Ocean Life

"There's so much in the ocean that is yet unknown. You don't have to go to the deepest part of the ocean floor where no one's been before. There are surprises on sand flats in ankle-deep water." 
—Paula Mikkelsen, Assistant Curator, Division of Invertebrate Zoology

The resources below explore what lives in the ocean, and how.

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Online Resources


What's the Big Idea About Marine Biology?

What's the Big Idea About Marine Biology?

How is the ocean like a layer cake? What cool and spooky creatures live there? And just how important is the ocean to humans? Dive deep into marine biology with this kid-friendly introduction.

It Takes All Kinds to Make a World

It Takes All Kinds to Make a World

The ocean's one diverse place—with alga so tiny that 10 million can fit in a single teaspoon to whales longer than three school buses. Take the surfboard challenge, and ride the waves of biodiversity!

They Glow!

They Glow!

Most of the deep sea is very dark, with little or no sunlight. But that doesn't mean marine animals are in the dark! Learn how these clever creatures create their own light.

Ocean Creature Feature

Ocean Creature Feature

To survive in the icy Pacific, a sea otter has about a million hairs in every square inch of its fur. Now, that's dense! Take a close look at ocean adaptations while boosting your OLogy card collection.

Rubber Blubber Gloves

Rubber Blubber Gloves

If you've ever dipped your toes in the ocean, you know the water can be downright chilly. So how do whales and walruses manage to stay warm in frigid waters? Find out with this fun hands-on activity.

Slowing the Flow

Slowing the Flow

All mammals—dogs, sea lions, and even you—have an adaptation for surviving in cold water. Take the plunge, and learn why the mammalian diving reflex is your cold-water friend.

Crazy Camouflage

Crazy Camouflage

Unlike humans, some animals can instantly change the color or pattern of their skin. Take a hands-on look at how the masters of disguise known as flounders can don several different looks.

Tree of Life

Tree of Life

Investigate circular and 3D cladograms to see how scientists keep track of species and their evolutionary relationships. 

Photographing Weddell Seals from Below the Ice

Article

Photographing Weddell Seals from Below the Ice

Weddell seals spend about 90% of their time submerged, making them a tricky animal to study. Before Davis developed a special camera, scientists could only speculate about the seals' lives below the ice.

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