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Marine Life: Most Popular Articles

These articles are the most popular over the last month.
10 Surprising Facts About Starfish
Starfish - sea stars - are marine invertebrates that are a variety of colors, shapes and sizes, although all resemble a star. Starfish are familiar marine animals and fascinating creatures. Here are 10 facts about starfish, including one about how they are not actually a fish.
Types of Whales
There are about 86 species of cetaceans - whales, dolphins and porpoises in the Order Cetacea, which is further divided into two sub-orders, the Odontocetes and the Mysticetes. Learn about and see photos of featured cetacean species.
Do Sharks Lay Eggs?
Do sharks lay eggs? Here you can learn about ways sharks reproduce, including whether they lay eggs or give birth to live young.
10 Facts on How Scallops Live, Feed, and...
Facts about scallops. Learn about where scallops live, how big they grow, what they eat and how they reproduce. When you eat a scallop, what part are you actually eating?
What Causes a Killer Whale's Dorsal Fin to...
Learn why a killer whale - orca's - dorsal fin collapses, or flops over, when it is in captivity.
10 Fascinating Facts About Seahorses
Facts about seahorses, including the number of seahorse species, where seahorses live, what they eat and how they reproduce.
What Is the Deepest Part of the Ocean?
What is the deepest part of the ocean? Learn about the ocean's deepest point, how deep it is, and what lives there.
What Is a Biological Adaptation?
An adaptation is a physical or behavioral characteristic that has developed to allow an organism to better survive in its environment.
10 Things You Don't Know About Sharks
Sharks have a fierce reputation, but fascinating biology. Here we'll explore ten facts about sharks
What Is the Biggest Fish in the World?
The whale shark is the world's biggest fish, maxing out at about 65 feet in length and weighing up to about 75,000 pounds.
Do Sharks Sleep?
Despite all the research on sharks over the years, shark sleep is still somewhat of a mystery. Learn the latest thoughts on whether sharks sleep.
What to Know About Red Algae
Red algae are, not surprisingly, red, purplish or reddish in color. There are about 6,000 species of red algae and they are classified as protists in the phylum Rhodophyta. Red algae species range from simple one-celled organisms to complex, plant-like organisms.
Like Fish? Think About Being a Marine Biologist
When you picture a marine biologist, what comes to mind? Many picture a dolphin trainer, or maybe Jacques Cousteau. But marine biology covers a wide range of activities and organisms, and so does the job of a marine biologist. Here you can learn what a marine biologist is, what marine biologists do, and how you can become a marine biologist.
10 Fun Facts About Sea Turtles
There are seven recognized species of sea turtles, and all are endangered. Learn facts about sea turtles, including where they live, how they reproduce, and what they eat.
How Marine Species Survive in the Ocean
There are thousands of species of marine life, from tiny zooplankton to enormous whales. Each is adapted to the specific habitat it occupies. Throughout the oceans, marine organisms must deal with several things that terrestrial life do not, including regulation of salt, obtaining oxygen, and adapting to water pressure. Learn about ways marine organisms survive in the oceans.
What Is a Cartilaginous Fish?
What is a cartilaginous fish? Learn about cartilaginous fish - the group of fish that includes elasmobranchs: sharks, rays and skates.
What Are the 3 Types of Marine Algae?
Marine algae, more commonly known as seaweeds, come in all shapes and sizes. Here is an introduction to brown, red and green algae with some examples of each type of seaweed.
What Are Protists?
Protists are organisms in the kingdom Protista. These organisms are eukaryotes, meaning they are made up of single or multiple cells which all contain a nucleus enclosed by a membrane.
What to Know About Brown Algae
Brown algae is the largest, most complex type of algae. This type of marine algae is brown, olive or yellowish-brown in color. Brown algae contains contains chlorophyll a and c and a pigment called fucoxanthin, which gives it its color. Types of algae include kelp, rockweeds and wracks in the genus Fucus and free-floating algae in the genus Sargassum.
How Much Money Can a Marine Biologist Make?
What is the salary of a marine biologist? Learn about a marine biologist's job and salary range.
What Do Seahorses Eat?
What do seahorses eat? Marine Life.
