Marine Life Definition and Examples Definition of Marine Life, Including Types of Marine Life and Career Information

To understand marine life, you should first know the definition of marine life. Below is information on marine life, types of marine life and information on careers working with marine life.

Definition of Marine Life 

The phrase ‘marine life’ refers to organisms that live in salt water. These can include a diverse array of plants, animals and microbes (tiny organisms) such as bacteria and archaea.

From the perspective of a land animal like us, the ocean can be a harsh environment. However, marine life are adapted to live in the ocean. Characteristics that help marine life thrive in a saltwater environment include the ability to regulate their salt intake or deal with large quantities of salt water, adaptations to obtain oxygen (e.g., a fish’s gills), being able to withstand high water pressures, living in a place where they can get enough light, or being able to adjust to a lack of light. Animals and plants that live on the edge of the ocean, such as tide pool animals and plants, also need to deal with extremes in water temperature, sunlight, wind and waves.

Types of Marine Life

There is a huge diversity in marine species. Marine life can range from tiny, single-celled organisms to gigantic blue whales, which are the largest creatures on Earth. Below is a list of the major phyla, or taxonomic groups, of marine life.