Thursday, July 30, 2015

Word of the day: pelagic

The word of the day is pelagic:

  1. of or pertaining to the open seas or oceans.
  2. living or growing at or near the surface of the ocean, far from land, as certain organisms.
"pertaining to the sea," 1656, from L. pelagicus, from Gk. pelagikos, from pelagos "sea," from PIE *p(e)lag- "to spread out" (cf. Gk. plagos "side," L. plaga "hunting net, curtain, region"), from base *pele- "spread out, flat" (see plane (1)).


"Between August and October, hunting can be poor as seals reduce ice surface time.  Additionally, in about two-thirds of the polar bear range, seals become largely pelagic as ice retreats from the continental shelf."

- J. P. Whiteman et al., "Summer declines in activity and body temperature offer polar bears limited energy savings", Science 349:6245 (17 July 2015)

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