Macrobrachium species in Bangladesh
English name Scientific name Local name
1. Giant freshwater prawn Macrobrachium rosenbergii Golda chingri
2. Monsoon river prawn Macrobrachium malcolmsonii Chotka icha
3. Oriental river prawn Macrobrachium nipponense Icha/chingri
4. Freshwater prawn Macrobrachium villosimanus Dimua icha
5. Freshwater prawn Macrobrachium mirabilis Lutia icha
6. Freshwater prawn Macrobrachium birmanicus Thengua icha
7. Freshwater prawn Macrobrachium rude Goda icha
8. Freshwater prawn Macrobrachium dayanus Kaira icha
9. Freshwater prawn Macrobrachium lamarrei Icha
10. Freshwater prawn Macrobrachium dolichodactylus Icha
Any water in the sea that is not close to the bottom or near to the shore is in the pelagic zone. The word pelagic comes from the Greek πέλαγος or pélagos, which means "open sea." The pelagic zone can be thought of in terms of an imaginary cylinder or water column that goes from the surface of the sea almost to the bottom, as shown in the diagram below. Conditions change deeper down the water column; the pressure increases, the temperature drops and there is less light. Depending on the depth, scientists further subdivide the water column, rather like the Earth's atmosphere is divided into different layers.
The pelagic zone occupies 1,370 million cubic kilometres (330 million cubic miles) and has a vertical range up to 11 kilometres (6.8 miles). Fish that live in the pelagic zone are called pelagic fish. Pelagic life decreases with increasing depth. It is affected by light levels, pressure, temperature, salinity, the supply of dissolved oxygen and nutrients, and the submarine topography. In deep water, the pelagic zone is sometimes called the open-ocean zone and can be contrasted with water that is near the coast or on the continental shelf. However in other contexts, coastal water that is not near the bottom is still said to be in the pelagic zone.
The pelagic zone can be contrasted with the benthic and demersal zones at the bottom of the sea. The benthic zone is the ecological region at the very bottom of the sea. It includes the sediment surface and some sub-surface layers. Marine organisms living in this zone, such as clams and crabs, are called benthos. The demersal zone is just above the benthic zone. It can be significantly affected by the seabed and the life that lives there. Fish that live in the demersal zone are called demersal fish. Demersal fish can be divided into benthic fish, which are denser than water so they can rest on the bottom, and benthopelagic fish, which swim in the water column just above the bottom. Demersal fish are also known as bottom feeders and groundfish.
Depth and layers
Depending on how deep the sea is, there can be up to five horizontal layers in the ocean. From the top down, they are:
1. Epipelagic (sunlit)
From the surface (MSL) down to around 200 m (650 ft).
This is the illuminated zone at the surface of the sea where there is enough light for photosynthesis. Nearly all primary production in the ocean occurs here. Consequently, plants and animals are largely concentrated in this zone.
Examples of organisms living in this zone are plankton, floating seaweed, jellyfish, tuna, many sharks, and dolphins.
2. Mesopelagic (twilight)
From 200 m down to around 1,000 m (3,300 ft).
The name for this zone stems from Greek μέσον, middle.
Although some light penetrates this second layer, it is insufficient for photosynthesis. At about 500 m the water also becomes depleted of oxygen. Still, life copes, with gills that are more efficient or by minimizing movement.
Examples of animals that live here are: swordfish, squid, wolffish and some species of cuttlefish. Many organisms that live in this zone are bioluminescent. Some creatures living in the mesopelagic zone will rise to the epipelagic zone at night in order to feed.
3. Bathypelagic (midnight)
From 1,000 m down to around 4,000 m (13,000 ft).
The name stems from the Greek βαθύς (bathýs), meaning deep.
At this depth the ocean is pitch black, apart from occasional bioluminescent organisms, such as lanternfish. There is no living plant-life.
Most animals living here survive by consuming the detritus falling from the zones above, which is known as "marine snow", or, like the marine hatchetfish, by preying on other inhabitants of this zone.
Other examples of this zone's inhabitants are giant squid, smaller squids &dumbooctopodes. The giant squid is hunted here by deep-diving sperm whales.
A scale diagram of the layers of the pelagic zone.
4. Abyssopelagic (lower midnight)
From 4,000 m down to above the ocean floor.
The name is derived from the Greek ἄβυσσος (ábyssos), abyss, meaning bottomless (a holdover from the times when the deep ocean was believed to be bottomless). Very few creatures are sufficiently adapted to survive in the cold temperatures and incredible pressures found at this depth. Among the species found in this zone are several species of squid; echinoderms including the basket star, swimming cucumber, and the sea pig; and marine arthropods including the sea spider. Many of the species living at these depths have evolved to be transparent and eyeless as a result of the total lack of light in this zone.
