Marine Biology Basics

Just as on land there are forests, swamps, desserts, grasslands and mountains and other places where animals and plants have to adapt to special conditions, in the seas there are lots of different habitats, too. Here is a short introduction to some of the habitats found in Hong Kong’s waters.

    Coral reefs
    Rocky shores
    Sandy shores
    Mangrove swamps

Marine biologists generally separate animals into categories and it helps to know some of these:

benthic: animals that live on the sea bottom or shore and do not generally swim up into the water much

planktonic: animals and plants that drift around in the water. They can swim a bit, but are still at the mercy of the waves, currents, tides and winds.

littoral: animals that live on the shore and where the tides flood them or leave them exposed to the air in a permanent cycle.

pelagic:animals that live away from the shoreline, usually good swimmers.

demersal: usually applied to fish who spend most of their time on the seabedeven though they can swim and occasionally travel larger distances.


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