Characteristics of the Gastropoda
The Class Gastropoda includes snails, slugs, limpets and sea hairs - all animals referred to as 'gastropods.' Learn about gastropods and see some examples here.
What Is a Crustacean?
The group of marine life known as crustaceans includes crabs, lobsters and shrimp - some of the most important marine life to humans. It also includes other animals such as amphipods and isopods. The crustaceans are in the Phylum Arthropoda and Subphylum Crustacea. Here you'll find the definition of crustacean and learn more about crustaceans.
What to Know About Green Algae
Green algae range from simple, one-celled organisms to complex, multi-celled organisms. They may also live in large colonies. There are both marine and freshwater green algae species, although we will focus on the marine species here.
The Ocean
Almost three-quarters of the Earth is ocean. Here you can learn facts about the ocean, about the major oceans of the world, and what the ocean is like as a marine life habitat.
What You Should Know about the 7 Species of Sea...
There are seven recognized species of sea turtles. See photos and learn facts about these seven species.
10 Fun Facts About Seals
Seals are divided into two families, the Phocidae, the earless or seals (e.g., harbor or common seals), and the Otariidae, the eared seals (e.g., fur seals and sea lions). Here you can learn 10 fascinating facts about seals.
Where Do Polar Bears Live?
Where do polar bears live? Find out more.
What Do Sea Otters Eat?
What do sea otters eat? Learn the answer here.
Are Whales Fish?
Whales are mammals. They are endothermic (warm-blooded), give birth to live young and nurse them, breathe oxygen from air, and have hair. Details here.
What You Should Know About Sea Turtles
Sea turtles are reptiles that live in a marine or brackish environment. Learn about sea turtle reproduction, distribution, classification and conservation status.
Do Starfish Have Eyes?
Do starfish have eyes? Information about starfish (sea star) eyes. While it may appear that starfish have eyes, they do. Learn where the eyes are on a starfish.
Cetaceans - Whales, Dolphins and Porpoises
Cetacean is a word used to describe all whales, dolphins and porpoises in the order Cetacea. Learn about the characteristics of cetaceans, including baleen whales and toothed whales and how they survive in the oceans.
What Do Polar Bears Eat?
What do polar bears eat? Learn more about the species that polar bears eat along with other facts about polar bears.
10 Easy Ways You Can Help Marine Life
All of our actions impact the ocean and the marine life it holds. Learn about easy ways that you can help protect marine life no matter where you live.
Ovoviviparous
Ovoviviparous animals produce eggs, but instead of laying the eggs, the eggs develop within the mother's body and are birthed live.
10 Facts About Killer Whales (Orcas)
Learn 10 facts about killer whales (orcas).
Learn About 4 Different Seal Species
There are 32 species of seals. Here are 5, including Harbor seals (also called common seals). with links to further information.
What's the World's Biggest Shark?
Learn about the biggest shark species, the biggest shark ever filmed and the largest sharks ever caught.
Sand Dollars
Find a sand dollar shell (test) on the beach? Here you can learn all about sand dollars - what they are, where they live, what they eat and how they reproduce.
10 Fascinating Facts About Polar Bears
Learn 10 fascinating facts about polar bears, illustrated with images.
Facts About the World’s Largest Sharks
Whale shark facts. Facts about whale sharks, including where whale sharks live, what whale sharks eat, where to see whale sharks, and how whale sharks reproduce.
Mollusk 101
Learn about the Phylum Mollusca - the mollusks.
How Do Dolphins Sleep?
How do dolphins sleep? Find out about how dolphins sleep - you may be surprised at the answer.
What Is a Bony Fish?
description and characteristics of bony fish - marine life overview
Killer Whale or Orca (Orcinus orca)
The killer whale, also known as the orca
What Are Plankton?
What is plankton? Learn about plankton, examples of marine plankton and links to additional resources.
Top 3 Shark Species Most Likely to Attack
What type of sharks are most likely to attack? Of the hundreds of shark species, there are 3 most often implicated in unprovoked shark attacks on humans. Learn more about these three species, and how you can prevent a shark attack.
What’s the Fastest Fish?
What is the fastest fish in the ocean? Learn the answer here.
