Marine biology is the study of life in the oceans and other saltwater environments such as estuaries and wetlands. All plant and animal life forms are included from the microscopic picoplankton all the way to the majestic blue whale, the largest creature in the sea—and for that matter in the world…. Aristotle identified a variety of species including crustaceans, echinoderms, mollusks, and fish…. Marine vertebrates, classified under the Kingdom Animalia, Phylum Chordata and Subphylum Vertebrata, are among the most structurally complex organisms. Jacks, cod, sailfish, scorpionfish, tuna, marlin, parrotfish, angelfish, barracuda, sea horses, eels, etc. Basking sharks, blue and bull sharks, the goblin sharks, great whites, hammerheads, lemon sharks, mantas and stingrays, nurse sharks, oceanic whitetips, tiger sharks, salmon sharks, threshers, whale sharks, wobbegongs, etc.
Giant squid and sperm whale, illustration
Giant squid - Wikipedia
Ambergris , a solid waxy substance originating in the intestine of the sperm whale Physeter catodon. In Eastern cultures ambergris is used for medicines and potions and as a spice; in the West it was used to stabilize the scent of fine perfumes. Ambergris floats and washes ashore most frequently on the coasts of China , Japan , Africa, and the Americas and on tropical islands such as the Bahamas. When exposed to sun, air, and seawater, however, it hardens and fades to a light gray or yellow, developing a subtle and pleasant fragrance in the process. Pieces are usually small, but one chunk found in the Dutch East Indies weighed about kg 1, pounds. Marco Polo knew that Oriental sailors hunted the sperm whale for ambergris, but he thought that the whales swallowed it with their food.
It is one of two members of the family Monodontidae , along with the narwhal , and the only member of the genus Delphinapterus. It is also known as the white whale , as it is the only cetacean to regularly occur with this colour; the sea canary , due to its high-pitched calls; and the melonhead , though that more commonly refers to the melon-headed whale , which is an oceanic dolphin. The beluga is adapted to life in the Arctic, so it has anatomical and physiological characteristics that differentiate it from other cetaceans. Amongst these are its all-white colour and the absence of a dorsal fin , which allows it to swim under ice with ease. The beluga's body size is between that of a dolphin and a true whale, with males growing up to 5.
On the swells of the Sea of Cortez, everything looks like a whale. Lulled by disappointment, the rocking boat and general monotony, I drift into torpor. Then, less than half a mile away, a series of unmistakable spouts erupts, and bursts of exhalation carry across the water. The calves and juveniles are 15 to 20 feet long, and some of the larger females are more than 30 feet from head to tail a male would be almost twice as long.