Ecosystems main content.

Ecosystems

Part of Hall of Ocean Life.

"Since we're terrestrial animals, we often think of the ocean as homogenous. But in fact there is a rich variety of complex and different ecosystems within the ocean." 
- Dr. Melanie L. J. Stiassny, Curator of the Milstein Hall of Ocean Life

The resources below explore what lives in different parts of the ocean, from coral reefs to deep sea vents.


Article Let's Talk With Melanie Stiassny About the Oceans Living on land as we do, it's easy to forget this is a water planet. Yet life appeared about 3.5 billion years ago in the ocean,... game Dive Into Worlds Within the Sea Which squirmy little creatures does the spiny lobster eat? Can you spot the weird greenish glow on the belly of the cookie-cutter... story Work the System! Did you know that forests with leaves above the water can grow in the ocean? Grab the magical magnifying glass, and see how many... hands-on Create a Coral Reef Did you know that, at their core, coral reefs are the skeletons of thousands of dead coral? Make your own coral reef diorama—with... Article Cindy Lee Van Dover For oceanographers, the work they do at sea is just the beginning. Learn more about the discoveries made by one scientist who completed... Article A Day at the (Barrier) Beach: My Expedition to Sandy Hook Which has more oxygen: ocean water that has been aerated by turbulence, or bay water that has been fed by oxygen-producing plants?... Article How Do Humans and Plants Interact in Tidal Wetlands? How is cordgrass able to survive the high salinity of a marsh when other plants can't? An amazing adaptation that lets it secrete... Article Tide Pools and the Life Within Them Wade through the tide pools of Doheny State Beach with this seventh-grader from California, and discover the many animals that thrive... Article Antarctic Adaptations Unlike human visitors, Antarctica's plants and animals don't require high-tech gear. How have these organisms adapted to thrive—not...