Ocean Exploration: Learn About Marine Animals Seattle Yachts
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Ocean Exploration: Learn About Marine Animals

Written By: Peter Whiting

Marine animals live in water-filled places all over the world. These animals have adapted in different ways so that they can live at different depths, in different water temperatures, and in places with little or no light. There's a lot more than just fish and boats in the ocean: You'll find animals with shells, animals that look like plants, and even animals that are mammals just like humans.

Shellfish

Shellfish are sea creatures that have exoskeletons. That means that they have their skeletons on the outsides of their bodies! Shellfish aren't actually fish; they're more closely related to insects than fish. Most people are familiar with shellfish because people eat them. If you've ever eaten shrimp or clams, you've eaten shellfish.

Corals

Corals are little, boneless animals that grow in a tube-like shape called a polyp. Coral polyps root themselves close together in one place, like plants do, and then they create exoskeletons out of limestone. Over time, this limestone builds up to make a coral reef. Some corals are coral-colored, but many more are brown, green, or red.

Marine Mammals

Marine mammals, like other mammals, are warm-blooded, have lungs that they use to breathe air, and have hair. Marine mammals are grouped into four types. Cetaceans include whales and dolphins; pinnipeds include sea lions and seals; sirenians include dugongs and manatees; and marine fissipeds include sea otters and polar bears.

Sea Turtles

There are seven different types of sea turtle species in Earth's oceans. Although sea turtles come ashore from time to time to lay eggs or bask in the sun, they spend most of their time in the ocean. Five species are considered endangered: olive ridley, green, leatherback, loggerhead, and hawksbill turtles.

Fish

The five oceans on Earth are home to around 20,000 different species of fish. These fish come in a variety of colors, sizes, and shapes. They live in different temperatures and depths.

Seabirds

Seabirds have adapted to live on or near the water. They typically live longer and produce fewer babies than other types of birds. As a result, they spend a lot of time raising the babies they do produce. They are also known for their long migrations.

Sharks and Rays

Sharks have been one of the main types of predators in the world's oceans for most of history. More than 450 different species of sharks exist. However, about 25% of the shark population is currently endangered. One reason is that they are harvested for their fins. Sharks range in size from less than a foot long to more than 40 feet long! Rays are related to sharks, but they are smaller and flatter.

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