Atlantic Ocean: characteristics, flora and fauna - Summary

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The Atlantic Ocean is truly fascinating: its surface occupies a fifth of the Earth, presents a submerged mountain range in its waters known as the Mid-Atlantic Mountain Range and its origin dates back to 200 million years ago when the separation of the great and unique continent happened. Pangea. Amazing isn't it? If these curiosities about the Atlantic Ocean are of your interest, be sure to read this interesting and curious article by Ecologista Verde, in which we will develop everything about it. Atlantic Ocean, its characteristics, flora and fauna.

Characteristics of the Atlantic Ocean

Let's start this post by indicating some curious characteristics of the Atlantic Ocean. The ancient Greeks were the ones who put the Atlantic Ocean name and this comes from titan atlas, which had the columns that supported the sky.

On the other hand, if we talk about surfaces, the Atlantic Ocean is the second largest ocean on the planet (the first is the Pacific Ocean), its extension is so large that it includes some bodies of water such as, for example, the Caribbean Sea, the Mediterranean Sea, the Black Sea and the Davis Strait, among many others.

As for the location of the Atlantic Ocean, it is located between America, Europe and Africa. So if you wonder which continents are washed by the Atlantic Ocean, are the newly named: America, Europe and Africa, and also Asia, since it bathes the coasts of a few Asian countries through the Mediterranean Sea. In this way, more than 30 countries have their ports and coasts in the Atlantic Ocean.

Due to its great extension, it is very difficult to determine what climate is in the Atlantic Ocean, but we can mention some of its generalities:

  • Atlantic Ocean Temperature: In the areas near the Equator, the waters of the Atlantic Ocean are warm and reach an average temperature of 29 ° C, while in the areas near the poles, the water is rather icy and has a temperature below 5 ° C.
  • Rainfall in the Atlantic Ocean: Like temperature, rainfall varies according to latitude. In tropical areas close to the Equator (0 ° latitude), annual rainfall is around 200 centimeters. Meanwhile, in the subtropics (23 ° north latitude and 23 ° south latitude), rainfall decreases, reaching 150 - 190 centimeters per year.

Finally, regarding what are the movements of the Atlantic Ocean, we can say that they are 2:

  • Currents in the North Atlantic moving in a clockwise direction.
  • Currents in the South Atlantic moving in the opposite direction.

This difference is explained from the Coriolis Effect.

Flora of the Atlantic Ocean

Thanks to the variety of climates and ecosystems in the Atlantic Ocean, there is a great wealth of very different plant species. Most of the flora species that inhabit the Atlantic Ocean are close to the surface, where sunlight rays penetrate, such as, for example, seaweed which in some cases can form even kelp forests. As many other plant species are suspended in the columns of water, as is the case of the phytoplankton, consisting mainly of cyanobacteria, diatoms, and other photosynthetic protists, although taxonomically Protists do not belong to the Kingdom of Plants. Finally, there is a minimal minority of plant species found in the depths of the Ocean.

We recommend you read these other articles related to the fauna of the oceans:

  • Classification of algae.
  • What is phytoplankton.
  • Cyanobacteria: what are they, characteristics and examples.
  • What is diatomaceous earth and what is it for?

Fauna of the Atlantic Ocean

As we mentioned in the previous section, the great variety of ecosystems in the Atlantic Ocean allows the existence of an enormous diversity of animals, both vertebrates and invertebrates. Next, we will list some of the species of Atlantic Ocean animals:

  • Green turtle (Chelonia mydas)
  • Blue whale (Balaenoptera musculus)
  • Southern Right Whale (Eubalaena glacialis)
  • Atlantic dolphin (Lagenorhynchus acutus)
  • Spotted dolphin (Stenella frontalis)
  • Harp sealPagophilus groenlandicus)
  • Marine crocodile (Crocodylus porosus)
  • Albatross (Diomedeidae spp.)
  • Balearic Shearwater (Puffinus mauretanicus)
  • Corals of various taxonomic groups
  • Melon mane jellyfishCyanea capillata)
  • Cushion star (Oreaster reticulatus)
  • Seahorse (Hippocampus hippocampus)
  • Sea crab (Carcinus maenas)
  • Sea lily (Davidaster rubiginosus)

Importance of the Atlantic Ocean

The Atlantic Ocean is important from multiple perspectives, let's look at some of them here:

  • Ecosystem perspective: The Atlantic Ocean provides numerous ecosystem services, including greenhouse gas absorption, climate regulation, nutrient cycling, and more. It is also the habitat of incredible species of flora and fauna. And we cannot ignore that it is a source of natural resources such as oil, gas, minerals, precious stones and more.
  • Cultural perspective: The Atlantic Ocean has a very important value for the coastal towns, since for the most part, these towns have developed thanks to the resources that the Ocean provides. Likewise, the Atlantic Ocean is the protagonist of various myths and legends.
  • Geopolitical perspective: the Atlantic Ocean constitutes a means of communication and intercontinental transport. In addition, from the Atlantic Ocean, political alliances have been created between countries, such as NATO (for its acronym, North Atlantic Treaty Organization).
  • Economic outlook: As we mentioned, the Atlantic Ocean is a transportation route between continents. This allows countries on different continents to market their products. Therefore, the Atlantic Ocean is fundamental for the economies of the countries.

If you want to read more articles similar to Atlantic Ocean: characteristics, flora and fauna, we recommend that you enter our category of Other environment.

  • Gregory, J. (2022). Atlantic Ocean. Weigl Publishers.
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