Biodiversity of the Ocean

The ocean is vast, covering more than 70% of the Earth’s surface it is home to hundreds of thousands of living things. Life in the sea has lead to some amazing adaptations; from the ability to absorb oxygen directly through tissue to the largest animals on Earth, unencumbered by the pull of gravity. While the creatures that frequent the shore such as sea turtles, pelicans, and ghost crabs are familiar to us, the ocean is also home to organisms we may only ever experience in pictures, their habitat so remote or their species so few in number.

Appropriate grade range: 9-12

Learning Goals

  • Investigate the physiological characteristics that are used to classify marine organisms.
  • Infer why marine vertebrates share many of the same characteristics.
  • Recognize that invertebrates are the most abundant and diverse marine animals.
  • Explain the evolutionary events that gave rise to marine plants and algae.


  1. What is biodiversity?
  2. Taxonomy
  3. Vertebrates
  4. Invertebrates
  5. Plants and Algae

Course Components

  • Online Assessment
  • Student Guide
  • Narrated Video
  • Interactives
  • Objectives for each Chapter
  • Certificate of Completion

Alignment to NGSS