The ocean abounds with life. Many different kinds of plants and animals live in the ocean and the study of these is called Marine Biology. The ocean is the home of the largest animal in the world, the Blue Whale, and of the smallest ones as well. The plants and the animals in the sea can be divided into two groups, those that can not swim but just float or drift in the water, called plankton, and those that can swim freely in the sea. The plankton plants and animals are so small that they cannot be seen without a microscope. The plankton plants are called “the pasture of the sea” because they are the basic food for all sea animals. Since plants need sunlight to make their food from the minerals in the water, sea plants can grow only within about 150 meters of the ocean’s surface, up to which light can reach. So animal life which depends on sea plants is most abundant in the surface layer of the ocean. In the deep sea where sunlight cannot reach, there is no plant life. Yet some animals do, live there. The deep-sea animals and fishes that live in this dark, cold, hostile world have developed strange forms and habits which help them in their struggle for existence. The deep-sea fishes are obviously carnivorous animals. They have gigantic mouths with sharp teeth, but their bodies are small. The dragonfish can expand its stomach to swallow its prey six times larger than itself. Thus it can make one meal last a long time as food being scarce in the deep sea. Some deep-sea fishes are blind and have feelers to guide them. But most of them produce their own light which illuminates their surroundings and helps them to find food.
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