Examples of Symbiotic Relationships in Nature

Monday, November 11, 2019

Check out these examples of symbiotic relationships.

What is Groundwater? 15 Facts about Groundwater

Monday, October 28, 2019

What is groundwater?
The Earth is 70 % water. However, only 3% of this water is freshwater. Much of this freshwater is frozen in glaciers, you will find some of the water in rivers and streams, and almost 30% of this freshwater is groundwater.
But What is groundwater? Groundwater is water that finds it way between the gaps of rocks and sediments underground.
As the water seeps into the ground it may find it’s way into an aquifer. Aquifers are underground rock layers saturated with groundwater. An aquifer is not an underground river but large porous layers of rock.
For example, the Floridan aquifer covers almost the entire state of Florida and is 100,000 square miles. Think of an aquifer like a huge underground sponge that soaks up water that falls to the surface of the earth.
If you grabbed a shovel and started digging straight down you may strike water.
The first water you strike is the water table. Below the water table, the rock may be completely soaked. This is called the saturation zone, The rocks and sediment above the saturation zone is the unsaturated zone.

How does the water end up in the ground?
When it rains or snows some of the water moves down into the ground. If this water moves deep enough it can stay their for a long time.
Like thousands of years.
However, not all of the groundwater stays underground. Much of the surface water comes from groundwater and aquifers. If the ground dips below the water table the groundwater will flow to the surface and may create a body of surface water.
Groundwater can also flow out of the ground and create a stream. This is called a spring.
However, some groundwater is so deep it is very difficult to get to. These bodies of groundwater are called confined groundwater.
Humans depend on groundwater for drinking water and growing crops.
The groundwater can be reached by digging a well There are thousands and thousands of well throughout the world.

15 Facts about Groundwater

  • Groundwater is water that seeps into the ground and is stored in porous rock.
  • Permeability is a measure of how easily water can flow through rocks and minerals.
  • The storage space of an aquifer is measured by porosity.
  • Recharge is when surface water trickles down into the ground and reaches the water table and enters an aquifer.
  • Aquifers can be huge. The Ogallalla  aquifer, which underlies portions of eight states.
  • Aquifers are important sources of drinking water. For example,
  • the Kirkwood–Cohansey Aquifer, is located under the Pine Barrens of southern New Jersey, contains 17 trillion US gallons of some of the purest water in the United State.
  • The first water you reach when you dig down into the Earth is the water table. It is the upper surface of the groundwater.
  • A confined aquifer has layers of impermeable material  both above and below the aquifer.
  • Sandstone, conglomerate, fractured limestone and unconsolidated sand and gravel. along with basalts make good aquifers.
  • Agriculture accounts for almost 70% of groundwater use.
  • A cup of gravel has a greater porosity than a cup of sand.
  • An aquifer is filled with moving water and the amount of water in storage in the aquifer can vary from season to season and year to year.
  • The disposal of waste at landfills, by septic tanks, or storm drain wells can have a negative impact on the quality of ground water in an aquifer.
  • The Ogallala aquifer in central United States is the largest aquifer in the United States.
  • Two billion people use aquifers that are filled with groundwater as a water source.

How do we know the T-rex once existed? 20 Facts about Fossils

Friday, October 25, 2019

How do we know the T-Rex once existed? Fortunately, we have fossils that give us a record of once-living organisms. What are fossils? In this video, learn about mineralization, carbonization, casts, molds, and original materials.

There are several different types of fossils and these fossils may tell us about dinosaurs, insects, ancient tigers and much more. For example, one may only find trace fossils of footprints of dinosaurs that roamed the Earth millions of years ago. Sometimes animals may fall into tar pits and be preserved for many years.

Let's learn 25 interesting facts about fossils.

The term fossil is a Latin term which means " obtained by digging."

Mineralization is when an organism dies and its remains are replaced with minerals.

Petrified wood is an example of mineralization.

Calistoga California is home to some of the world's largest petrified trees.

Carbonization occurs when an organism dies and all that remains is a carbon outline.

A mold may create a fossil when an organism dies and creates an impression.

Bones, teeth, and shells often create molds.

Feathers are often preserved through carbonization.

Fossils are often preserved in sedimentary rocks.

The fossil skeleton of the marine reptile Mosasaurus was the first fossil to be identified as the remains of an extinct organism.

The limestone deposits of Solnhofen, Germany are famous for the discovery of the Archaeopteryx, which appears to be the perfect "missing link" between dinosaurs and birds.

Trace fossils are remains of once-living organism activity. Footprints are examples of trace fossils.

Some organisms like small insects become preserved in amber.

A paleontologist is a scientist who studies fossils.

Most fossils are the remains of extinct organisms.

The world's largest fossil is the remains of Patagotitan mayorum, the fossilized remains of a long-necked creature that was 120-feet long and weighed over 150,000 pounds.

Fossils of poop are called coprolites, and they can tell us what a creature ate.

