Jurassic Park

Finding Nemo (2003)

Concept featured in clip: Coral Reef Ecology

Location of clip: DVD: Chapter 4: 0:10:58 - 0:12:50

Play Flickclip Here

Summary of clip: Mr. Ray, the singing school teacher, takes Nemo and his classmates on a field trip around the reef. Nemo and three other students wander away from the group to look out over the drop off.

Connection of flickclip to the concept: The characters are surrounded by, and are part of, the intricate Coral Reef ecosystem. This clip could be an engaging way to start a discussion about coral reef ecology.

Suggestions to teachers:

1. Suggested questions for students when viewing the clip:

a. What are the primary producers in this system?

b. Comment on the level of diversity in this ecosystem (species from 32 phyla live on reefs, compared to 9 phyla in rainforests). How do so many organisms exist in such a small area?

c. What types of relationships do you think exist between organisms in this system?

d. Why is there no coral beyond the drop off? What conditions does this ecosystem need to survive? Do these species have a high tolerance for change?

2. In the spirit of Mr. Ray's song, have students create their own song or poem about coral reef ecology.

3. When we think of coral reefs, we often think of the Great Barrier Reef off of the coast of Australia (this is the one highlighted in the clip). However, coral reefs are found in the tropics throughout the world. Do you think there is migration of organisms between reefs that are separated by deep ocean? When did the organisms of the coral reefs evolve? Are there common ancestors or did reefs in different parts of the world evolve separately? Have students research the similarities and differences between worldwide reefs to answer these questions.

4. Have students research the current state of coral reefs. How have human activities affected reef ecology? Students should make predictions about how the coral reefs will continue to be affected in the future.