The deep water in ocean trenches.
The name is derived from the Greek Ἁδης (Haidēs), Hades, the classical Greek underworld. This zone is mostly unknown, and very few species are known to live here (in the open areas). However, many organisms live in hydrothermal vents in this and other zones. Some define the hadopelagic as waters below 6,000 m (19,685 ft), whether in a trench or not.
The bathypelagic, abyssopelagic, and hadopelagic zones are very similar in character, and some marine biologists combine them into a single zone or consider the latter two to be the same. The abyssal plain is covered with soft sludge composed of dead organisms from above.
Pelagic birds, also called oceanic birds, are birds that live on the open sea, rather than around waters adjacent to land or around inland waters. Pelagic birds feed on planktonic crustaceans, squid and forage fish. Examples are the Atlantic puffin, macaroni penguins, sooty terns, shearwaters, and procellariiforms such as the albatross, procellariids and petrels.
The term seabird includes birds which live around the sea adjacent to land, as well as pelagic birds.
Pelagic fish are fish that live in the water column of coastal, ocean and lake waters, but not on the bottom of the sea or the lake. They can be contrasted with demersal fish, which live on or near the bottom, and reef fish which are associated with coral reefs.
These fish are often migratory forage fish, which feed on plankton, and the larger fish that follow and feed on the forage fish. Examples of migratory forage fish are herring, anchovies, capelin and menhaden. Examples of larger pelagic fish which predate the forage fish are billfish, tuna and oceanic sharks.
Marine biology is the scientific study of organisms in the ocean or other marine or brackish bodies of water. Given that in biology many phyla, families and genera have some species that live in the sea and others that live on land, marine biology classifies species based on the environment rather than on taxonomy. Marine biology differs from marine ecology as marine ecology is focused on how organisms interact with each other and the environment, and biology is the study of the organisms themselves.
Marine life is a vast resource, providing food, medicine, and raw materials, in addition to helping to support recreation and tourism all over the world. At a fundamental level, marine life helps determine the very nature of our planet. Marine organisms contribute significantly to the oxygen cycle, and are involved in the regulation of the Earth's climate. Shorelines are in part shaped and protected by marine life, and some marine organisms even help create new land.
Marine biology covers a great deal, from the microscopic, including most zooplankton and phytoplankton to the huge cetaceans (whales) which reach up to a reported 48 meters (125 feet) in length.
The habitats studied by marine biology include everything from the tiny layers of surface water in which organisms and abiotic items may be trapped in surface tension between the ocean and atmosphere, to the depths of the oceanic trenches, sometimes 10,000 meters or more beneath the surface of the ocean. It studies habitats such as coral reefs, kelp forests, tidepools, muddy, sandy and rocky bottoms, and the open ocean (pelagic) zone, where solid objects are rare and the surface of the water is the only visible boundary.
A large amount of all life on Earth exists in the oceans. Exactly how large the proportion is unknown, since many ocean species are still to be discovered. While the oceans comprise about 71% of the Earth's surface, due to their depth they encompass about 300 times the habitable volume of the terrestrial habitats on Earth.
Many species are economically important to humans, including food fish. It is also becoming understood that the well-being of marine organisms and other organisms are linked in very fundamental ways. The human body of knowledge regarding the relationship between life in the sea and important cycles is rapidly growing, with new discoveries being made nearly every day. These cycles include those of matter (such as the carbon cycle) and of air (such as Earth's respiration, and movement of energy through ecosystems including the ocean). Large areas beneath the ocean surface still remain effectively unexplored.
The marine ecosystem is large, and thus there are many subfields of marine biology. Most involve studying specializations of particular animal groups, such as phycology, invertebrate zoology and ichthyology.
Other subfields study the physical effects of continual immersion in sea water and the ocean in general, adaptation to a salty environment, and the effects of changing various oceanic properties on marine life. A subfield of marine biology studies the relationships between oceans and ocean life, and global warming and environmental issues (such as carbon dioxide displacement).
Recent marine biotechnology has focused largely on marine biomolecules, especially proteins, that may have uses in medicine or engineering. Marine environments are the home to many exotic biological materials that may inspire biomimetic materials.
Marine biology is a branch of oceanography and is closely linked to biology. It also encompasses many ideas from ecology. Fisheries science and marine conservation can be considered partial offshoots of marine biology (as well as environmental studies).
i. Microscopic life
Microscopic life undersea is incredibly diverse and still poorly understood. For example, the role of viruses in marine ecosystems is barely being explored even in the beginning of the 21st century.