The La Brea Tar Pits are a group of tar pits around Los Angelos and the remains of ancient organisms are found in the tar pits.

The state of Montana is a popular state for finding fossils of dinosaurs.

The first Tyrannosaurus rex fossil was discovered by the famous fossil hunter Barnum Brown in 1902.

How many months have 31 days?

Monday, October 21, 2019

In my Earth Science class, I just finished teaching about phases of the moon. Trying to predict the date of the 1st quarter or full moon requires you to know how many days each month has.
I thought it may be helpful to show two easy methods to memorize how many days each month of the year has.

Method number one is using the knuckles on your hand

Start with the knuckle closest to your thumb and this knuckle will be January and the space in between knuckles will represent  February then March, April, May, June, July, then for August you can start on your next hand or start over September October, November, December
All of the Months on the Knuckle have 31 days.
They are January, March, May, July, August, October, December
The months in the space between knuckles have 30 days except for February which has 28 days.

Another method you can use to memorize the days is this poem.

30 days has September,
April, June, and November.
When short February's done
All the rest have thirty-one

I actually use the poem to remember September has 30 days and February has 28 days combined with my knuckles.

Balanced and Unbalanced Forces-Explanation and Real-Life Examples

An object at rest stays at rest and an object in motion stays in motion with the same speed and in the same direction unless acted upon by an unbalanced force.
But how are balanced and unbalanced forces different?

Forces have a magnitude and a direction.

Balanced forces will cause no change in the speed of an object.
Balanced forces acting on an object in opposite directions and equal in strength, as shown in the arrows below, do not cause a change in the speed of a moving object.
Objects that are not moving will not start moving if acted on by balanced forces.

Remember Forces have a magnitude and a direction

Unbalanced forces are not equal, and they cause the motion of an object to change
When two unbalanced forces are exerted in opposite directions, their combined force is equal to the difference between the two forces.
The magnitude and direction of the net force affects the resulting motion
This combined force is exerted in the direction of the larger force
Let’s look at several examples

The forces acting on the red pool balls are equal. The downward force of gravity is equal to the resistance force of the pool table.
When the white ball strikes the red balls the forces are unbalanced and they move in the direction of the force.

The forces are balanced on the weights. The downward force of gravity is equal to the resistance force of the yellow rack. The weights do not move. The weight lifter exerts an unbalanced force upward and the weights move in that direction.

The forces on the tennis balls are equal. They are not moving. The tennis balls are struck by an unbalanced force and it causes them to move.

The resistance force of the car is balanced with the downward force of gravity. The car jack exerts an unbalanced force on the car and the car moves in the direction of the force.

The car is at rest and all forces are balanced. When the car strikes the car at rest then the forces are unbalanced and the car moves in the direction of the force.

Trophic Level Pyramid

Sunday, October 6, 2019

Learn about an energy pyramid and how the transfer of energy is demonstrated. A trophic pyramid shows where most of the energy in an ecosystem can be found. Each level is called a trophic level and as you move up trophic levels 90% of the energy is lost.

Tides Spring and Neap

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

What causes tides?. Tides are the rise and fall of sea levels caused by three items,  the gravitational force of the Moon the Sun and the rotation of the earth. So let’s take a look and see how these three items cause tides.

Gravity is the force of attraction between two objects. Anything that has mass also has gravity. Objects with more mass have more gravity. Gravity also gets weaker with distance. So, the closer objects are to each other, the stronger their gravitational pull is.  Although the moon is much smaller than the Sun the moon's gravity has a much more pronounced effect on the Earth's ocean because it is closer than the Sun. 
On the side of the earth that's facing the moon, the pull of gravity causes oceans to bulge outward due to the gravitational pull of the moon.
 On the other side of the earth away from the moon, the gravitational attraction of the moon is less because it is farther away. Here, inertia exceeds the gravitational force, and the water tries to keep going in a straight line, moving away from the Earth due to centrifugal force, also forming a bulge.

The Earth rotates on its axis so this bulge, which is called the tidal bulge. is constantly changing location. The tidal bulge changes as the moon revolve around the earth.  Where the Bulge is bigger it's high tide, and where the bulge is smallest,it's low tide.

 The tidal range is the height difference between high tide and low tide. The world's largest tidal range of 16.3 meters and occurs in the Bay of Fundy, in Canada.
Most places get two high tides and two low tides each day. If you are on the part of the Earth-facing the moon you are at high tide, 6 hours later you will be at low tide, 6 hours later you will be back at high tide, and then 6 hours later you are back at low tide, and finally after 6 more hours you are back at high tide.

 Approximately twice a month around the new moon and full moon when
the Sun Moon and Earth form a line the tidal force is at
its maximum and the tidal range is at its maximum this is called Spring
Tides. When the moon is at first quarter or third quarter the Sun and Moon are
separated by 90 degrees and the solar tidal force cancels the moon's tidal
force and the tidal range is at its minimum and these tides are called neap tides.

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