The ocean is full of living creatures. The tiniest ocean creatures are plankton. Plankton drift on the surface. The biggest ocean animal is the blue whale. The blue whale can be 80 feet (24 meters) long. It is the biggest animal on Earth.
Many kinds of fish and shellfish live in the ocean. Your tuna sandwich comes from the tuna, a fish that swims in the ocean. Different creatures live at different ocean depths. Very strange creatures live deep in the ocean where there is no sunlight. Some deep-ocean fish glow in the dark. Some of them are blind.
Seals live in the ocean, but they breathe air just as dogs, whales, and you do. Like those animals, seals are mammals. Some seals are the size of small cars. Other seals are no bigger than the average dog. Seals are excellent swimmers. Some seals can swim as fast as 25 miles (40 kilometers) per hour. Others can dive down hundreds of feet. Seals don’t walk well on land.
When you think of sharks, you probably think of big jaws and teeth. That is what sharks are known for. Sharks are also known for their skill in hunting prey (animals they eat). But some sharks don’t hunt, and some have really small teeth. A shark is a fish that lives in the sea. Sharks have lived on Earth for almost 400 million years. Today, there are about 375 species (kinds) of sharks. The smallest is the dwarf dogfish, less than 8 inches (20 centimeters) long. The huge whale shark can be more than 50 feet (15 meters) long.
A sea horse is not really a horse. It’s a small fish. Most sea horses are tiny. In fact, the common sea horse, the biggest kind of sea horse, is only about 5 inches (13 centimeters) long. Sea horses are a kind of fish called pipefish. Like most pipefish, sea horses live in warm, tropical seas all over the world. But some sea horses live in cooler seas. Most sea horses live in shallow waters close to shore. There are about 30 species (kinds) of sea horse. The common sea horse lives along the Atlantic coast of North America.
Have you seen bright yellow fish with black spots? How about colorful blue fish with red stripes? Tropical fish come in brilliant colors and beautiful patterns. Tropical fish live in warm water. Most kinds of tropical fish live in salty ocean water. Some kinds live in freshwater lakes and rivers. Tropical fish swim in waters off the coasts of Africa, Central America, South America, and India. You can also find them near Caribbean Islands and in Australia’s Great Barrier Reef. You can see tropical fish by diving down to a reef.
A manatee is a type of mammal that lives in the water. Manatees are slow, graceful swimmers that use their flippers for steering and for grasping the plants they eat.
The killer whale (also known as the orca) is not truly a whale. It is the largest member of the dolphin family. It is called a killer whale only because it has a huge appetite. Killer whales eat up to 300 pounds (136 kilograms) of food in just one day! A killer whale can grow to be 32 feet (9.8 meters) long and weigh more than 12,100 pounds (5,500 kilograms).
Lobsters live on the floor of the sea. They have two large claws to defend themselves. One claw is usually bigger than the other. Lobsters don’t turn bright red until they are cooked. Lobsters are sometimes described as “shellfish.” But they are not fish at all. They belong to a group of animals called crustaceans. Lobsters in the sea live about 15 years. In aquariums, they may live much longer. A species (kind) called the American lobster usually grows to be about 25 centimeters. It usually weighs from 0.9 to 2.2 kilograms. One huge lobster set a record. It weighed 20 kilograms, as much as a five-year-old boy!
living creatures – живые существа
the tiniest (tiny) – самый маленький
blue whale – голубой кит
shellfish - моллюск
tuna - тунец
to glow - светиться
seal - тюлень
mammal - млекопитающее
shark - акула
jaws - челюсти
prey - жертва
species - виды
dwarf dogfish – морская собака (акула)
pipefish – морская игла
shallow waters - мелководье
bright yellow – ярко желтый
tropical fish – тропические рыбы
pattern – рисунок, узор
manatee - ламантин
flipper - плавник
to grasp - хватать
killer whale – кит-убийца
orca - касатка
to defend - защитить
crustaceans - ракообразные