This is a series of worksheets that looks at some very familiar sea life. You are sure to learn something new through the various ocean reading worksheets. This collection of worksheets explores the diets, characteristics, and habits of many familiar ocean-dwelling animals. Each short reading passage worksheet is accompanied by two sheets of questions for students. Answer keys have been provided for each. Fun Fact: While oceans cover over 70% of the surface of the Earth, man has explored less than 5% of them.
Many Americans take shark cartilage as a dietary supplement to restore cartilage and prevent joint pain.
Scientists know that species of sharks date back to the Age of Fishes, the Devonian Period that occurred 350 to 400 million years ago.
Sharks look ferocious when they open their jaws because they have several rows of sharp teeth.
Even though whales live in the ocean and never deliberately come on land, they are mammals.
Cetaceans include all the species of whales, dolphins and porpoises. Technically, some animals that people normally call whales are actually dolphins in the scientific classification of animals, for example, pilot whales and killer whales.
The diet of whales depends upon the species. For example, humpback and blue whales eat only plankton and krill.
Rays are one of the most interesting looking creatures on earth. Rays are flat and swim through the ocean waters as if they were flying inside a giant opened cape.
In the scientific classification of fish, chrondrichthyes are further divided into selachians and batoids.
dators. Rays are generally solitary creatures. The diet of most species of rays is varied and includes fish and shrimp.
Mollusks have a soft body so they do not have an internal skeleton. Instead, some mollusks, like clams and snails but not octopuses, have an outside skeleton called an exoskeleton.
Cephalopods are composed of a head, a body containing internal organs, and appendages that are attached to the head.
Since an octopus is a cephalopod, these arms are attached directly to the head. Each arm has two rows of suction openings called suction cups; these openings have the equivalent of taste buds that help the octopus find food.
Dolphins are classified as cetaceans. Characteristics of cetaceans are flippers instead of front legs and a horizontally flattened tail instead of hind legs.
The dolphin species most Americans are familiar with is the bottlenose dolphin which has a long, slender nose.
Dolphins are large creatures, attaining a length of 13 feet and a weight of 1,000 pounds, depending on age, gender, species and habitat.
Jellyfish are adaptable creatures that can be found in every ocean and at every depth of the ocean.
The primitive nervous system of sea jellies can detect and respond to light and the presence of food.
A distinguishing feature of sea jellies is the presence of four to eight dangling arms; most sea jellies also have tentacles that are attached to the bell.
In the scientific classification of all animals, crabs belong to the phylum of arthropods. The phylum for arthropods includes insects, spiders, shrimp, and crabs.
Arthropods have a segmented body; this means that they have distinct sections of their bodies that are hinged together.
Crabs are omnivorous, which means they eat plants and other animals. Crabs like to eat primitive plants called algae as well as clams, worms, fungi and bacteria.
Divers enjoy exploring tropical coral reefs because of the wide variety of unique marine life that inhabit them. Most people believe that coral reefs exist only in tropical shallow water near islands or the continental coast.
An individual coral organism is the polyp and polyps of a particular coral species are genetically identical.
Like sea jellies, coral possess tentacles and nematocysts. The tentacles are like small fingers at the top of a coral polyp. T
Seals are ocean mammals that spend part of their time on land. Seals are streamlined for efficiently swimming and diving in the ocean but they come on land or ice to rest, mate, give birth to pups and shed their coats, called molting.
There are thirty-three species of pinnipeds divided into three major categories: true seals; eared seals which include sea lions and fur seals; and the walrus.
The hind flippers of eared seals have claws and allow these species to walk on land on all four flippers instead of dragging their hind end. Eared seals use their front flippers as paddles for swimming.
Turtles are reptiles, which mean they are cold-blooded; that is, they cannot make their own body heat but instead rely on the outside environment for warmth.
Sea turtles have a shell; the top of the shell is called a carapace while the underside of the shell is called a plastron.
Sea turtles are large in size; the largest species is the leatherback sea turtle which can grow to 4 to 6 feet in length and weigh 400 to 1,000 pounds.
