Marine Animal Facts
By Jennifer Kennedy, About.com Guide
- Cetaceans (Whales, Dolphins and Porpoises)
- Pinnipeds (Seals, Sea Lions, Walruses)
- Sirenians (Manatees, Dugongs and Sea Cows)
Cetaceans (Whales, Dolphins and Porpoises)
Cetaceans are mammals who are adapted to life in the water. There are over 80 species of whales, dolphins and porpoises on Earth, from the small Hector's dolphin to the huge blue whale. Below is information on cetaceans in general, profiles of whale species and answers to common questions about cetaceans.
- What is a Cetacean?
- Characteristics of Cetaceans (Whales, Dolphins and Porpoises)
- Differences Between Baleen Whales and Toothed Whales
- Differences Between Whales, Dolphins and Porpoises
- Types of Cetaceans
- Do Whales Sleep?
- Do Whales Have Hair?
- Differences Between Whales and Fish
- Whaling and the International Whaling Commission
- Albino and Uniquely Colored Whales and Dolphins
- Plan a Whale Watching Trip
- Share Your Whale Watching Stories and Photos
Pinnipeds (Seals, Sea Lions, Walruses)
The pinnipeds are mammals in the order Carnivora and suborder Pinnipedia. There are three families of pinnipeds: the Phocidae, the earless or ‘true’ seals; the Otariidae, the eared seals, and the Odobenidae, the walrus. These three families contain 33 species. Here are profiles of pinniped species and answers to questions about pinnipeds.
- What is a Pinniped?
- 10 Facts About Seals
- Differences Between Seals and Sea Lions
- Gray Seal (Halichoerus grypus)
- Harp Seal (Phoca groenlandica or Pagophilus groenlandicus)
Sirenians (Manatees, Dugongs and Sea Cows)
The Order Sirenia includes manatees, dugongs and the extinct Steller's sea cow. The sirenians are collectively also known as "sea cows," probably because they graze on sea grasses and other aquatic plants. Sirenians were named for the sirens of Greek mythology, who lured sailors with their song. Some think sightings of sirenians led to myths about mermaids.
Reptiles (Sea Turtles)
Sea turtles are reptiles that live in a marine or brackish environment. The flippers of sea turtles are long and paddle-like, making them excellent for swimming but poor for walking on land. Learn about sea turtles and the 7 species of sea turtles.
- Class Reptilia - the Reptiles
- Sea Turtle Facts
- 7 Species of Sea Turtles
- Sea Turtle Images and Facts
- Be Careful With Your Trash, Save a Sea Turtle
There are over 14,000 species of marine fishes, from the tiny pygmy goby to the giant whale shark. This group of vertebrate animals includes the jawless fishes, cartilaginous fishes (sharks, rays and chimaeras), and the bony fishes. Learn about some of these species here.
- Facts About Fish
- Fish Anatomy
- 10 Facts About Sharks
- How To Avoid A Shark Attack
- 10 Facts About Seahorses
- Differences Between Whales and Fish
- What is the World's Biggest Fish?
- What is the Biggest Shark?
- What is the Fastest Shark Species?
- The 7 Species of Tuna
- Atlantic Cod (Gadus morhua)
- Whale Shark (Rhincodon typus)
- Basking Shark (Cetorhinus maximus)
- Migration of Basking Sharks
- Great White Shark (Carcharodon carcharias)
- Shortfin Mako Shark (Isurus oxyrinchus
- Southern Stingray (Dasyatis americana
- How to Find Sustainable Seafood
Invertebrates, animals without a notochord or backbone, comprise the largest group of organisms in the world, forming over a million species. Marine invertebrates alone comprise thousands of species, and are a hugely diverse group of animals, from sessile sponges to spiny sea urchins. Below are profiles and facts on some marine invertebrates.
- Corals and Coral Reefs
- Phylum Echinodermata (Sea Stars, Sand Dollars, Sea Urchins, Sea Cucumbers)
- Phylum Mollusca - the Mollusks (Bivalves, Snails, Octopus and More!)
- Facts About Gastropods