- 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.
The oceanic whitetip shark, Carcharhinus longimanus, is a large pelagic shark of tropical and warm temperate seas. It is a stocky shark, most notable for its long, white tipped rounded fins.
This aggressive but slow-moving fish dominates feeding frenzies, and has attacked more humans than all other shark species combined — it is a notable danger to survivors of oceanic ship wrecks and downed aircraft. Recent studies have shown that its numbers are in steep decline — its large fins are highly valued as the chief ingredient of shark fin soup and, as with other shark species, the oceanic whitetip faces mounting pressure from fishing throughout its range.
The oceanic whitetip shark was first described by naturalist René Lesson in his account of observations made during Louis Duperrey's 1822–1825 circumnavigation of the world on the corvette Coquille. Lesson described two specimens found in the Tuamotu Archipelago in French Polynesia, and named the shark Squalus maou after a Polynesian word for "shark". However, Lesson's description and name were forgotten.
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Rachel Louise Carson (27 May 1907 – 14 April 1964) was a Pittsburgh-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.
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- Triggerfishes are the brightly coloured fishes of the family Balistidae. (pictured)
- The sea otter often keeps a stone tool in its armpit pouch.
Photo credit: Mdf
The Double-crested Cormorant (Phalacrocorax auritus) is a North American member of the cormorant family of seabirds. Its name is derived from the Greek words phalakros (bald) and kora (raven), and the Latin auritus (eared). Folk names of this bird include Crow-duck, Farallon Cormorant, Florida Cormorant, lawyer, shag, and Taunton turkey.
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