Animals

Marine animals: characteristics, types and list

In addition to covering an area of ​​more than 70% of the Earth’s surface, the ocean is of special importance for the human species. These immense bodies of water are home to ocean currents that determine the weather conditions in the world and govern the health of the planet. In addition, these waters are home to an incredible biodiversity of which, even today, much remains to be discovered. The marine biodiversity is a key element for sustainable development, both economically, socially and environmentally, and becomes a support for the health, welfare and prosperity for humans.

If you are passionate about the marine world and want to learn more about the saltwater animals that give life to these ecosystems, we encourage you to continue reading this article that we present to you from Green Ecology, where we talk about marine animals, their characteristics, types and list of species names , as well as a list of endangered marine animals.

Characteristics of marine animals

Marine animals have a set of characteristics that makes them unique given their need to stay in the water for all or most of their lives. These are some of the main characteristics of marine animals :

  • As for their diet, a large part of marine animals depends on plankton . Phytoplankton form the basis of the marine food web, initiating all food chains.
  • In relation to their respiration, the animals of the sea rely on the dissolved oxygen present in the water. However, there are also many species of marine animals that take oxygen from the air, such as land animals, so they must come to the surface every so often to breathe.
  • The tolerable salinity range varies according to the species, marine animals have mechanisms to adapt to different water temperatures.
  • Some have scales (fish and marine reptiles), fur (marine mammals), shells (turtles), shells (mussels, shells, etc.) or even feathers, if you look at seabirds.
  • Some species have fins, there are many types of them, others have flattened bodies or other features that allow them a good movement in the water.
  • One characteristic that all marine animals share is that they all suffer from the pollution of their habitats. Here you can learn more about how water pollution affects marine animals .

The sea is a place with immense biodiversity. The animals that live in the sea , have a multitude of distinctive features between them, with their own characteristics or shared depending on the species. Among the set of animals present in the marine world, we find:

  • Rotifers.
  • Echinoderms .
  • Reptiles.
  • Mammals .
  • Poriferous .
  • Fish .
  • Mollusks .
  • Marine worms.
  • Crustaceans .

As we can see in the terrestrial environment, there is also the largest marine animal in the world (the blue whale, Balaenoptera musculus ) and, also, the most dangerous marine animal in the world (the sea cobras such as, for example, Laticauda colubrina ).

In these other posts you can learn more about What is the largest whale in the world and The most dangerous marine animals in the world . Next, you will see a list of names of marine animals and the characteristics of some of them.

Common or European squid

The common or European squid , with the scientific name Loligo vulgaris , is a cephalopod mollusk and a clear example of invertebrate marine animals . There are only two species of this genus in the Mediterranean Sea. The other species lives only in environments below 100 meters deep. It is a marine animal that is highly exploited by commercial fishing.

The yellow sea snake , with the scientific name Hydrophis platurus , is a scaly sauropsid characterized by a laterally compressed body, especially in the part of its tail, with a black or very dark brown oviform head and a yellow belly. Its tail typically has yellow spots. It is one of the rare marine animals that we can find on the coastlines of the Pacific Ocean.

Common sole

The common sole , with the scientific name Solea solea , as you may have ever seen in the market or the fish market, as it is widely consumed, it is a fish with a flat and wide body, which can reach 60 centimeters in length, and has eyes located on the right side of your body. In addition, it should be noted that it is one of the marine animals that best camouflages itself in sandy soils.

Brunette

The moray eel , scientifically named Muraena helena , is another example of vertebrate marine animals . Typically inhabiting environments below 100 meters in depth, there are currently two species of moray eels in the Mediterranean. They are characterized by an elongated and flattened body and a large mouth under their small eyes. It is a species that hunts at night and divers have a lot of respect for it because they can appear unexpectedly.

Common starfish

The common starfish , has the scientific name Asterias Rubens , and has 5 limbs covered with calcareous spines. Its size usually has a range of between 25 and 35 centimeters and its coloration is variable, from red to violet. It is considered by many people as one of the most beautiful marine animals .

In this other GreenEcology article you can learn more about the Starfish, its characteristics, reproduction and taxonomy .

Common seahorse

The common seahorse , with the scientific name Hippocampus hippocampus , is known as one of the most curious but at the same time beautiful animals that exist. This animal stands out for its similarity in physiognomy to that of a horse. With a body covered by articulating bony plates, it can reach 15 centimeters in length. It uses its fins and its tail to swim and, in addition, this tail that they usually curl, it uses to cling to surfaces, such as marine plants or corals. A curious fact about these animals is that it is the males that carry the offspring.

Common octopus

The common octopus has the scientific name Octopus vulgaris , and it is a species of cephalopod with great commercial value to be consumed, which is why it is regularly fished. It has eight arms and its coloration is also variable between orange and brown and, in addition, it has the ability to blend in . Its size ranges between 60 and 120 centimeters in length. In addition, as a curious fact, we highlight that the genus Octopus is the vertebrate with the most developed nervous system.

Other names for sea animals

These are more species of marine animals , belonging both to the group of fish and to that of mammals and others:

  • Marbled stingray 
  • El rape
  • The red gamba
  • La coquina
  • The basking shark 
  • La orca
  • The sea eagle 
  • Common salmon 
  • European sardine or common sardine
  • Bottlenose dolphin 
  • The giant Japanese spider crab 
  • Striped Pajama Squid 
  • Marine corals 
  • The sea cicada 
  • La cigala
  • The Mediterranean Monk Seal or Friar Seal 
  • Hector’s dolphin 
  • The stingray shark 
  • Harbor porpoise 
  • The Lapwing 
  • The sea angel 
  • Flying fish
  • Hermit Crab 
  • The Japanese clam 
  • Pea crab 
  • The sepia 
  • The West Indian manatee
  • Hammerhead shark 
  • The redstart 
  • El cachalote
  • Blue starfish
  • The Maui dolphin
  • Sea cucumber 
  • La nacra 
  • Leatherback turtle 
  • The sea cobra or broad-nosed sea snake
  • Guitar fish
  • The vaquita porpoise 
  • The white shark
  • Kemp’s ridley turtle
  • Wrasse 
  • Hawksbill turtle 
  • The Pacific green sea turtle
  • Atlantic green turtle or white turtle 
  • The blue whale 
Marine animals in danger of extinction

Finally, we show you a short list of endangered marine animal species :

  • The Maui dolphin 
  • Sea cucumber
  • Leatherback turtle
  • Guitar fish 
  • The vaquita porpoise 
  • The white shark 
  • Kemp’s ridley turtle
  • Wrasse
  • Hawksbill turtle
  • The Pacific green sea turtle 
  • Atlantic green turtle or white turtle
  • The blue whale
  • Marine corals
  • The sea cicada
  • La cigala
  • The Mediterranean Monk Seal or Friar Seal
  • Hector’s dolphin 
  • The stingray shark
  • Harbor porpoise 
  • The Lapwing 
  • The sea angel

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