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Ocean Habitat 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

Whether you're in shallow waters or if you head down deep, you'll be delighted to find many plants and animals that will keep you entertained. Let's take a closer look at what you might find in the large ocean habitat.

What Is The Ocean Habitat?

Put on your bathing suit, bring along your goggles and let's go explore the ocean habitat! A habitat is where living things, such as plants and animals, live along with non-living things, such as water, air, and rocks. Within the ocean habitat each plant and animal thrives in a certain smaller habitat within the ocean, depending on temperature and depths of the water.

More than half of Earth's surface is covered in salty ocean or sea water, making the ocean habitat the largest on Earth.

Earth
map

Upper Layer of the Ocean

Jump right into the euphotic zone, which is the upper layer of the ocean where most sea life is found. This is because the sun warms the water for the sea creatures and provides plants with what they need to survive.

There are many smaller habitats within the euphotic zone. Tidal pools are small pools of water left behind by the outgoing tide. You can find things like seaweed, algae, moss snails, oysters, crabs, and barnacles. As you walk down into the shallow shores, you will find many different kinds of plants, such as sea grasses and kelp, as well as animals, such as crabs, lobsters, starfish, and sea urchins.

Did you know the plants in the euphotic zone are responsible for making most of the oxygen in the world?

Kelp is a plant that provides shelter and food for many sea creatures and is also an ingredient in toothpaste and ice cream. The next time you're brushing your teeth or cooling down with a scoop of your favorite flavor, remember this euphotic zone plant!

Kelp and Seaweed
kelp

Coral reefs grow in this zone as well. You won't find much plant life growing near the coral, but you will see beautiful coral formations, brightly colored fish, eels, starfish, crabs, octopuses, mollusks, and sea anemones. One of the largest and most popular coral reefs is the Great Barrier Reef, just off the coast of Australia.

Coral Reef
Reef

Middle Layer of the Ocean

Just under the euphotic zone is the disphotic zone. This area is dark because sunlight can't reach it.

In the open ocean habitat there's little plant growth. The sea creatures you may see in this habitat are the sharks, jellyfish, whales, tuna, sword fish, squid, and dolphins.

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