Ocean Animal Facts: Lesson for Kids

Instructor: Debra Patuto

Debra has taught at elementary levels and has an M.ed with certification in elementary education and special education

This lesson will teach you about fascinating animals that live within Earth's ocean habitat. As we explore all levels of the ocean, we'll uncover a variety of facts about the many species that live in the sea.

Exploring The Ocean

Whether you're at the local aquarium or the ocean's edge, ocean animals may be some of the most fascinating creatures on Earth. So let's splash right into the water and learn about these awesome animals.

The ocean habitat is the largest environment on Earth. Marine biologists are scientists who study the ocean habitat. They have been able to explore large parts of the ocean, but have yet to explore all areas due to its enormous size.

Ocean animals can be found at the surface of the water, all the way down, to about as far as seven miles below surface level.

Marine biologists have uncovered over one million different kinds of ocean species, such as sea turtles, reptiles, marine mammals, crustaceans, sharks, rays, seabirds, corals, invertebrates, and fish. Let's take a closer look at some of these.

Fish

All fish have bones and are cold-blooded. This means that their body temperature changes with the water temperature. Fish breathe oxygen through gills on the sides of their bodies, and they can't survive outside of the water. Most fish are covered in scales and use fins and a tail to get around. An interesting part inside many fish is called a swim bladder, in which air is constantly adjusted to help fish swim up and down.

Marine Mammals

Marine mammals have lungs and have to come up to the surface to get air. In some cases, like a whale, when it comes up to get air, it pushes air out of a blow hole.

Orca coming up for air
orca

Whales, along with some other marine mammals, live in a group called a pod, which is like a family. In these pods, the older animals take care of the younger animals.

Marine mammals can live in cold water because they have a thick body layer called blubber, which keeps them warm.

Sharks and Rays

Go ahead and wiggle your ears and your nose. See how they bend? Unlike most fish, sharks and rays do not have any bones. They are made up of cartilage just like in your ears and nose. Cartilage is more flexible than bones and allows them to turn faster and more freely.

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