What's It Like to Be a Marine Biologist?
Learn about the term marine biologist - what a marine biologist is, what marine biologists do, steps to becoming a marine biologist, and how much marine biologists earn.
Facts About the Blue Whale
The blue whale is the largest animal in the world. Learn where blue whales live, what they eat, how they reproduce, and how many are left in the world.
12 Interesting Facts About Nudibranchs
What do nudibranchs eat? How do nudibranchs reproduce? Learn more about these fascinating sea slugs that live in all the world's oceans.
Starfish (Sea Stars) Profile
Starfish, or sea stars, are star-shaped animals that are a variety of shapes, sizes and colors. Learn more about the sea star's biology and behavior.
9 Cool Facts About Lobsters
Despite their fame as a delicacy, lobsters also have fascinating lives. Learn some lobster facts about this iconic marine creature.
The Importance of Intertidal Zones
The intertidal zone is the area where land and sea meet. Learn about the intertidal zone and what makes it such a challenging habitat.
Do Whales Have Hair?
Whales are mammals, so do whales have hair? Whales do have hair, but it's not visible in all species. Learn about hair in whales and how it is used.
Where Do Killer Whales Live?
Learn about the distribution of killer whales (orcas), and where you could see killer whales.
Fast Facts About Starfish (Sea Stars)
Starfish are also known as sea stars. These animals come in a wide variety of colors, shapes and sizes. Here you can learn some fast facts about sea stars, with links to even more information.
Conchs
Conchs are a type of sea snail, and are also a popular seafood in some areas. The term 'conch' (pronounced
10 Awesome Facts About Sea Otters
Learn 10 fascinating facts about sea otters.
Explore the 10 Species of Hammerhead Sharks
Learn about the various species of hammerhead shark, all of which have an interestingly shaped head. They range in size from about 3 to 20 feet long.
What is the Biggest Animal in the Ocean?
Learn which is the biggest animal and the biggest whale in the world, and see a list of other large ocean animals.
What Is a Marine Biologist?
Learn the definition of the term marine biologist. Learn where marine biologists work, what they do, how to become a marine biologist, and what marine biologists get paid.
Echinoderms - Phylum Echinodermata
Echinoderms, or members of the Phylum Echinodermata, are some of the most easily-recognized marine invertebrates, many of which are found in tide pools or in the touch tank at your local aquarium. The Phylum Echinodermata includes 4 classes: Stelleroidea (sea stars), Echinoidea (sea urchins and sand dollars), Holothuroidea (sea cucumbers) and Crinoidea (sea lilies and feather stars.) They are a diverse group of organisms, containing about 6,000 species.
How Are Pearls Made?
Learn how pearls form, including species that make pearls.
10 Largest Sea Creatures
The ocean contains some of the largest creatures on Earth. In this slide show, you can see and learn facts about the largest living sea creatures.
What Is Inside a Sand Dollar?
What is inside a sand dollar shell? Here you can find out.
10 Basic Whale Facts
Cetaceans - whales, dolphins and porpoises - are a diverse group of animals ranging in size from just a few feet long to over 100 feet long. While most whales spend their lives offshore in the ocean's pelagic zone, some inhabit coastal areas and even spend part of their lives in fresh water. Learn about how whales feed, reproduce and explore their world.
The Magnificent Whale Shark
While its name may be deceiving, the whale shark is a fish, not a whale. Here you can learn about the biology and behavior of this gigantic fish species.
Facts About the Green Sea Turtle
Facts about the green sea turtle, including information on the green turtle's natural history, reproduction, distribution and conservation.
Brittle Stars
Facts about brittle stars, including where they live, what they eat and how they reproduce.
How Fast Can a Shark Swim?
The shortfin mako shark (Isurus oxyrinchus) appears to be the fastest shark species. Learn more about this speedy shark and other fast shark species.
Munching Manatees
Manatees are herbivores, feeding primarily on aquatic plants. Learn about the types of food manatees eat.
Where Is the Mariana Trench, and What Lives...
Learn facts about the Mariana Trench, including how deep it is and what lives there.
Fascinating Facts About Flatback Turtles
Facts about the flatback sea turtle, including information on the flatback turtle's natural history, reproduction, distribution and conservation.
