Animals living in the Estuaries habitat

An estuary is a coastal body of water that is semi-enclosed, has a clear access to the ocean and at least one river or stream flowing into it. Because estuaries are transition areas between river and ocean environments, they are subject to the effects of both. Oceans have tides, waves and salt water; rivers have fresh water and deposits of sediment. Estuaries are some of the richest natural habitats on the planet due to having both the salt water of the ocean and the flow of fresh water from the river.

The rich nutrients in this environment support many organisms. In estuaries we find many fish nurseries - fish such as salmon and sea trout, striped bass, flounder and eels; and migratory birds, such as the black-tailed godwit and the Canada Goose that use estuaries during migration. There are abundant bird populations living in estuaries. Because of the lush plants and plenitude of fish and other animals, there is much for them to eat. Birds such as sandpipers, great blue herons, great egrets and green herons commonly live in estuaries due to their long legs for wading and long toes that allow them to walk in mud easily. They have bills that are adapted for catching fish, worms, crabs and the invertebrates that thrive in estuaries.

Some fish, such as striped bass, flounder and eels visit estuaries. Other smaller fishes such as stickleback live their complete life in estuaries. Animals such as mud snails and oysters, crabs, seahorses, turtles and rays live year-round in estuaries.


Polar bear
African clawless otter
Northern fur seal
Sea otter
Northern sealion
North american otter
Marine otter
Common otter
Hairy-nosed otter
Indian smooth-coated otter
Mediterranean monk seal
Hawaiian monk seal
Hooker's sea lion
Giant brazilian otter

Dolphins, porpoises, and whales

Atlantic hump-backed dolphin
Bottle-nosed dolphin
Blind river dolphin
Bowhead whale
Black finless porpoise
Irrawaddy dolphin
Estuarine dolphin
Chinese white dolphin

Dugongs, manatees, and sea cows

Amazonian manatee
American manatee
African manatee

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