The ocean is a fascinating and mysterious place. The deep ocean is full of mysteries and wonders that humans don’t get a chance to interact with on a regular basis. The animals of the deep ocean are strange and interesting creatures that may cause some fear, and also excitement.
If your children have a love for adventure, they will really enjoy learning about the deep ocean. The deep ocean is the largest most unexplored ecosystem in the world. If they like weird and crazy things, they will love exploring the animals of the deep ocean. Some of these creatures are very large and very dangerous.
The first time my kids ever learned about an angler fish was when we were watching Finding Nemo. There was just something about that electric light bulb fish, with the scary teeth, chasing after Marlin that brought fear and intrigue. What a crazy, scary looking fish, and how in the world does it light up like that? How amazing that God created that fish to light up in the deepest part of the ocean where there is no light!
The Deep Ocean Zones:
Before learning about the animals of the deep ocean, it is important to understand the different zones of ocean. The deep part of the ocean with the crazy creatures starts with zone 2; the Mesopelagic Zone, and ends with the Trenches.
The Mesopelagic Zone (Twilight Zone)
This zone starts at 656 feet and goes down to 3,281 feet. There is minimal sunlight, and this is where many of the bioluminescent creatures live. This zone is home to the viper fish, hatchet fish, eel, and cuttlefish.
Bathypelagic Zone (Midnight Zone)
This zone starts at 3,281 feet and goes all the way down to 13,124 feet. There is no sunlight in this zone. Plant life is non existent and food is scarce. This is where the angler fish lives, as well as bristlemouths and anglefish. These fish have huge jaws and teeth and will eat anything that comes their way.
The Abyss (Abyssal Zone)
This zone begins at 13,124 feet and goes down to 19,686 feet. There is a ton of pressure at this zone, and not many creatures can survive the pressure. This is where the giant squid lives, as well as basket stars, sea spiders medusas and tube worms.
Hadapelagic Zone (The Trenches)
This zone begins at 19,686 feet and goes down to the deepest part of the ocean at 35,797 feet. This deepest ocean is in the Mariana Trench in Japan. The waiter is just above freezing and there is very little food to sustain life down here. This is home to the giant tubeworms, star fish and cusk eels.
Recommended Resource: Ocean Notebook – Companion to Ocean Anatomy by Julia Rothman
In the Ocean Notebook, students will use a combination of written narration, drawing, and labeling alongside Ocean Anatomy by Julia Rothman to learn all about life in the ocean, layers of the ocean, the ocean floor, coral reefs, tide pools, and much more.
FREE Animals of the Deep Ocean Printables:
20,000 Leagues Under the Sea is a favorite book among those with adventurous spirits. Your children will enjoy following the marine biologist explorers to the bottom of the ocean to record the creatures that live there. Once you read it, you will never forget about that giant squid! We really enjoy the Classic Starts abridged version for young readers.
Websites and Articles on Deep Ocean Animals:
The Deep Sea is an interactive layers of the ocean website. You can drag your mouse down deeper into the waters and you will see the different types of animals that live in each layer. It is fun to watch it get deeper and deeper and see how it change.
Deep Sea Ocean Science Marine Bio is full of information on the deepest parts of the ocean. There are lots of neat videos that explore the ocean floor.
Sea Sky has an entire section of their website devoted to Creatures of the Deep. You can click on each image of the animals to get more information from the database. This would be great for research.
You may also enjoy these other FREE ocean themed printables and resources we have created for you:
Sarah is a wife, daughter of the King and Mama to 4 children (one who is a homeschool graduate)! She is a an eclectic, Charlotte Mason style homeschooler that has been homeschooling for over 16 years now. She is still trying to find the balance between work and keeping a home and says she can only do it by the Grace of God, and Coffee!