- Plankton-organisms that float near or at the ocean’s surface, most of them are microscopic. Plankton are divided into two groups: Phytoplankton and zooplankton
- Nekton-free swimming organisms of the ocean
- Benthos-organisms that live on the ocean floor.
- Benthic Environment-the bottom of the environment that is the ocean floor and all the organisms that live in or on it.
- Pelagic Environment-the water environment; the entire volume of water and the marine organisms that live above the ocean floor.
The ocean has seven layers. Five in the benthic zone: The Intertidal Zone, the Sublittoral Zone, the Bathyal Zone, the Abyssal Zone, the Hadal Zone; and two in the pelagic environment:The Neritic Zone, and the Oceanic Zone.
- The Intertidal Zone is the shallowest zone because it has a tide twice a day. First the water pulls back and then after a while, the water fills back up again. It is also exposed to a lot of sun, and sea plant life thrives here. The animals that live in the Intertidal zone are sea anemones and starfish.
- The Sublittoral Zone is more underneath the water where plants live and animal life thrives here, both in sun and shade. An organism that lives in the Sublittoral Zone is coral.
- The Bathyal Zone is deeper underneath the water and lacks sun light so very little that animals and plants live here. The animals that live here are octopus, starfish, and sea sponges.
- The Abyssal Zone has no plants and very few animals living there because it’s very dark. The animals that live there are crabs, sea sponges, sea worms, and sea cucumbers. These animals live in hot water vents called black smokers.
- The Hadal Zone is the deepest layer. It consists of ocean trenches and the animals that live there are clams, sea sponges and sea worms.
The Pelagic Environment
The pelagic environment, also know as the water environment is the whole entire volume of water in the ocean and the ocean animals that live above the ocean floor. There are two major zones in the Pelagic Environment, they are the Neritic Zone and the Oceanic Zone.
- The Neritic Zone contains the largest groups of marine life. It’s very warm because of the abundance of sunlight. The living organisms in this zone are fish, plankton, and marine mammals. Also most seafood is harvested from the neritic zone.
- The oceanic zone has the volume of water that covers the entire sea floor besides the continental shelf. In the deeper parts of the ocean zone, the water temperature is colder and the pressure is much greater than in the neritic zone. Many organisms live in the oceanic zone like anger fish, Gigantura; also known as a Telescopefish, giant squids, some whale species, and more.