Dolphins Are Whales, and More Fun Facts
What is a dolphin? Learn about dolphins, including how many species of dolphins there are, and characteristics of dolphins.
What Are Sharks?
What are sharks? This article covers the basics on sharks, including shark anatomy, how sharks are classified, where they live, and what they eat.
Placoid Scales
Read about the meaning of placoid scales and how they differ from the scales of bony fish. Know the alternative name for these scales.
What is an Elasmobranch?
The term elasmobranch refers to the sharks, rays and skates, which are in the subclass Elasmobranchii and class Chondrichthyes. The Condrichthyes class includes only one other subclass, the Holocephali (chimaeras), which are unusual fish found in deep water.
What You Need to Know About Marine Life
What is marine life? The phrase 'marine life' refers to organisms that live in salt water. These can include plants, animals and microbes (tiny organisms) such as bacteria and archaea. Here you can learn more about the types of marine life, major groups of marine life, and how to get a career working with marine life.
Facts About Great White Sharks
Facts about the white shark, commonly called the great white shark. Learn how to identify a white shark, where white sharks live, and what they eat.
Learn the 14 Baleen Whale Species
Learn about the 14 species of baleen whales,and click through to species profiles and images.
Brittle Stars and Basket Stars - Class...
Facts about the brittle stars, basket stars and serpent stars, marine invertebrates that belong to the Class Ophiuroidea, the group of marine invertebrates that contains the brittle stars and basket stars. Learn where brittle stars and basket stars live, how they feed, and how they reproduce.
What Is Kelp?
Learn about the characteristics of kelp, and its importance. including examples and links to further reading, with our expert guide to marine life.
Coral Reefs
Learn about coral reefs. Coral reefs are a center for biodiversity and an important marine habitat. Tropical corals, cold-water corals, the marine life species that inhabit them and the natural and human threats to coral reefs in the oceans are discussed here.
List of Shark Species
Learn about the types of sharks with this list of sharks species and facts about each.
Chordata - Vertebrates and Other Animals
Information about the animals in the Phylum Chordata, which includes the vertebrates and animals that have a notochord at some stage in their development. Includes examples of animals that are in the Phylum Chordata.
What Eats Sea Turtles?
Sea turtles have shells to protect them, right? So what would eat a sea turtle? A sea turtle's shell only goes so far to protect them. Unlike land turtles,
What Is the Largest Fish?
What is the largest fish? Learn about the largest fish in the world.
Whale, Dolphin, or Porpoise: What Are the...
Is it a whale, dolphin or porpoise? These terms are often used interchangeably, but there is a difference. Learn about the terms whale, dolphin and porpoise and how they are used to describe different members of the order Cetacea.
Do Whales Sleep?
Whales are voluntary breathers, meaning they think about every breath they take. That means they can't sleep the way we do. Learn how cetaceans (whales, dolphins and porpoises) sleep, or rest.
How Do You Distinguish a Male Lobster From a...
Want to know the sex of a lobster you've caught or are about to eat? Here's how to tell. Lobsters have feathery appendages called swimmerets underneath their tail. These swimmerets help a lobster swim and are also where a female lobster carries her eggs. Swimmerets also can clue you in to the sex of a lobster.
10 Facts About the Large (and Strange!) Ocean...
Learn about the ocean sunfish - mola mola - how big it is, where it lives, what it eats, and how it reproduces.
Order Cetacea
Facts about the Order Cetacea, the group of marine mammals that includes whales, dolphins and porpoises. Learn about cetacean characteristics, distribution, feeding, reproduction and conservation.
Types of Marine Mammals
Learn about types of marine mammals, including whales, dolphins, porpoises, sirenians and pinnipeds, with facts about each.
Facts About the Loggerhead Sea Turtle
Facts about the loggerhead sea turtle, including information on the loggerhead turtle's natural history, reproduction, distribution and conservation.
Why Should We Protect Sharks?
Why protect sharks? Learn about threats to sharks, why sharks are important, and how you can help sharks.
Fish
Facts about fish, including information on characteristics of fish, types of fish and where fish live.
