If you look at a map of the world you can see many different oceans, but in fact they are all connected, covering three-fourths of the earth. The Pacific is the largest ocean, followed by the Atlantic, Indian, Southern, and Arctic Oceans. Oceans are so vast and huge that they have many different kinds of habitats in them. The surface of the ocean, where sunlight can reach, is called the epipelagic zone. It is where most sea life is found. Here millions upon millions of tiny phytoplankton float along, making their living on the energy of the sun using photosynthesis. They are at the bottom of the food chain in the ocean and many animals feed on them. In this layer of the ocean we find most of the fish, sharks, rays, jellyfish, marine mammals, and sea turtles.
An ocean habitat that is rarely seen by humans is the bottom of the ocean, or the benthic zone. Animals here have to be able to live in total darkness and survive the fierce water pressure. Some have adapted with some strange survival traits, like glowing in the dark!The Rich Reef
Another ocean habitat is the coral reef. After rainforests, coral reefs are thought to have the most biodiversity of any kind of habitat. That means they have a huge number of animals and plants living there. They are a rich and important habitat.
Many of the animals on the endangered species list live in the oceans, including:
Green sea turtle
Hawaiian monk seal
Hawksbill sea turtle
Leatherback sea turtle
Loggerhead sea turtle
Steller's sea lion
Tide pools are another distinct ocean habitat. They are found where the oceans meet the shorelines. The low tide zone has the most species, as it gets sun, water, and is for the most part beyond the pounding waves. Animals in tidal zones have to adapt to wave action by developing anchors so they won't get washed away, plus be able to move to stay wet in the changing tide. That's a lot of adapting!