's 17 guns had been removed to make way for purpose-built scientific laboratories and workrooms Storage space for all the trawls and dredges and anticipated sample Commanding officer was Captain George Nares, ~ 20 naval officers (including surgeons and engineers) and about 200 crew. Six civilian staff/scientists under the direction of Wyville Thomson included the naturalists John Murray and Henry N. Mosely, the 'chemist/physicist' John Buchanan and the official artist J. J. Wild.

21 The Science Wyville Thomson reported the Challenger to have made 362 uniform samples and observations: – Exact depth – Sample of the bottom averaging from 1 ounce to 1 pound in weight was recovered by means of the sounding instrument Fauna by dredge, trawl, tow nets – A sample of bottom water and more shallow depths were procured for chemical/physical examination – Bottom temperature and a series of temperatures at different depths – Atmospheric and other meteorological conditions were carefully observed and noted. The direction and rate of the surface current was determined. At a few stations, an attempt was made to ascertain the direction and rate of movement of the water at different depths.

22 The Aftermath Scientific findings examined by over 100 scientists The Report of the Scientific Results of the Exploring Voyage of H.M.S. Challenger during the years 1873-76 – 50 volumes published between 1885 and 1895. – Text and illustrations the currents, temperatures, depths and constituents of the oceans, the topography of the sea bottom, the geology and biology of its covering and the animal life of the abyssal waters.

23 The Voyage 1872 – 1876 = 4 years 68,890 nautical miles, North and South Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, North Atlantic polar seas and south of the Antarctic Circle.

24 Drawings of one of the sounding machines used to measure the depth of the ocean used on the Challenger.

25 The plot of the track of the Challenger on its voyage north of the Hawaiian Islands showing the prevailing winds and currents.

26 Chemical Laboratory

27 Drawing of the deck of the Challenger.

28 Catching a shark during the voyage of the Challenger.

29 The samplers - -Lacked a closing device (disadvantage for the deep-sea trawl). - Mistaken impression that the deep-sea bed was uniformly lacking species. -Nearly a century later, Howard Sanders and Robert Hessler used better samplers and showed that deep-sea bottoms could be rich in soft-bottom benthic species.

30 Euplectella subearea Deep-sea glass sponge

31 Ernst Haeckel, one of the greatest biologists of the 19th century, contributed to the Challenger volumes depictions of smaller plankton.

32 Foraminiferans and Radiolarians (found in zooplankton)

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