Adaptation: How organisms adjust to change in their environment. Organisms adapt by changing form and behavior over time to better survive in a new environment.
Aerobic: Where oxygen is present.
Algae: Underwater plants. Algae are food for many aquatic animals.
Anaerobic: Where no oxygen is present.
Archeaologist: A person who studies the past through the collection and analysis of objects or remains of past cultures.
Artifact: Something that was made by humans.
Aquarist: A person who makes or takes care of aquariums.
Aquatic: In water.
Aquifer: An underground layer of permeable rock, sand, or gravel containing water.
Astronomer: A scientist who studies planets, stars and space.
Atoll: A large, circular coral reef. An atoll is a reef around an island that has sunk.
Barrier reef: A coral reef that is usually many miles from shore and stretches along the coast to form an underwater wall or barrier.
Bay: A wide inlet of a river, lake, sea or ocean. A bay is usually smaller than a gulf.
Biodiversity: The number of different species found in a given area.
Blubber: The thick layer of insulating fat under the skin of most marine mammals that helps them stay warm.
Brackish: A mixture of fresh and salt water.
Canopy: The top layer of plants in a rainforest.
Carnivore: An animal that eats flesh.
Colony:A group of plants or animals that are connected or living close together.
Conservation: The care, protection, or management of natural resources.
Coral bleaching: When the tiny plants (zooxanthellae) in the coral polyps are ejected and causes the corals to turn white.
Coral head: A colonly of coral polyps attached to each other and sharing one exoskeleton.
Corallite: The limestone cup made the coral polyp. This cup is the polyp's exoskeleton and home.
Coral polyp: A tiny animal related to jellyfish and sea anemones, but with an external skeleton of calcium carbonate (limestone). Most coral polyps live in colonies of individual coral polyps which together make a coral head.
Density: (Physics) The mass of a substance for a given volume.
(Biology) The number of individuals in a given area.
Dig:An archeological excavation.
Dorsal: On the back.
Draft: The depth into the water of a ship's hull.
Drag: The slowing effect of air or water resistance (friction with the air or water) on a moving object.
Ecology: The relationship between plants and animals and their environment.
Ecosystem: All the living organisms and the physical features within a specific area.
Ecotourism: Guiding tourists to natural places in the world to visit the animals, plants, people, and culture without endangering it.
Endangered: Any kind of plants or animals whose survival is in danger. Endangered wildlife could become extinct because of natural or man-made manatees from harm.
Epigraph: A carved inscription.
Evaporation: The conversion of a substance into vapor. (i.e. water into water vapor)
Exoskeleton: An external skeleton.
Food chain: An arrangment of the plants and animals in the order of what they eat or who eats them. Engery necessary for life moves from plants or animals that are eaten to the animal that eats it.
Food web: The interacting food chains within an ecological community.
Gill rakers: Bony parts on the inner edges of the gills to strain food from water passing over the gills.
Habitat: The place where an organism lives in an ecological community.
Herb Layer: The layer of rainforest plants between the understory above and the forest floor below.
Herbivore: An animal that eats only plants.
Invertebrate: An animal that has no backbone.
Lagoon: The seawater inside of a coral reef. On a barrier reef the lagoon is between the reef and the land. On an atoll the lagoon is in the middle of the atoll, which surrounds it like a ring.
Lava: Magma is called lava when when it comes out of the ground.
Limestone: A hard, light gray rock made from ancient coral reefs.
Magma: The molten rock beneath the earth's crust.
Mangroves: Tropical trees that can grow in salt water and have special prop roots.
Marine: In seawater.
Migration: A long trip some animals make from one place to another to feed or have babies.
Microscopic: Very small. Can only be seen with a microscope.
Mollusk: A soft animal with no backbone or skeleton. These animals are usually inside a shell. (Snails, clams, octopuses, and squid are all mollusks.)
Motu: A small island that is part of the reef ring of an atoll.
Natural Resources: Where no oxygen is present.
Negative Buoyancy: Sinking.
Neutral Buoyancy: Being weightless underwater, not sinking to the bottom (negative buoyancy) or rising to the surface (positive buoyancy), but effortlessly maintaining the desired depth.
Ocean: All the salt water that covers over 70% of the Earth.
Omnivore: A mother manatee.
Photosynthesis: The process that plants use to change C02 and water into sugars using the energy from sunlight. These sugars are the food for the plants.
Plankton: Microscopic plants and animals that drift with the currents near the surface of the ocean.
Positive Buoyancy: Floating.
Potable: People are able to drink it.
Predator: An animal that lives by hunting and eating other animals.
Prey: Animals eaten by predators.
Refuge: A place safe from danger.
Sanctuary: A natural area where birds and other animals are protected.
Spring: A place where water flows from underground.
Survival: A continuation of life. Living beyond the death of another.
Symbiosis: How different organisms live together.
Territory: A paticular area that a creature establishes as its own.
Whale: Marine mammals that have large brains and catch their food with either teeth or baleen.
Volcanologist: A scientist who studies volcanoes.
Zooplankton: Plankton that are animals.
Zooxanthella: A type of algae that lives inside of coral polyps (and some other sea creatures).