What Animal in the Ocean Lives the Longest
Ancient stories are filled with accounts of sea monsters, sunken civilizations, and other mysteries. While we have yet to discover Atlantis or mermaids, the uncharted depths of the world's oceans continue to provide new discoveries each year. Since oceans account for more than seventy percent of the surface of the Earth, there is a vast amount of unexplored areas on our planet. In fact, a mathematician that went back through the history of Oceanic exploration put the amount that we have explored at less than five percent of the total area of oceans. It is also no surprise that over ninety percent of Earth's living creature are found in that very body water as well. Since there is so much life that we did not realize existed, it might also be good to know that the largest and longest earth forms are found in the ocean. The Mid-Ocean Ridge is the longest chain of mountains in the world and almost entirely under water. It may not surprise you that there are also underwater rivers and lakes down there too. While many people think the tropical rainforests are keeping our us breathing oxygen, just about seventy percent of the world's oxygen supply comes from our ocean's marine plants and algae.
The world’s oceans are home to a great variety of animal species, from the largest mammals on Earth and the most dangerous sharks to the beautiful jellyfish and tiny mollusks. Interestingly, the most long-living animals in the world are also marine creatures.
The longest-living ocean animals are the hydra and the immortal jellyfish, which can potentially live forever. However, there are many other long-lived ocean animals. The bowhead whale can live to be 200 years old, the Greenland shark 500 years old. Some mollusks and corals live thousands of years.
The ocean's depths possess many mysteries yet to be discovered by humanity, including the secrets of longevity and, perhaps, even immortality. In this article, we'll discuss the great variety of exceedingly long-living marine wildlife.
Potentially Immortal Ocean Animals
There are plenty of ocean animals that can live hundreds - even thousands - of years. However, as impressive as that seems, there are two marine species that beat them all in longevity, as they are, apparently, immortal.
Hydra, also a colonial creature, has the ability to regenerate continuously and thus can potentially live forever. In reality, it usually doesn't, as in its natural habitat, the hydra typically gets eaten or dies of disease.
Turritopsis dohrnii is known as the immortal jellyfish, and its name basically says it all. This species can restart its life cycle over and over again.
When it dies, it sinks to the ocean floor and begins to decay. Instead of dissolving into the sea, its cells start to regenerate and form a polyp, which blossoms and releases baby jellyfish when the conditions are favorable.
The process is similar to that of a butterfly's life cycle. As you may know, a caterpillar forms a chrysalis in which it spends the winter undergoing metamorphosis before emerging as a butterfly in the spring.
Assume that when a butterfly dies, it forms a new chrysalis and then re-emerges into the world. That is what the never-ending life cycle of the immortal jellyfish looks like.
The Longest-Living Ocean Animals
The bowhead whale and Greenland shark, discussed in the next two sections, outlive all land animals and are champions in longevity among their classes. However, the ocean's longest-living creatures are still the most inconspicuous.
Ocean quahog clams are native to the Atlantic Ocean and can often be found on the shores of the UK. These tiny mollusks are 3-4 inches (7-10 cm) in length and live from 200 to 500 years.
Black corals live on reefs up to 300 feet (110 meters) deep in the ocean. A coral is not a single organism but rather a colony of genetically identical copies that reproduce indefinitely. Thus, black corals can live for thousands of years. The oldest known colony was discovered near the shores of Hawaii and was 4,265 years old.
Sponges live in colonies similar to corals and are famous for their longevity. Glass sponges, also known as the 'Venus flower basket,' are among the most magnificent sponge species and have been reported to live over 11,000 years.
The Longest-Living Ocean Mammal
The bowhead whale is the world's longest-living mammal. It has an average lifespan of over 100 years and has the potential to live for 200 years or more.
The bowhead whale is also the world's second-largest animal, after the blue whale. It can grow to be 65 feet (20 meters) long and weighs 60-80 tons on average. The bowhead whale inhabits the arctic and subarctic seas of Greenland.
Unfortunately, the bowhead whale today has a Red List status of endangered species. Its population is now threatened due to centuries of overhunting, modern industrialization, and the effects of climate change.
The Longest-Living Vertebrate
The champion among fish, and vertebrates in general, is the Greenland shark, but the estimates of how long it can live vary.
Research conducted in 2016 reported that the sharks studied were at least 272 years old, and could potentially be much older, possibly over 500 years. Even the lowest estimate is utterly impressive and secures the Greenland shark’s title of the longest-living vertebrate.
Greenland sharks, as suggested by their name, are native to the Arctic ocean and live in the Greenland region. They are well-known for their great size, growing up to 24 feet (7 meters) long.
Greenland sharks are also known as ‘sleeper sharks’ as they cruise at a speed of less than 3 km (1.9 miles) per hour. For comparison, the great white shark, the largest shark species in the world, has a speed of 56 km (35 miles) an hour.
The ocean is home to many long-living animals, including the longest-living species of mammals and vertebrates. Amazingly, even immortal creatures can be found in the ocean depths.