Portal:Marine life

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

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 only lives 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.



Selected article

Emperor penguins.jpg

The Emperor Penguin (Aptenodytes forsteri), at 1.3 metres (3 ft 9 in) tall and 32 kilograms in mass, is the tallest and heaviest of all penguins. It is the only penguin that breeds during the winter in Antarctica. Emperor Penguins eat mainly crustaceans (such as krill) but also occasionally indulge in small fish and squid. In the wild, Emperor Penguins typically live for 20 years, but some records indicate a maximum lifespan of around 40 years. The Emperor Penguin should not be confused with the King Penguin or the Royal Penguin.

Adults average about 1.3 metres (3 ft 9 in) and weigh 30 kilograms (75 lb) or more. The head and wings are black, the abdomen white, back bluish grey, and the bill is purplish pink. On the sides of the neck, there are two golden circular stripes.

Like the King Penguin counterpart, a male Emperor Penguin has an abdominal fold, the "brood pouch", between its legs and lower abdomen.

More on the Emperor Penguin

Selected biography

Rachel Carson's Government Photo (1940s)

Rachel Louise Carson (27 May 1907 – 14 April 1964) was a Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania-born zoologist and marine biologist whose landmark book, Silent Spring, is often credited with having launched the global environmental movement. Silent Spring had an immense effect in the United States, where it spurred a reversal in national pesticide policy.

Rachel Carson was born in 1907 on a small family farm near Springdale. As a child, she spent many hours learning about ponds, fields, and forests from her mother. She originally went to school to study English and creative writing, but switched her major to marine biology. Her talent for writing would help her in her new field, as she resolved to "make animals in the woods or waters, where they live, as alive to others as they are to me". She graduated from the Pennsylvania College for Women, today known as Chatham College, in 1929 with magna cum laude honors. Despite financial difficulties, she continued her studies in zoology and genetics at Johns Hopkins University, earning a master's degree in zoology in 1932.

More on Rachel Carson

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.

Things you can do

Selected picture

Electron microscope image of the compound eye -  the eyes are deep black in the living animal
Photo credit: Gerd Alberti and Uwe Kils

The 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 individual animals per cubic meter.

Although the uses for and reasons behind the development of their massive black compound eyes (pictured above) remain a mystery, there is no doubt that Antarctic krill have one of the most fantastic structures for vision seen in nature.

Krill can shrink in size from one molt to the next, which is generally thought to be a survival strategy to adapt to scarce food supplies (a smaller body needs less energy, i.e., food). However, the animal's eyes do not shrink when this happens. The ratio between eye size and body length has thus been found to be a reliable indicator of starvation.

More on the antarctic krill

Related Portals

WikiProjects

Lists

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 - Agnatha - Endangered species - Aquatic biomes - 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


Associated Wikimedia

The following Wikimedia sister projects provide more on this subject:

Wikibooks
Books

Commons
Media

Wikinews 
News

Wikiquote 
Quotations

Wikisource 
Texts

Wikiversity
Learning resources

Wikivoyage 
Travel guides

Wiktionary 
Definitions

Wikidata 
Database

Wikispecies 
Species

Purge server cache