The role of phytoplankton is better understood due to their critical position as the most numerous primary producers on Earth. Phytoplankton are categorized into cyanobacteria (also called blue-green algae/bacteria), various types of algae (red, green, brown, and yellow-green), diatoms, dinoflagellates, euglenoids, coccolithophorids, cryptomonads, chrysophytes, chlorophytes, prasinophytes, and silicoflagellates.
Zooplankton tend to be somewhat larger, and not all are microscopic. Many Protozoa are zooplankton, including dinoflagellates, zooflagellates, foraminiferans, and radiolarians. Some of these (such as dinoflagellates) are also phytoplankton; the distinction between plants and animals often breaks down in very small organisms. Other zooplankton include cnidarians, ctenophores, chaetognaths, molluscs, arthropods, urochordates, and annelids such as polychaetes. Many larger animals begin their life as zooplankton before they become large enough to take their familiar forms. Two examples are fish larvae and sea stars (also called starfish).
ii. Plants and algae
Plant life is widespread and very diverse under the ocean. Microscopic photosynthetic algae contribute a larger proportion of the worlds photosynthetic output than all the terrestrial forests combined. Most of the niche occupied by sub plants on land is actually occupied by macroscopic algae in the ocean, such as Sargassum and kelp, which are commonly known as seaweeds that creates kelp forests. The non algae plants that survive in the sea are often found in shallow waters, such as the seagrasses (examples of which are eelgrass, Zostera, and turtle grass, Thalassia). These plants have adapted to the high salinity of the ocean environment. The intertidal zone is also a good place to find plant life in the sea, where mangroves or cordgrass or beach grass might grow. Microscopic algae and plants provide important habitats for life, sometimes acting as hiding and foraging places for larval forms of larger fish and invertebrates.
iii. Marine invertebrates
As on land, invertebrates make up a huge portion of all life in the sea. Invertebrate sea life includes Cnidaria such as jellyfish and sea anemones; Ctenophora; sea worms including the phyla Platyhelminthes, Nemertea, Annelida, Sipuncula, Echiura, Chaetognatha, and Phoronida; Mollusca including shellfish, squid, octopus; Arthropoda including Chelicerata and Crustacea; Porifera; Bryozoa; Echinodermata including starfish; and Urochordata including sea squirts or tunicates.
Fish have evolved very different biological functions from other large organisms. Fish anatomy includes a two-chambered heart, operculum, swim bladder, scales, fins, lips, eyes and secretory cells that produce mucous. Fish breathe by extracting oxygen from water through their gills. Fins propel and stabilize the fish in the water.
Well known fish include: sardines, anchovy, ling cod, clownfish (also known as anemonefish), and bottom fish which include halibut or ling cod. Predators include sharks and barracuda.
Reptiles which inhabit or frequent the sea include sea turtles, sea snakes, terrapins, the marine iguana, and the saltwater crocodile. Most extant marine reptiles, except for some sea snakes, are oviparous and need to return to land to lay their eggs. Thus most species, excepting sea turtles, spend most of their lives on or near land rather than in the ocean. Despite their marine adaptations, most sea snakes prefer shallow waters not far from land, around islands, especially waters that are somewhat sheltered, as well as near estuaries. Some extinct marine reptiles, such as ichthyosaurs, evolved to be viviparous and had no requirement to return to land.
Seabirds are species of birds adapted to living in the marine environment, examples including albatross, penguins, gannets, and auks. Although they spend most of their lives in the ocean, species such as gulls can often be found thousands of miles inland.
vii. Marine mammals
There are five main types of marine mammals.
Cetaceans include toothed whales (Suborder Odontoceti), such as the Sperm Whale, dolphins, and porpoises such as the Dall's porpoise. Cetaceans also include baleen whales (Suborder Mysticeti), such as the Gray Whale, Humpback Whale, and Blue Whale.
Sirenians include manatees, the Dugong, and the extinct Steller's Sea Cow.
Seals (Family Phocidae), sea lions (Family Otariidae - which also include the fur seals), and the Walrus (Family Odobenidae) are all considered pinnipeds.
The Sea Otter is a member of the Family Mustelidae, which includes weasels and badgers.
The Polar Bear (Family Ursidae) is sometimes considered a marine mammal because of its dependence on the sea.
Corals and reef fish in Papua New Guinea
MS in Zoology (Fisheries)
University of Dhaka,