What is a 'Whale fall'? - ProProfs Discuss
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What is a 'Whale fall'?

What is a 'Whale fall'?

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Asked by J. Lautner, Last updated: Dec 09, 2020

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W. Pratt

W. Pratt

Want to learn new things and share my knowledge

W. Pratt
W. Pratt, Marketing Analyst, MBA, Lincoln

Answered Dec 07, 2018

A whale fall is the carcass of a dead whale that sinks down to the floor of the sea. The massive carcass sinks to the seafloor, where it provides and serves as food for a deep sea ecosystem. There are different stages in the decomposition of a whale carcass. Scavengers consume the soft tissue. Organic fragments or detritus enrich the sediments in the sea.

The whale skeleton can support rich communities. The decay organic compound of the whale bone serves as a source of sulfides. Microbes live off of the energy released from this food web at deep sea levels.

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