Portal:Marine life

The Marine Life Portal

Killer whales (orcas) are highly visible marine apex predators that hunt many large species. But most biological activity in the ocean takes place with microscopic marine organisms that cannot be seen individually with the naked eye, such as marine bacteria and phytoplankton.

Marine life, sea life, or ocean life is the plants, animals and other organisms that live in the salt water of seas or oceans, or the brackish water of coastal estuaries. At a fundamental level, marine life affects the nature of the planet. Marine organisms, mostly microorganisms, produce oxygen and sequester carbon. Marine life in part shape and protect shorelines, and some marine organisms even help create new land (e.g. coral building reefs).

Marine invertebrates exhibit a wide range of modifications to survive in poorly oxygenated waters, including breathing tubes as in mollusc siphons. Fish have gills instead of lungs, although some species of fish, such as the lungfish, have both. Marine mammals ( e.g. dolphins, whales, otters, and seals) need to surface periodically to breathe air. (Full article...)

Marine biology is the scientific study of the biology of marine life, organisms in the sea. Given that in biology many phyla, families and genera have some species that live in the sea and others that live on land, marine biology classifies species based on the environment rather than on taxonomy. (Full article...)

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Zooplankton sample including several species of copepods (1–5), gastropod larva (6) doliolids (7), fish eggs (8), and decapod larva (9)

Zooplankton are the animal component of the planktonic community ("zoo" comes from the Greek word for animal). Plankton are aquatic organisms that are unable to swim effectively against currents. Consequently, they drift or are carried along by currents in the ocean, or by currents in seas, lakes or rivers.

Zooplankton can be contrasted with phytoplankton, which are the plant component of the plankton community ("phyto" comes from the Greek word for plant). Zooplankton are heterotrophic (other-feeding), whereas phytoplankton are autotrophic (self-feeding). In other words, zooplankton cannot manufacture their own food. Rather, they must eat other plants or animals instead. In particular, they eat phytoplankton, which are generally smaller than zooplankton. Most zooplankton are microscopic but some (such as jellyfish) are macroscopic, meaning they can be seen with the naked eye. (Full article...)
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  • ... Shark skin is so rough that in the past it was used to make a type of sandpaper, called shagreen.
  • ... because whales and dolphins are streamlined to swim in water, they do not have external organs. This makes it almost impossible to tell the sex of a whale or dolphin when watching them on the sea surface.
  • ... the Beaked whales (genus Ziphidae) contain over twenty species of small whales, and are the least known of all cetaceans.
  • ... The Horseshoe crab has blue, copper based blood.
  • ... all cetaceans have a blubber layer — a layer of fat under the skin. In most dolphins, this layer is about one quarter to one third of the total body weight, but in southern right whales nearly half of its weight (up to 50 tons) will be blubber.
  • ... the Sperm Whale, at 18 metres long, is the largest toothed animal to have ever lived.

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Pomacanthus paru 1.jpg
Photo credit: OAR/National Undersea Research Program (NURP)

The French angelfish, Pomacanthus paru, is a member of the Marine angelfish family.

Marine angelfishes are a type of perciform fish of the family Pomacanthidae. Found on shallow reefs in the tropical Atlantic, Indian, and mostly western Pacific Ocean, the family contains seven genera and approximately 86 species. They should not be confused with the freshwater angelfish, tropical cichlids of the Amazon River basin.

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