Portal:Marine life

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The Marine Life Portal

Marine life is concerned with the plants, animals and other organisms that live in the ocean. 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. For this reason marine life encompasses not only organisms that can only live in a marine environment, but also those whose lives revolve around the sea.
At a fundamental level, marine life helps determine the very nature of our planet. Marine organisms produce much of the oxygen we breathe and probably help regulate the earth's climate. Shorelines are in part shaped and protected by marine life, and some marine organisms even help create new land.
Marine biology covers a great deal, from the microscopic, including plankton and phytoplankton, which can be as small as 0.02 micrometres and are both hugely important as the primary producers of the sea, to the huge cetaceans (whales, dolphins and porpoises) which reach up to a reported 33 metres (109 feet) in length in the case of the blue whale.



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The Antarctic Krill

Antarctic krill, Euphausia superba, is a species of krill found in the Antarctic waters of the Southern Ocean. Antarctic krill are shrimp-like invertebrates that live in large schools, called swarms, sometimes reaching densities of 10,000 - 30,000 animals per cubic metre. They feed directly on minute phytoplankton, thereby using the primary production energy that the phytoplankton originally derived from the sun in order to sustain their pelagic (open ocean) life cycle. They grow to a length of 6 cm, weigh up to 2 grams, and can live for up to six years. They are a key species in the Antarctic ecosystem and are likely to be the most successful animal species on the planet in terms of biomass (approximately 500 million tonnes).

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Nicholai Miklukho-Maklai

Nicholai Nicholaevich Miklukho-Maklai (Николай Николаевич Миклухо-Маклай in Russian) (18461888) was a Russian ethnologist, anthropologist and biologist.

Miklukho-Maklai was born in a temporary workers camp near Novgorod, a son of a civil engineer working on the construction of the Moscow-Saint Petersburg Railway. He attended a grammar school in Saint Petersburg, then went on to study at St. Petersburg University.

He travelled and studied widely in Europe, and became a close friend of the biologist Anton Dohrn, with whom he helped conceive the idea of "research stations" while staying with him at Messina, Italy.

Miklukho-Maklai left St Petersburg for Australia on the schooner Vityaz. He arrived in Sydney on 18 July, 1878. A few days after arriving, he approached the Linnean Society and offered to organise a zoological centre. In September 1878 his offer was approved. The centre, known as the Maritime Biological Centre, was constructed by prominent Sydney architect, John Kirkpatrick. This was the first marine biological research institute in Australia.

He visited Papua New Guinea on a number of occasions, and lived amongst the native tribes, writing a comprehensive treatise on their way of life and customs.

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Did you know...

Light microscopy image of the undescribed species of Spinoloricus that is living in anoxic environment (Stained with Rose Bengal). Scale bar is 50 μm.
Titan triggerfish.jpg
  • Triggerfishes are the brightly coloured fishes of the family Balistidae. (pictured)
  • The sea otter often keeps a stone tool in its armpit pouch.

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A Green Sea Turtle in Hawaii
Photo credit: Tokugawapants

The Green Sea Turtle (Chelonia mydas) is a large sea turtle, the only member of the genus Chelonia (Brongniart, 1800). This turtle grows to 1-1.5 m in length, and can weigh 200 kg, making it the largest of the hard-shelled turtles. Its distribution extends throughout tropical, subtropical and some warmer temperate waters. Females lay their eggs on traditional nesting beaches, and the turtles often bask in the sand to warm their ectothermic bodies, but otherwise this species is entirely marine.

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Marine Life Categories

Major Fields of Marine Biology: Marine Biology - Ecology - Zoology - Animal Taxonomy

Specific Fields of Marine Biology: Herpetology - Ichthyology - Planktology - Ornithology

Biologists: Zoologists - Algologists - Malacologists - Conchologists - Biologists - Marine Biologists - Anatomists - Botanists - Ecologists - Ichthyologists

Organisms:

Plants: Algae - Brown Algae - Green Algae - Red Algae - Sea Vegetables -

Invertebrates: Cnidarians - Echinoderms - Molluscs - Bivalves - Cephalopods - Gastropods

Fish: Fish - Bony Fish - Lobe-finned Fish - Ray-finned Fish - Cartilaginous Fish - Electric Fish - Fish Diseases - Rays - Sharks - Extinct Fish - Fictional Fish - Fisheries Science - Fishing - Fishkeeping - Live-bearing Fish

Reptiles and Amphibians: Marine Reptiles - Sea Turtles - Mosasaurs - Sauropterygia

Mammals: Marine Mammals - Cetaceans - Pinnipeds - Sirenians

Miscellaneous: Aquaria - Oceanaria - Vertebrates Without Jaws - Endangered Species - Aquatic Biomes - Terrestrial ecozones - Aquatic Organisms - Cyanobacteria - Dinoflaggellates

Marine Life Topics

Ocean zones: Photic zoneAphotic zonePelagic zoneNeritic zoneLittoral zoneSublittoral zoneBenthic zone
Plants and Algae: AlgaeBrown algaeRed algaeGreen algaeSeagrassPhytoplankton
Invertebrates: SquidCuttlefishCrabsLobstersStarfish Cscr-featured.svgSea UrchinJellyfishPortuguese man o' warCorals Symbol support vote.svgTunicates Symbol support vote.svg
Fish: LampreysJawless fishCartilagenous fishBony fishSharksRaysSkatesCoelacanthsLungfishPlacodermiLobe-finned fishRay-finned fishSturgeonsGarsEelsHerringsSalmonTroutLancetfishAnglerfishToadfishCodsFlyingfishSeahorsesFlatfishScorpionfishCichlids
Reptiles: CrocodilesAlligatorsCaimanGharialTurtlesSea turtlesLeatherback turtleMarine iguanaSea snakes Symbol support vote.svg
Birds: PenguinsSea gullsKittiwakesAlbatrosses Cscr-featured.svgSea ducksCormorantsSea eagleGuillemotsPuffinsAuksTernsGannetsOsprey Symbol support vote.svgRazorbillOystercatchers
Mammals: MonotremesMarsupialsCetaceansWhalesDolphinsPorpoisesPinnipedsWalruses Symbol support vote.svgTrue sealsFur sealsSea LionsSireniansManateesDugongs Symbol support vote.svgPolar bear Symbol support vote.svgSea otter Cscr-featured.svgMarine otterBlubber
Cscr-featured.svg Represents a Featured article, Symbol support vote.svg Represents a Good article


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