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92 lime October - December 2008 LIMEkids Under the sea It's easy for us landlubbing humans to forget what a watery world we live in. More than two- thirds of the Earth's surface is covered by water, and even now we know surprisingly little about what goes on down there beneath the waves. Not so surprising, really, when you think about how much water there is and how deep it goes – more than half the world's oceans are over 3km deep. What we do know, however, is that the world's oceans play a vital role in the health of the planet. They support a vast array of marine life which provides us not only with food, but with a wide range of other products as well. Marine organisms also play a vital role in the world's oxygen cycle, keeping the atmosphere breathable and helping to regulate the planet's climate. It's a fragile balance, however, as shown by a whole range of environmental problems which currently threaten our oceans, such as rapidly- dwindling fishing stocks and the destruction of coral reefs worldwide. Underwater wonders The sea is home to some of the earth's biggest and smallest living things, from microscopic plankton measuring just 0.02 micrometers ( that's 0.000002mm) to enormous whales, which can sometimes grow over 30m long. It's also where you'll find some of the loveliest, deadliest and downright weirdest creatures on the planet, ranging from well- known favourites like seahorses and starfish to seriously strange fish, including some which look like rocks, snakes, balloons and even bits of seaweed, Here are six of our favourites. 1 Porcupine fish - Looking like an angry football when threatened, porcupine fish can fill their bodies with water and swell up like a spiky balloon, making them too big for a predator to swallow. 2 Stonefish - One of the ugliest and most dangerous fish in the sea. It looks like a stone, but whatever you do don't tread on one, since there's enough poison in its spiky spines to kill an adult. 3 Weedy sea dragon - These weird- looking creatures live in the waters around Australia and look like a cross between a sea horse and a piece of seaweed. 4 Whale shark - The world's largest fish ( it's a shark, not a whale), reaching up to 12m in length. 5 Giant squid - Little is known about these giant but enigmatic creatures, which live way down in the depths of the sea and have inspired innumerable legends. The largest are thought to grow to lengths of up to 20m. 6 Coelacanth - The famous " dinosaur fish". Coelacanth fossils date back 360 million years, but the species was thought to have become extinct around 70 million years ago until one was caught off the coast of South Africa in 1938. 2008 has been declared International Year of the Reef Visit ww. iyor. org for more information Get your diving suits on as we take a look at the wonderful underwater world 1 2 3 4 5 6

Fishy business yWhy is it so easy to weigh fish? yBecause they come with their own scales. yWhat do you call a fish with no eye? yA fsh. yWhat lies at the bottom of the sea and shakes? yA nervous wreck. yWhat's the strongest creature in the sea? yThe mussel. yWhat's the easiest way to catch a fish? yAsk someone to throw it to you. October - December 2008 lime 93 The deepest spot in the world is the Marianas Trench in the Pacific Ocean, which lies almost 11 km underwater. In 1960, two explorers managed to reach the bottom of the trench in the Trieste bathyscaphe, the underwater equivalent of climbing Mount Everest. Some sea turtles can live for over 100 years. The brain of a sperm whale weighs around six times as much as that of the average human. Only male sea horses are capable of giving birth. It's estimated that around 10% of the world's coral reefs have already died, while another 60% are at risk due to human activities. DID YOU KNOW ? [ Note: all the answers are in ( or can be deduced from) the text on these pages] How much of the world's surface is covered by water? l A 51% l B 61% l C 71%? A whale shark is a kind of: l A whale l B shark l C octopus? The deepest spot in the world is called the: l A Marianas Ditch l B Marianas Trench l C Ariana's Bench? Which has the biggest brain: l A a sperm whale l B a dolphin l C a human being? A bathyscaphe is a type of: l A telescope l B deep- sea diving vessel l C bathroom furniture? TEST YOUR KNOWLEDGE Answers: 1c, 2b, 3b, 4a, 5b 1 2 3 4 5 THEY SAID WHAT? It was the Law of the Sea, they said. Civilisation ends at the waterline. Beyond that, we all enter the food chain, and not always right at the top. Hunter S. Thompson The true peace of God begins at any spot a thousand miles from the nearest land. JOSEPH CONRAD Voyage upon life's sea, to yourself be true, and, whatever your lot may be, paddle your own canoe SARAH T. BOLTON Watery wordsearch Can you find ten watery words hidden in the word search below? The sunken words are: anchor, mermaid, ocean, pirate, ref, seawed, shark, starfish, whale, wreck. And remember, words may run upside- down and back- to- front! ( ANSWERS BELOW) N P S G S T D A N H T M I H N E L N A S J U A R E P F C E I T R H W A E S H C F K V A A E T V O O R O E K R K L E R Q A S E J F J Z A J E T M E R M A I D H Y S Z F H W B C Q X W O K C E R W R U Y F S N P S G S T D A N H T M I H N E L N A S J U A R E P F C E I T R H W A E S H C F K V A A E T V O O R O E K R K L E R Q A S E J F J Z A J E T M E R M A I D H Y S Z F H W B C Q X W O K C E R W R U Y F S