Oceans cover 71% of the Earth’s surface and reach 11,000m at their greatest depths. As such, the total volume of ocean water habitat is 300 times greater than that of terrestrial habitats. Comprising about 57% of the world’s 28,000 species of fishes, marine fishes are a highly variable group of aquatic vertebrates and include the hagfishes, lampreys, chondrichthyans (sharks and rays), ray-finned fishes, coelacanths and lungfishes. Marine fishes inhabit a number of ecological divisions including the deep benthic waters, pelagic oceans, and shallow seas.
The greatest diversity of marine fishes is found in the Indo-West Pacific region. You can tell a lot about where and how a fish lives by the shape of its body. For example, tuna fishes are ultra-streamlined torpedo shaped and are adapted for fast swimming in the open ocean, whereas flounders have a flat body and are adapted for living on the bottom of the sea bed.
The brightly coloured coral reef fishes are probably the most popular group of marine fishes. Our Aquarium is home to a number of spectacular marine tanks, where you will be able to see a variety of species including seahorses, angelfish and clownfish.
Made famous by the film Nemo, clown fish are beautifully coloured and they provide a very useful service to anemones in the coral reefs of the Indian and Pacific Oceans.
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Given their unique appearance, unusual swimming style and the fact that the males become pregnant; seahorses are perhaps the most charmingly enigmatic group of all fishes.
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