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Geosciences LibreTexts

14.6: Physical Factors - Water Transparency

  • Page ID
    10367
    • Contributed by Miracosta Oceanography 101
    • Sourced from Miracosta)

    Water Transparency

    Water has a high transparency. So many organisms use different strategies to survive predation.

    Counter shading or camouflaging help organisms hide from predators.
    • Animals that display counter shading are typically dark colored on top and light colored underneath.
    • Animals that use camouflaging typically have skin or scales that match the habitat where they live and feed.

    Migration into darker areas during the day and lighter areas at dawn and dusk is another means of survival.

    Another consideration is clarity for photosynthesis.
    Photic zone: The upper part of the ocean where sunlight penetrates (down to ~3,300 feet in very clear water!).
    Euphotic Zone: upper ½ of photic zone where most primary production occurs.

    Trout display countershading Goosefish displaying camouflauging
    Figure 14.11. Trout displaying counter shading. Figure 14.12. Goosefish displaying camouflaging.