Fascinating Facts About Cnidarians
Information about the cnidaria - the phylum that contains corals, jellyfish, sea anemones, sea pens and hydras. Learn about cnidaria facts, life cycles, where cnidaria are found and examples of cnidarians.
Class Reptilia Facts
The Class Reptilia refers to the reptiles. Here you can learn characteristics of animals in the Class Reptila and examples of marine reptiles.
Spiracle
Spiracles are found in bottom-dwelling sharks and rays. Spiracles are a pair of openings just behind the animal's eyes that allow it to draw oxygenated water in from above.
The Deep Sea: Habitat and Marine Life
Learn characteristics about the deep sea, why it's a challenging place to live, and what types of marine life are found there.
Fascinating Facts About Bearded Seals
The bearded seal is a species of seal that depends on ice for its survival.
Amazing Facts About American Lobsters
Many think of lobster as a bright red delicacy served up with a side of butter. But the American lobster (often called the Maine lobster), is also fascinating animal with a complex life.
Sea Turtle Predators
Learn about sea turtle predators - what eats sea turtles?
What Is a Mantle?
The mantle is an important part of the body of a mollusk. It forms the outer wall of the mollusk's body and encloses the mollusk's visceral mass (internal organs), and secretes calcium carbonate to form the mollusk's shell.
Sponges
Did you know that sponges are animals? There are thousands of species of sponges, and here you can learn about why these organisms are considered animals, how sponges are classified, how they feed and reproduce, and where they live.
Thresher Sharks
Learn about thresher sharks, including the 3 species of thresher sharks (bigeye thresher, common thresher, and pelagic thresher), and thresher shark feeding, habitat, reproduction, distribution and conservation status.
What Are the Differences Between Baleen and...
There are over 80 recognized species of whales, dolphins and porpoises, or cetaceans, and these species are divided into two main groups: the baleen whales and the toothed whales. While they are all considered whales, there are some important differences between the baleen whales and toothed whales.
Skates (the Fish, not the Footwear)
Learn about the type of marine life called skates. Where do skates live? How do they eat and reproduce? Find out more by reading this marine life profile of skates.
Facts About Sawfish
With their very distinctive, flattened snout, sawfish are intriguing animals. What is their
How Oil Spills Destroy Marine Life
Many people became familiar with the disastrous effects of oil spills in 1989 after the Exxon Valdez incident in Prince William Sound, Alaska. That spill is considered the worst oil spill in U.S. history -- although the 2010 BP leak in the Gulf of Mexico could prove to be even worse. Overall, the effects of an oil spill on marine life depend on a variety of factors, but can include hypothermia, poisoning, increased predation and other stressors, as well as effects on marine habitat.
Leatherback Sea Turtle Facts
Learn 5 facts about the leatherback turtle - the largest sea turtle.
How Do Crabs Breathe?
Did you know that some crabs can breathe underwater, but others cannot? Here you can learn more about crab respiration.
Dolphin Facts
Dolphin information - learn about dolphins through 10 fascinating facts.
10 Facts About Cuttlefish
Facts about cuttlefish, a cephalopod that lives in tropical and temperate waters and has amazing camouflage abilities.
Gastropod Facts
Gastropods are animals in the Class Gastropoda - the group of organisms that includes snails, slugs, limpets and sea hares. There are over 40,000 species in this class. Envision a sea shell, and you're thinking about a gastropod, although this class contains many shell-less animals as well. Here is a round-up of information on gastropods, including their taxonomy, feeding, reproduction and examples of gastropod species.
What Is Baleen?
Baleen is a strong, yet flexible material made out of keratin, a protein that is the same material that makes up our hair and fingernails.
How to Determine the Sex of a Shark
Learn how to tell the difference between a male and female shark, and the basics of shark reproduction.
Class Asteroidea
class="no-js" itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/Article" > itemprop="description" >While the classification
What Are Hydrothermal Vents?
Hydrothermal vents, located in the deep sea, host a wide variety of marine life. Learn about hydrothermal vents and the animals that live there.
What Is Marine Biology?
Learn about the definition of marine biology and tools used by marine biologists.
