Marine Life

Most of the surface of the earth, about 71%, is covered by the saline water of the oceans and seas. Like the land, oceans and seas also are teeming with life forms of every type and size. Millions of species of life forms ranging from microscopic to mammoth scale lives there. The total number of marine species is unknown because most of the deep ocean is yet to be explored. Marine life has immense diversity and variations.

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We can divide marine life in three broad groups 1) Marine Microbes, 2) Marine Animals and 3) Marine Plants. The flora under the ocean waters does not bloom so well as in the lands due to lack of sunlight.

The microscopic sea animals are very important for marine ecosystem and environment. They are the main primary producers of food. They are also responsible for cycling most essential elements in the ocean ecosystems. There are many species of sea virus, bacteria and other single cell organizations, most of which are not studied and observed well yet.

 Planktons are one of the most important microbes. The phytoplankton is the primary producer of food. They bind the energy of the sun in their tiny bodies. Fishes and other sea animals eat them to get that energy. It flows from them to other animals that live higher up the chain, including us humans.  Some of the small phytoplankton is cyanobacteria, red, green, brown, and yellow-green algae, diatom etc.

 Zooplanktons can be larger than microbes. Some of them are single cell organizations like protozoa. A large sea animal like Jellyfish is also a type of zooplankton. Larva of many bigger animals is also often considered as a zooplankton. They are an important source of food for fishes and other sea animals.

 Different types of sea weeds can be found in many sea bottom places. They look like earthly plants but are a bit different. Some of these are edible like Gracilaria and Porphyra. Brown, large sea weeds are known as Kelps. There is also some flowering grass like marine bed plants known as Sea Grass.

Marine animals can be divided in two broad groups – vertebrates and invertebrates.  The invertebrates are also of various types.  There are Cnidarians like Sea Anemones and Jellyfishes. Other groups include Sea Worms, Mollusca (Shellfish, Squid, Octopus, and Conch etc), Arthropoda(crabs, shrimps, lobsters etc), Porifera (Sponge), Echinodermata (Starfish) etc.

 The vertebrates who live in the oceans and seas are of three types – Fish, Mammal and Reptile. The most numerous and well known sea vertebrates are fishes. There are thousands of species of fishes are there. Some of these fishes are small like Stout Infant fish or Sinarapan which can be less than one inch in length. But there are also fishes which are huge in size and weight like the Whale Shark or the Ocean Sunfish.

Some of these fishes are very ugly to look at like the Blob fish. But there are also many thousand species of fishes which are extremely beautiful and colorful like the coral reef fishes.

 Sharks are special types of fishes which have cartilage inside their body. They are carnivores and can be of varying sizes. White Shark is one of the most deadly haunters of the sea.

The marine mammals are big sized animals that have no gills. So, they have to come to the surface regularly to take air to breath. Whales and dolphins are most well known among them. Blue Whale is the largest known existing animal on earth. There are also Dugong, Sea Cow, Seals, and Sea Lions etc. 

 Many reptiles also live in the oceans. The sea snakes are one of them. These snakes can be extremely poisonous but rarely attacks humans. Sea Turtles can be small or quiet big in size. There are also Terrapins and Sea Iguanas. But the most deadly and largest among them is the Saltwater Crocodiles
 Read about some of the marine life from our blog: