Ocean Diversity Challenge
The Ocean is vital to life on earth. From the life-giving rain that nourishes crops, to life-saving medicines; from the fish that come from the ocean floor, to the goods that are transported on the sea’s surface— in some way the ocean plays a role in your life every day.
This is a poster by artist Steve Shachter, prepared for NOAA during the International Year of the Ocean (1998)[See also IYOR 2008 on Magic Porthole.] Look at the variety of living organisms!
About 275,000 marine species are known to science. But more than 95% of Earth’s oceans have not been explored, so there are almost certainly many species that are still undiscovered. Some scientists think there may be as many as ten million undiscovered species living in the ocean. Other scientists think the number may be much higher. Almost all of the major animal groups are found in the ocean, and many are not found anywhere else. So the sea holds most of Earth’s biological heritage, which scientists call biodiversity.
Why is biodiversity important? Because we know that marine organisms already provide food, fertilizer, drugs, jewellery, clothing and many other products. With so many species undiscovered, the potential for new products is huge.
Here’s a way to get acquainted with a few of the species whose home is the sea. But remember: there are millions more!
You can Find What You Will Need On NOAA Ocean Service
Ocean Challenge Puzzle
|What Is Magic Porthole? Wonders of Coral Reefs Episodes & Games IYOR News
Ecoknowledge Cards Resources Exhibit Contests Shop Advisory Board Dolphins Credits
Oceana Census of Marine Life • Sea Otters • Contact Us