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Marine Life

A marine animal is an animal whose main habitat is the marine ecosystem. The term does not designate a natural relationship group (taxon) in the sense of biological systematics, but is a collective term for animals that belong to the marine plankton, nekton or benthon. In a broader sense, marine animals also include certain seabirds (e.g., penguins), aquatic turtles, and seals whose young are born on land.

It is generally assumed that life originated in the sea and that living organisms initially spread only in this habitat with its physically relatively homogeneous conditions. Many of the species inhabiting the sea today did not originate there, but are descended from forms that migrated from land (e.g., whales) or freshwater (e.g., bony fish (Teleostei)) and adapted secondarily to life in the sea.

 Of the approximately 8.7 million species of organisms, about 2.2 million are marine. Only 12 percent of marine animals are fish. Crustaceans make up one-fifth of the species described. However, marine microbes make up the largest proportion of living organisms underwater. Researchers believe that there are several billion species of microbes that have yet to be discovered. The abundance of larger marine species has declined by an average of about 90 percent since records began, according to research. The hunt for bluefin tuna in the North Sea resulted in that region being fished dry by the early 1960s. To this day, the occurrence of bluefin tuna in the North Sea is rare. About 100,000 marine creatures per year die from plastic waste in the oceans because they mistake the waste for food and eat it. They feel full, but eventually starve to death with garbage-filled stomachs.