Here are some silent features of aquatic plants that are responsible for their survival of life on earth. It is supported by water about 75 % of the earth’s surface is covered with oceanic waters which have a very rich wealth of marine life. The ocean is a major source of food, energy, and mineral resource. If we say that land is dominated by plant biomass, then we have to say that animal biomass dominates the oceanic waters. Water-based living environments are called as aquatic ecosystems
Following are the characteristics of aquatic ecosystem or marine life
- Light penetration in water- there are certain properties that are less favorable for life in the seas and oceans. Plant growth in the sea is limited by light. It is a fact that 50% of the total solar radiation which penetrates into the sea surface, gets disappeared rapidly within a few meters of depth.
- The surface temperature of the oceanic waters varies from about -2 °C near the North and South poles to about 30 °C near the equator. In the polar regions, the surface seawater freezes. The western tropical Pacific has the warmest surface water. Ocean currents affect the surface temperature
- Estuaries are the coastal areas where the saline waters of the ocean meet with the freshwater of the rivers. They also provide sheltered harbors for ships and their traffic. Estuarine waters are used for cooling of water in power generation plants
- Ecosystems are distributed as on-sore and off-shore ecosystems. The on-shore ecosystems are very typical ecosystems subjected to the everlasting action of waves and tidal influences. The life of on-shore ecosystems are always under the dynamic impact of various factors including human interventions
- Coral reefs can be seen along some of the beaches, looking like a piece of a rock-like material. The corals are the skeletons of many tiny sea animals living side by side. Each one of these animals is known as a coral ” polyp”. A coral polyp is a soft, almost transparent animal that builds its own skeleton outside its body. The best temperature for coral growth is 18°C
- Absorbing of Salt Water is able to take in saltwater into their bodies. An example of this is fish. Fish has the ability to filter the saltwater by using their gills. Salt regulation is a vital characteristic since, after all, the ocean waters are composed of salt minerals
- Water pressure also plays an important role in aquatic animals’ life survival. Fish and marine mammals don’t have necks. Having a neck would slow down their swimming speed. The neck would rapidly bob forward and backward if they happen to swim within deep water pressure
- Marine life is the ability to absorb oxygen inside the water. By using gills or skin, marine fish can get their oxygen. As for marine mammals, they often come up to the surface of the water. There, they briefly breathe in oxygen while still being underwater. Mammals such as whales have blowholes to equip them with this process
- Some marine or aquatic animals have larger veins than the average land creatures. The large veins help to carry blood to various organs in the body in the cold water. Other than that, the large veins can also withstand the water pressure of the ocean.
- Aquatic mammals must be able to store oxygen inside their bodies for a long period of time. This is because the only way they can take in oxygen is by coming up to the water surface. When they dive back in, they use the stored oxygen to live. They are able to store oxygen for an hour or more.
- Respiratory organs are the gills in perfectly aquatic forms like fishes but in the air-breathing forms nostrils are located near the top f the head to enable them t go to surface frequently to inhale air
- The body is covered by scales that make the body soft and slippery so as to escape from the enemies and also helps them to protect the internal soft organs of the body.
- Some fishes have got the hydrostatic organ called air bladder for adjusting them in the different depths of water according to their need by increasing the amount of gas or by decreasing the amount of gas inside the air bladder.
- Fins or limbs adapted for swimming, including webbed feet, for animals that don’t spend all their time in the water, like otters and beavers
- Tails that act as paddles. Fish tend to have tails that are vertical, necessitating a side-to-side movement, while aquatic mammals have flukes, which are horizontal they propel themselves with an up-down motion. Even semi-aquatic mammals, like otters and beavers, have tails that are sort of horizontally flat.