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Marine Habitat Profiles

About 70% of our planet is covered with water. Most of this water is salt water, made up of the oceans covering the Earth. Within these oceans, there are many different types of habitat, ranging from freezing polar ice to tropical coral reefs. Here you will find profiles of the major marine habitats and the organisms that inhabit them.

What Is the Deepest Part of the Ocean?
Do you know the location of the deepest part of the ocean, and how deep it is? Learn here.

The Ocean
Facts about the ocean, major oceans of the world, and what the ocean is like as a marine life habitat.

The Oceans
Do you know the names of the world's oceans? Here you'll find a list of the oceans of the world, along with where the oceans are found and how big they are.

Kelp Forest
Learn about kelp forests, and where they are found and what lives there.

Gulf of Maine
Learn about the Gulf of Maine, part of the North Atlantic Ocean that covers over 30,000 square miles, and extends from Nova Scotia, Canada to Cape Cod, Massachusetts. Learn facts about the Gulf of Maine and marine life that live in the Gulf of Maine.

Gulf of Mexico
Information on the marine habitats in the Gulf of Mexico, including the kinds of marine life that live in the Gulf of Mexico.

Marine Life in the Gulf of Mexico
The Gulf of Mexico covers about 600,000 square miles. It is bordered by the U.S. states of Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas, the Mexican coast to Cancun, and Cuba. In terms of human uses and marine life, the Gulf of Mexico is important for fishing (recreational and commercial) and also a place for marine life viewing. The Gulf of Mexico has been in the news recently because of …

Marine Habitats - Facts and Profiles of Marine Habitats
About 70% of our planet is covered with water. Earth has been nicknamed “the blue planet” because it looks blue from space. About 96% of this water is marine, or salt water, made up of the oceans covering the Earth. Within these oceans, there are many different types of habitat, or environments in which plants and animals live, ranging from freezing polar ice to tropical coral reefs.

Major Marine Habitats
About 70% of our planet is covered with water. Earth has been nicknamed the blue planet because it looks blue from space. About 96% of this water is marine, or salt water, made up of the oceans covering the Earth. Within these oceans, there are many different types of habitat, or environments in which plants and animals live, ranging from...

Learn about Corals and Coral Reefs
Coral reefs provide some of the most spectacular underwater scenery, and marine life biodiversity in the world. Here you can learn what coral is, how coral reefs form, and threats to coral reefs.

Mariana Trench
Learn about the Mariana Trench, which includes the deepest point on Earth.

Coral Reefs
Learn about coral reefs, a center for biodiversity and an important marine habitat. This page discusses tropical corals, cold-water corals, the marine life species that inhabit them and the natural and human threats to coral reefs in the oceans.

Seagrasses
Seagrass is an angiosperm (flowering plant) that lives an a marine or brackish environment. There are about 50 species of true seagrasses worldwide and they are found within the plant families Posidoniaceae, Zosteraceae, Hydrocharitaceae, and Cymodoceaceae. Seagrasses require lots of light, so the depths at which they occur in the ocean are...

Intertidal Zone
The intertidal zone is the area where land and sea meet. This zone is covered with water at high tide, and exposed to air at low tide, and often includes tide pools. Learn about the intertidal zone habitat, the types of marine life that live here and threats to this habitat.

Mangroves - Mangrove Swamps
The term “mangrove” is used to refer to a habitat comprised of a number of halophytic (salt-tolerant) plant species, of which there are more than 12 families and 50 species worldwide. Mangrove are found along tropical and sub-tropical coastlines in Africa, Australia, Asia and North and South America.

The Deep Sea - Benthic and Abyssal Zones
The deep sea includes the deepest, darkest, coldest parts of the ocean. Eighty percent of the ocean consists of waters in the deep sea greater than 1,000 meters in depth. Parts of the deep sea described here are also included in the pelagic zone, but these deep sea areas in the deepest parts of the ocean have their own special characteristics....

The Open Ocean - Pelagic Zone
The open ocean, or pelagic zone, is the area of the ocean outside of coastal areas, and where you’ll find some of the biggest marine life species, including whales, bluefin tuna, and giant squid.

What is a Hydrothermal Vent?
Hydrothermal vents, located in the deep sea, were discovered relatively recently. It was only about 30 years ago that scientists in the submersible Alvin discovered these undersea "geysers."

Seas and Oceans
Read more about the geologic features of the oceans, including ridges, hydrothermal vents and trenches.

Great Barrier Reef
The Great Barrier Reef is renowned for its beauty and marine life diversity. At a length of 1,430 miles, it is the world's largest coral reef. It is so large, it is the only living thing visible from space. The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, a marine protected area 128,960 square miles in size, surrounds the reef.

Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary
Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary (SBNMS) is an 842-square mile underwater sanctuary located north of Cape Cod, MA. One of the most prominent features of the Sanctuary is Stellwagen Bank, a 19-mile long sandy plateau. At a depth of about 100-120 feet, Stellwagen Bank is also one of the shallowest features in the sanctuary. The...

Tides and Waves - How Do Tides and Waves Work
Understanding ocean waves is an important part of understanding the coastal habitats they influence.

Great Barrier Reef - Animals of the Great Barrier Reef
Learn about the numbers of species that live in the Great Barrier Reef, the world's largest coral reef.

Coral Reefs - How Do Coral Reefs Form?
Learn about the tiny animals that make up coral reefs and how coral reefs form and grow.

Planet Earth - Oceans (Discovery Channel)
We are just beginning to explore this habitat in the oceans. Learn about the deep sea (the abyss) and the animals that live there in this site from the Discovery Channel.

Organisms That Thrive in Arctic Sea Ice (NOAA)
Learn about the variety of life that thrives in sea ice, which covers much of the northern hemisphere's ocean. Learn about bacteria, viruses, algae, marine invertebrates and mammals that live here.

Mangrove Swamps - Environmental Protection Agency
Mangrove swamps are in subtropical to tropical waters, and have trees growing in salt- or brackish water. This site hosted by the EPA describes mangrove swamps.

Live Kelp Cam (Monterey Bay Aquarium)
The kelp forest is home to a variety of organisms that take shelter within the giant kelp. View a live web cam of a kelp forest and see if you can spot some animal inhabitants!

Polar/Ice Habitat
Learn more about marine life habitats in the polar regions, including the Arctic and Antarctic.

Where Is the Antarctic?
Where is the Antarctic? Learn about the Antarctic region, Antarctic and the animals that live there.

Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary
Information on the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary, home to the largest barrier reef in the U.S.

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