Fun Facts About Pen Shells
Stiff pen shell marine life profile - facts about the stiff pen shell (Atrina rigida), including pen shell classification, feeding, habitat, distribution, reproduction and human uses.
Pneumatocyst (Air Bladder)
Pneumatocysts, or air bladders, are gas-filled sacs in an algae that that float the algae's blades up toward the water's surface, providing greater access to sunlight for photosynthesis.
Fun Facts About Basking Sharks
Facts about basking sharks, a large shark species that feeds on plankton. Learn about basking shark identification, diet, and distribution.
Mollusk
A mollusk is an animal classified in the Phylum Mollusca. Here you can learn more about mollusks and find examples of mollusks.
How to Prevent a Shark Attack
Tips for avoiding a shark attack and what to do if a shark attacks. Learn about the risk of shark attacks and tips for swimming in areas inhabited by sharks.
Chromists - Kingdom Chromista
The Kingdom Chromista contains plant-like organisms that possess chlorophyll a and c and other pigments that give them their yellow-brown color (fucoxanthin). Examples of chromists: brown algae (e.g., kelp), water molds, diatoms.
What Is a Starfish?
What is a starfish? Learn about starfish, or sea stars.
Invertebrate
Want to learn about invertebrates? Here you can learn the definition of invertebrates, characteristics of invertebrates, and examples of invertebrates.
The Bottom-Dwelling Nurse Shark
Learn about the nurse shark - a (mostly) harmless, bottom-dwelling shark species.
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 about coral, how coral reefs form, and threats to coral reefs such as coral bleaching and ocean acidification.
Facts About the Hawksbill Sea Turtle
Learn fun facts about the hawksbill sea turtle, including information on the hawksbill turtle's natural history, reproduction, distribution and conservation.
Stony Corals (Hard Corals)
Information about stony corals, the corals that form coral reefs. Stony corals, also called hard corals (as opposed to soft corals, like sea fans), are the reef-builders of the coral world. Learn more about stony corals - what they look like, how many species there are, and where they live.
Sea Star Regenerating Arms
Sea Star Regenerating Three Arms. Page 6.
What Is a Mangrove Habitat?
Learn the definition of mangroves and mangrove swamps, where mangroves are located, and marine species you can find in mangroves.
Facts About the Leatherback Sea Turtle
Learn fascinating facts about the leatherback turtle - a wide-ranging, unique sea turtle species.
10 Important Marine Ecosystems
Definition of marine ecosystem with examples of types of marine ecosystems.
Blue Whale Facts
Learn about the blue whale - the largest creature on the planet. Facts about blue whales include the blue whale's size, diet and conservation status.
Major Marine Habitats
Within the 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. These habitats all come with their unique challenges and are inhabited by a wide variety of organisms. Learn more about important marine life habitats including mangroves, the intertidal zone and tide pools, coral reefs, seagrasses, the open ocean - pelagic zone, the deep sea and hydrothermal vents.
Byssal (Byssus) Threads
Byssal, or byssus threads are strong, silky fibers made from proteins that are used by mussels to attach to rocks, pilings, or other substrates.
Do Whales Drink Seawater?
Do whales drink sea water? Learn more about how whales get their liquids in this article.
Polar Habitat
Learn more about marine life habitats in the polar regions.
List of the World's 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.
Sea Turtle Pictures - Photos of 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. There are seven species of sea turtles, several of which inhabit U.S. waters. View images of sea turtles here.
Fascinating Facts About Pygmy Seahorses
Profile of the common pygmy seahorse, also known as Bargibant's seahorse​. Learn what pygmy seahorses eat, how they reproduce, and where they live.
Countershading
Countershading is a type of coloration commonly found in animals, and means that the animal's back (dorsal side) is dark while its underside (ventral side) is light.
Where Do Whales Migrate?
In this article, you can learn about whale migration. Find out which whales migrate and the longest distance a whale has migrated.
Nudibranchs
Learn about nudibranchs - a type of sea slug. Find out where nudibranchs live, what they eat, and how they reproduce.
Types of Toothed Whales
Learn about the diverse group of whales known as the toothed whales, which includes the dolphins and porpoises. Click through to profiles of each species to learn even more.

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