Related topics: ocean

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Holding his breath for 90 seconds, Arivaldo Sousa dives to depths of up to 65 feet (20 meters) to haul lobsters from the seafloor off Bahia state, one of tens of thousands of fishermen who make a living from the rich waters ...

Mastering metabolism for shark and ray survival

Understanding the internal energy flow—including the metabolism—of large ocean creatures like sharks and rays could be key to their survival in a changing climate, according to a new study.

Algae: Here, there, and everywhere

On a clear and cold February morning in 2015, Ruth Kassinger slipped on an insulated down coat and donned knee-high waterproof boots. Stepping aboard a long fishing boat in South Korea's Hoedong Harbor, she gingerly navigated ...

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Marine biology

Marine biology is the scientific study of living organisms in the ocean or other marine or brackish bodies of water.

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. Marine biology differs from marine ecology as marine ecology is focused on how organisms interact with each other and environment and biology is the study of the animal itself.

Marine life is a vast resource, providing food, medicine, and raw materials, in addition to helping to support recreation and tourism all over the world. At a fundamental level, marine life helps determine the very nature of our planet. Marine organisms contribute significantly to the oxygen cycle, and are involved in the regulation of 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 most zooplankton and phytoplankton to the huge cetaceans (whales) which reach up to a reported 48 meters (125 feet) in length.

The habitats studied by marine biology include everything from the tiny layers of surface water in which organisms and abiotic items may be trapped in surface tension between the ocean and atmosphere, to the depths of the abyssal trenches, sometimes 10,000 meters or more beneath the surface of the ocean. It studies habitats such as coral reefs, kelp forests, tidepools, muddy, sandy and rocky bottoms, and the open ocean (pelagic) zone, where solid objects are rare and the surface of the water is the only visible boundary.

A large amount of all life on Earth exists in the oceans. Exactly how large the proportion is still unknown. A lot of species living in oceans are still to be discovered. While the oceans comprise about 71% of the Earth's surface, due to their depth they encompass about 300 times the habitable volume of the terrestrial habitats on Earth.

Many species are economically important to humans, including food fish. It is also becoming understood that the well-being of marine organisms and other organisms are linked in very fundamental ways. The human body of knowledge regarding the relationship between life in the sea and important cycles is rapidly growing, with new discoveries being made nearly every day. These cycles include those of matter (such as the carbon cycle) and of air (such as Earth's respiration, and movement of energy through ecosystems including the ocean). Large areas beneath the ocean surface still remain effectively unexplored.

This text uses material from Wikipedia, licensed under CC BY-SA