Posted by: Karen Fowler
Sea stars, jellyfish and anemones are interesting creatures. They live in the ocean and sometimes wind up on the beach. The ocean is home to a wide number of creatures. Each of them makes ocean life possible for other animals. Learning about life on the beach or in the ocean is fun and you can find all sorts of interesting things at your local beach.
Sea Stars
Sea stars, also called starfish, are small animals that live in the ocean. Scientists call them echinoderms. They usually have five arms, but some have more. People who study see stars have found them 20,000 feet below the ocean surface. Sometimes, you can find the sea star on the beach. Sea stars can grow a new arm when one becomes damaged or is lost; this is called regeneration. There are lots of different kinds of sea stars and depending on the type they will normally live anywhere from 10 to over 30 years.
  • Sea Star (Asterias forbesii) - This page offers information on the size, habitat and color of the sea star. You will also find information on the sea star's habitat and history.
  • Spiny Sea Stars - This Smithsonian Marine Station page provides basic background information.
  • Echinoderms - Learn about the sea star, sea cucumber, sand dollar, and sea urchin on this page.
Sea Anemone
If you ever watched Finding Nemo, then you have seen a sea of Anemone. The sea anemone uses a foot to connect itself to rocks or other ocean surfaces. Some anemones can move about by floating. Sea anemones are poisonous and can poison their prey by touching them. The poison paralyzes the prey and the anemone takes its time to digest it. The clown fish, also called the anemonefish, is not harmed by sea anemone's venom. The clown fish can use the sea Anemone for shelter and protection from predators.
Jelly Fish
The jellyfish is squishy on the beach and graceful in the ocean. Scientists believe that jellyfish have survived for 500 million years or more. Most jellyfish have a short lifespan. Some very small jellyfish only live for a few hours. Scientist believe that one species of jellyfish, turritopsis nutricula, is immortal, which means they live forever. You can find jellyfish in every ocean around the world. Jellyfish are carnivores, which means they eat small fish, plankton and other sea animals.
Sharks
Sharks are one of the most popular sea creatures in the world. Scientists believe there are over 470 different species of shark. The largest recorded shark in the world is the well shark, which can reach 40 feet. The bull shark is second to the great white in terms of popularity.
Dolphins
Dolphins are another popular marine animal. They are famous for their intelligence and social behavior. They are also famous because they are known to kill sharks. They can suffocate a shark by smashing their snout into the shark's gills. One of the most popular Dolphins is the bottlenose dolphin.
Sting Ray
The stingray is related to the shark. They are poisonous and have a stinger. They use the stinger in self-defense. Usually, the stingray does not attack people. In shallow water, stepping on the stingray might result in a sting as they usually hide underneath the sand and can be hard to see.
  • Stingrays - View pictures of stingrays and basic information about their habitat.
  • Stingray Lifecycle - A slideshow that teaches about the life cycle of stingrays.
  • All About Stingrays - Learn about where stingrays live, what they eat, and more.
Octopus & Squid
Scientists call the octopus a cephalopod. The octopus has eight arms, a beak and two eyes. The octopus is a very intelligent sea creature. They use their beaks to eat clams, crabs and fish. Squid are related to octopi, and they are also cephalopods. Scientists believe there are about 300 squid species.
  • The Giant Pacific Octopus - This page provides information about how the giant Pacific octopus has adapted for survival.
  • The Blue-Ringed Octopus - Here you will find the physical appearance and habitat of the blue-ringed octopus.
  • Cephalopods - Information on squid and octopi, both considered cephalopods.
  • Giant Squid - Learn about these weird and mysterious creatures that live deep in the ocean.
Whales
The whale is a magnificent species. Scientists call them cetacea. There are multiple types of whales in the world's oceans. One of the smallest is called the pygmy sperm whale. The whale is a very social creature. They are like the elephants of the sea. Scientists believe they grieve when they lose a loved one. They also learn and teach each other.
  • Beluga Whales - This page offers information about the beluga whale's appearance, social habits and habitat.
  • Killer Whales - Some interesting facts on killer whales, also called orcas.
  • Whales - Learn all about whales with these different resources.
  • All About Whales - Information on whale size, what they eat, where they live, and more.
Sea Turtle
The sea turtle is a type of turtle that lives in the ocean. Today, there are only seven species of sea turtle. The sea turtle can live for more than 80 years. They eat a wide range of ocean life. Sea turtles might eat plants and other animals, such as fish.
  • Basic Facts About Sea Turtles - This page offers basic information about sea turtles and their habitats.
  • Sea Turtles - Here you can find information about sea turtles, their behavior and a listing of books for kids.
  • Sea Turtles: The Kids' Times - Information on some of the types of sea turtles that are endangered.
  • Scute's Spot - Information on sea turtles along with games, coloring pages and pictures.
Clown Fish
The clown fish are bright and colorful. They are usually orange with white stripes that have a black outline. You might find clown fish that also have yellow or reddish colors on them. Scientists say that about 30 different types of clown fish live in the ocean and they prefer to live in warmer waters.
  • Clown Anemonefish - This page from the National Geographic provides explores the habits of clown fish.
  • Clown Fish Photos - This site offers stunning images of clown fish.
  • Clownfish - Some info on how clownfish live with sea anemones and how they benefit from each other.
  • Saving Nemo? - Read about how scientists are working to protect the clownfish.