Ocean Habitats

Being able to understand marine life means also understanding the places marine animals inhabit. The ocean contains ninety nine percent of living space in the world. There’s been life in the ocean for 3.4 billion years, as where land inhabitants have only been here for 300-400 million years. Beaches, coral reefs, hydrothermal vents, and estuaries, are all common and fascinating habitats across the entire ocean.

Beaches are areas that contain loose sand, gravel, rocks, shells, and much more different particles that are washed up by waves. There are a few different types of shores, the offshore, the foreshore, and the back-shore. The back-shore is the part of the beach you would most likely lay and catch some sun on. The offshore as you could imagine is the shoreline underwater off the shore. The offshore usually contains an underwater bar that protects the shore from erosion.

Coral reefs are found between the tropic of Capricorn and the tropic of cancer. the water is usually between 65-85 degrees Fahrenheit.Though thriving coral reefs are a collection of many different plant and animal species , the members of individual coral colonies build the reef’s limestone, calcium carbonate structure.

Usually estuaries are separated into four types, depends on where the estuary is located. Coastal Plain Estuaries are made by the sea level rising and going over an existing river valley. Example of this are the Chesapeake Bay in Maryland.Tectonic Estuaries are made by the folding or faulting of land areas. These estuaries are usually found beside major fault lines, like the San Francisco Bay area in California. Bar-built Estuaries are created when a shallow lagoon or bay is safe from the ocean by a sand bar or barrier. Examples are found near the Eastern Sea-line and the Gulf Coast of North America. Fjords are U-shaped valleys formed by glacial activity. Fjords are made in places with a history of glacier activity, like northern Europe, and Canada.

Hydrothermal vents are created when two oceanic plates separate and lava replaces the floor of the sea. In these vents super hot lava that’s mineral rich flows out of the vent into the cold water and is super cooled, eventually rising taller and taller. Hydrothermal vents are common around volcanoes, but don’t have to be near one.

Just having a basic understanding of marine habitats is understanding how the things that live there operate. Beaches, coral reefs, hydrothermal vents, and estuaries are all common and fascinating habitats across the entire ocean. The ocean is a beautiful sight with beautiful findings. In continuing your learning and understanding of the ocean and its many wonders will generate more awareness and capability.