Marine life - Mind Map

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Use this mind map to learn about the different species of marine life and the characteristics which differentiate these organisms.

Recognize the main categories and find out more about their role in the ecosystem.

Keywords: marine life, Geography, Biology, flora and fauna

Marine life

Marine life

Learn about the animals, plants, and organism which belong to marine life and their characteristics. They are grouped into some categories: reptiles, seabirds, mammals, fish, invertebrates, plants, and coral reefs.

Marine Life

Marine life, sea life or ocean life, is represented by the plants, animals and other organisms that live in the saltwater of the sea or ocean, or the brackish water of coastal estuaries.

At a fundamental level, marine life affects the nature of the planet. Marine organisms produce oxygen and sequester carbon.


Fish are limbless cold-blooded vertebrate animal with gills and fins living wholly in water.

Most popular fish

Enumerate at least 10 of the most popular fish.


Rays are the largest group of cartilaginous fishes, with well over 600 species in 26 families.

Rays look like bats in the water, and this is probably why they are called batoids. Rays use their pectoral fins to 'fly' through the water. Though a bony fish takes in water with its mouth, rays do not because they live at the bottom of the ocean.

Name a few of the most known species.


Species in the shark subclass have skeletons made from cartilage, not bone, and have five to seven gill slits on each side of their heads (most other fish have only one gill slit on each side), which they use to filter oxygen from the water.

Enumerate a few of the most known species of sharks:


Marine invertebrates lack a vertebral column, and some have evolved a shell or a hard exoskeleton. Some of them can collect bacterias or even absorb harmful components. For instance, sea sponges are able to take in the excess amount of ammonium in the ocean water.

They have more than 10,000 species, name a few that are the most common.


Marine plants consist of two major types, the seagrasses, and the algae and seaweeds.

Seagrasses represent members of some of the more complex plants, while algae and seaweeds display simple forms and are often microscopic.

Gather information about marine plants:

Coral Reef

A coral reef is an underwater ecosystem characterized by reef-building corals. Reefs are formed of colonies of coral polyps held together by calcium carbonate. Most coral reefs are built from stony corals, whose polyps cluster in groups.
The 3 main types of reef are: atoll, barrier reefs, fringing reefs.

Write down their characteristics as well as the importance of the reefs

Their importance

Coral reefs are important for many different reasons aside from supposedly containing the most diverse ecosystems on the planet.

Fringing reefs
Barrier reefs


Marine mammals are aquatic mammals that rely on the ocean and other marine ecosystems for their existence.

They include animals such as seals, whales, manatees, sea otters, and polar bears. They are an informal group, unified only by their reliance on marine environments for feeding.

Sea Otters
Seals & Sea lions


Seabirds are birds that are adapted to life within the marine environment. While seabirds vary greatly in lifestyle, behavior, and physiology, they often exhibit striking convergent evolution, as the same environmental problems and feeding niches have resulted in similar adaptations.

Name a few of bird species who live at sea or at the seaside:



Currently, of the approximately 12,000 extant reptile species and subspecies, only about 100 are classed as marine reptiles: extant marine reptiles include marine iguanas, sea snakes, sea turtles and saltwater crocodiles.

Marine iguana

The marine iguana, also known as the sea iguana is a species of iguana found only on the Galápagos Islands that has the ability, unique among modern lizards, to forage in the sea, making it a marine reptile.

Add important facts about marine iguanas. For e.g. how long can a marine iguana stay underwater or how long do they live, etc.


Crocodilians may be found swimming out at sea, but they can't live out there in the way that a marine turtle can.

Research, then write down what you know about them. For e.g, their lifespan, their weight, where you can spot them. etc

Sea snakes

Sea snakes, or coral reef snakes, are a subfamily of venomous elapid snakes, that inhabit marine environments for most or all of their lives. Most are extensively adapted to a fully aquatic life and are unable to move on land.

Research, then write down facts about sea snakes, for e.g. how fast they swim, what do they eat or how long they live, etc.

Sea turtles

Write down some interesting facts about sea turtles, like how long they live or how long can they dive, etc.


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