Fish are part of the ocean ecosystem. These fish shine in the clear blue water.
Click on image for full size
Windows Original, adapted from Corel Photography
The oceans are full of life. A variety of animals and plants must survive together. Invertebrates like crabs, starfish and worms roam
the sea floors. Coral grow in large numbers, creating a home for these creatures. All of these animals are called invertebrates, because they don't have a backbone.
Meanwhile, schools of fish roam the depths also looking for a bite to eat.
The triggerfish looks for a wandering crab in a reef while a group of
tuna pass by. They must stay alert, because the ferocious tiger shark is
looking for its prey.
In shallow depths, the plant life flourishes.
Sunlight beams down on the different types of algae. These simple plants serve as food for many animals of the sea. Not only are they important to the food chain, they are also used by people in toothpaste, make-up and even clothes!
In the deeper parts of the ocean, the largest animal known is swimming
around. The giant blue whale, which can reach 80 feet in length, is a
mammal. A family of dolphins plays nearby, but must beware of the pod of killer whales looking for a meal.
Together, these plants and animals make up what we call sea life. Scientists say that life began in the seas, which means that without these creatures, we would not exist. Use the table below to learn all about different sea life.
One way to explore ocean life is by scuba diving. Another way is to use a deep-sea submersible like the Alvin.
Shop Windows to the Universe Science Store!
The Spring 2010 issue of The Earth Scientist
, focuses on the ocean, including articles on polar research, coral reefs, ocean acidification, and climate. Includes a gorgeous full color poster!
You might also be interested in:
There are two very distinct groups of worms: flatworms and segmented worms. Flatworms are very colorful, but also very difficult to see because they hide during the day. They look like elongated pancakes!...more
Crabs are crustaceans, which means they have a hard outer-shell that protect the soft body underneath. They also have sharp claws for protection and grabbing food. There are many species of crabs, and...more
Whales, like dolphins, are part of the Cetacea order. The name Cetacea comes from the Latin 'cetus', which means large marine creature or sea monster! But, whales are no danger to people... Actually, it...more
Dolphins are known as cetaceans and are in the order Cetacea. The name Cetacea comes from the Latin 'cetus', which means large marine creature or sea monster! Dolphins are mammals and they do live their...more
Scientists have found and described approximately 1.75 million species on Earth. Plus, new species are being discovered every day. From tiny bacteria to yeasts to starfish to blue whales, life's diversity...more
The health of coral reef ecosystems is endangered by many different forces – warming seas, carbon dioxide, diseases, fishing, and pollution to name a few. Can reefs recover once they become unhealthy?...more
The Mullidae family is more commonly known as the Goatfish. These fish have the unique ability to change colors! They find their homes in coral reefs, sand or seagrass. The Goatfish range in size from...more
The sea rays are probably the most mysterious creatures of the ocean. Many have soft, widely spanned bodies that flow through the water like silk. They have a variety of appetites--some enjoy corals,...more