Animals living in the Epipelagic (0-200m) habitat

There are many layers to the ocean floor but the one where 90% of all ocean life lives is the epipelagic, or euphotic zone. This layer, the closest one to the sun, is where you will find plant life. This unique layer has the light needed for photosynthesis to take place.

Since sunlight is in abundance, this layer is very high in plant life as well as a variety of algae. Here you will find flowering plants and a variety of seaweeds.

Another unique quality of the epipelagic is a lack of sediments, since there is no bottom to the layer. Without these rich sediments, there are no deposit feeders, instead a plethora of suspension feeders. Suspension feeders eat the food that is floating in the water.

Here you will find some of the most familiar ocean animals. You will find sharks, tuna, jellyfish, and sea turtles. You will also find blue whales, orcas, and dolphinfish. Most of the common fish that humans consume are found here in this layer.

A unique quality that some of the animals in the epipelagic layer have is a type of camoflauge called countershading. This is where the animal is light on the bottom of their bodies and darker on the top. This allows the animal to blend in with the light when a predator is below or blend in with the water when a predator is on the top of the animal.

Look for these layers in the majority of the world's oceans.


Polar bear

Dolphins, porpoises, and whales

Blue whale
Bottle-nosed dolphin
Common rorqual
North atlantic beaked whale
Cuvier's beaked whale
Andrews' beaked whale
Arnoux's beaked whale
Arch-beaked whale
Baird's beaked whale
Blainville's beaked whale
Pygmy right whale
Gervais' beaked whale
Commerson's dolphin
Ginkgo-toothed beaked whale
Black dolphin
Gray's beaked whale
Benguela dolphin
Hector's beaked whale
Hector's dolphin
Layard's beaked whale
True's beaked whale
Atlantic dolphin
Lesser beaked whale
Indo-pacific beaked whale
Bering sea beaked whale
Devil fish
Southern right whale
North atlantic right whale
Killer whale
Pygmy killer whale
Melon-headed whale
Pacific pilot whale
Common porpoise
Long-finned pilot whale
Black porpoise
Grey dolphin
Dall's porpoise
Flatheaded bottlenose whale
False killer whale
Pygmy sperm whale
Chinese white dolphin
Bridled dolphin
Fraser's dolphin
Atlantic spinner dolphin
Atlantic white-sided dolphin
Euphrosyne dolphin
White-beaked dolphin
Atlantic spotted dolphin
Blackchin dolphin
Long-beaked dolphin
Hourglass dolphin
Bowhead whale
Rough-toothed dolphin
Pacific white-sided dolphin
Common minke whale
Shepherd's beaked whale
Dusky dolphin
Coalfish whale
Northern right whale dolphin
Southern right whale dolphin
Bryde's whale

Dugongs, manatees, and sea cows

American manatee
African manatee

Read more at the list of biomes of the world...
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