Amazing Adaptations of Ocean AnimalsMarch 19, 2018
Every animal has adaptations to make it easier for them to live. An adaptation is a change that has occurred over time. Animals have to evolve to the changing environments where they live to help keep them alive. Some ocean animals haven’t changed a lot over time but other animals look and act very different than when they were first here. Some of the most amazing adaptations are from ocean animals like sharks, jellies, starfish, stingrays and dolphins.
Sharks are very good at finding food. They have streamlined bodies to help them swim fast and gills that suck the oxygen out of the water so they can breathe. The most amazing shark adaptation is called ampullae of lorenzini. That’s a big science name for the small holes on sharks’ noses. Those holes are actually pores with small pockets full of a sensory organ. They have very sensitive receptors to sense electric fields put off by other fish and animals. That means a shark can find prey that is still and quiet. Amazing!
Jellies are really incredible and have many different adaptations. The Medusa jelly can shrink when there isn’t enough food. They also are clear so predators can’t see them.
Sea stars don’t have a lot of ways to protect themselves so their adaptation for survival is being able to grow back their arms if they lose one. Their arms are called rays and the sea star knows how many they are supposed to have. If a sea star gets hurt or an animal bites off one of their rays, it will automatically grow back. Some types of sea stars can even grow their entire body back from just one ray.
Stingrays usually live where there is sand and they hide in it while looking for food. Their adaptation is having eyes on top of their bodies so they can see when they are in the sand. Stingrays also make slime that covers their body so they can swim faster and be protected from infections. Some stingrays even have poison in the slime to protect them from predators.
Dolphins do not have gills like fish and do need air to breathe. They breathe through their blowhole. The blowhole is on the top of their head so they can rest at the surface of the water. They can never fall asleep completely because if they did they could drown without being able to breathe. When dolphins are resting they are still awake so they can breathe and be aware of predators.
There are so many ocean animals with amazing adaptations! I have learned about a lot of them at SeaWorld San Diego and read about more every day.