Ocean Life

Part of Hall of 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.


Online Resources

Article Let's Talk with Paula Mikkelsen about Marine Invertebrates and How They Move Clams that bounce up and down like yo-yos, others that balloon their foot with blood, and squids that zip around using jet propulsion—the... Game What Do You Know About Life on Earth? Test your knowledge about the major groups of life on Earth. Reading What is Marine Biology? How is the ocean like a layer cake? What creatures live there? And how important is the ocean? Take a dive and find out! Video 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... Game 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... Hands-on 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... Hands-on Crazy Camouflage Some animals can instantly change the color or pattern of their skin. Create a flounder fish that's hard to spot! Reading Tree of Life Explore this family tree of living things on Earth. 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,... Article Studying Antarctica's Marine Organisms Antarctica's water is so clear that organisms have problems finding food. "It's like parents having to tell their young, 'We're... Article Microorganisms in Antarctic Seas During the winter, the sea ice off Antarctica covers an area so big that it's actually the largest continuous habitat on Earth. The...