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An aquatic animal is an
animal Animals (also called Metazoa) are multicellular A multicellular organism is an organism In biology, an organism () is any organic, life, living system that functions as an individual entity. All organisms are composed of cells ...

animal
, either
vertebrate Vertebrates () comprise all species of animal Animals (also called Metazoa) are multicellular eukaryotic organisms that form the Kingdom (biology), biological kingdom Animalia. With few exceptions, animals Heterotroph, consume organic ma ...
or
invertebrate Invertebrates are animals that neither possess nor develop a vertebral column (commonly known as a ''backbone'' or ''spine''), derived from the notochord. This includes all animals apart from the chordata, chordate subphylum vertebrate, Vertebra ...
, which lives in the water for most or all of its lifetime. Many insects such as
mosquito Mosquitoes are members of a group of almost 3,600 species In biology, a species is the basic unit of biological classification, classification and a taxonomic rank of an organism, as well as a unit of biodiversity. A species is often defin ...

mosquito
es,
mayflies Mayflies (also known as shadflies or fishflies in Canada and the upper Midwestern U.S.; also up-winged flies in the United Kingdom) are aquatic insects belonging to the order (biology), order Ephemeroptera. This order is part of an ancient gro ...

mayflies
,
dragonflies A dragonfly is a flying insect belonging to the order Odonata, infraorder Anisoptera (from Ancient Greek, Greek ἄνισος ''anisos'', "unequal" and πτερόν ''pteron'', "wing", because the hindwing is broader than the forewing). Adult d ...

dragonflies
and
caddisflies The caddisflies, or order Trichoptera, are a group of insect Insects or Insecta (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally sp ...

caddisflies
have aquatic
larva A larva (plural larvae ) is a distinct juvenile form many animal Animals (also called Metazoa) are organisms that form the Animalia. With few exceptions, animals , , are , can , and grow from a hollow sphere of , the , during . Ove ...
e, with winged adults. Aquatic animals may breathe air or extract oxygen that dissolved in water through specialised organs called
gills A gill () is a respiratory organ found in many aquatic organisms that extracts dissolved oxygen Oxygen is the chemical element with the chemical symbol, symbol O and atomic number 8. It is a member of the chalcogen Group (periodic ...

gills
, or directly through the skin.
Natural environment The natural environment or natural world encompasses all life, living and non-living things occurring nature, naturally, meaning in this case not Artificiality, artificial. The term is most often applied to the Earth or some parts of Earth. Th ...

Natural environment
s and the animals that live in them can be categorized as aquatic (water) or
terrestrial Terrestrial refers to things related to land Land is the solid surface of the Earth that is not permanently covered by water. The vast majority of human activity throughout history has occurred in land areas that support agriculture A ...
(land). This designation is
polyphyletic 300px, Cladogram of the primates, showing a monophyly (the simians, in yellow), a paraphyly">monophyly.html" ;"title="primates, showing a monophyly">primates, showing a monophyly (the simians, in yellow), a paraphyly (the prosimians, in cyan, inc ...
.


Description

The term aquatic can be applied to animals that live in either fresh water or
salt water Saline water (more commonly known as salt water) is water Water is an Inorganic compound, inorganic, Transparency and translucency, transparent, tasteless, odorless, and Color of water, nearly colorless chemical substance, which is the ...

salt water
. However, the adjective
marine Marine is an adjective meaning of or pertaining to the sea or ocean The ocean (also the sea or the world ocean) is the body of salt water which covers approximately 71% of the surface of the Earth.
is most commonly used for animals that live in saltwater, i.e. in oceans, seas, etc. Aquatic animals (especially freshwater animals) are often of special concern to
conservationists The conservation movement, also known as nature conservation, is a political, environmental, and social movement that seeks to manage and protect natural resource , Malaysia is an example of undisturbed natural resource. Waterfalls provide sp ...
because of the fragility of their environments. Aquatic animals are subject to pressure from
overfishing Overfishing is the removal of a species of fish Fish are Aquatic animal, aquatic, craniate, gill-bearing animals that lack Limb (anatomy), limbs with Digit (anatomy), digits. Included in this definition are the living hagfish, lampreys, an ...
, destructive fishing,
marine pollution Marine pollution occurs when substances used or spread by humans, such as industrial waste, industrial, agricultural pollution, agricultural and municipal solid waste, residential waste, particle (ecology), particles, noise, excess carbon dioxi ...
and
climate change Contemporary climate change includes both the global warming caused by humans, and its impacts on Earth's weather patterns. There have been previous periods of climate change, but the current changes are more rapid than any known even ...
. Many habitats are at risk which puts aquatic animals at risk as well. Aquatic animals play an important role in the world. The biodiversity of aquatic animals provide food, energy, and even jobs.


Air-breathing aquatic animal

In addition to water breathing animals, e.g., fish, most mollusks etc., the term "aquatic animal" can be applied to air-breathing aquatic or sea mammals such as those in the orders
Cetacea Cetaceans (from la, cetus Cetus () is a constellation, sometimes called 'the whale' in English. The Cetus (mythology), Cetus was a sea monster in Greek mythology which both Perseus and Heracles needed to slay. Cetus is in the region of the ...

Cetacea
(
whale Whales are a widely distributed and diverse group of fully s. They are an informal grouping within the infraorder , which usually excludes s and s. Whales, dolphins and porpoises belong to the order , which consists of s. Their closest n ...

whale
s) and
Sirenia The Sirenia (), commonly referred to as sea-cows or sirenians, are an order Order or ORDER or Orders may refer to: * Orderliness Orderliness is associated with other qualities such as cleanliness Cleanliness is both the abstract state of bei ...

Sirenia
(sea cows), which cannot survive on land, as well as the
pinnipeds Pinnipeds (pronounced ), commonly known as seals, are a widely distributedDistribution may refer to: Mathematics *Distribution (mathematics) Distributions, also known as Schwartz distributions or generalized functions, are objects th ...
(true seals, eared seals, and the walrus). The term "aquatic mammal" is also applied to four-footed
mammal Mammals (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language A classical language is a language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meaning "to share" or "to be i ...
s like the river otter (''Lontra canadensis'') and beavers (family
Castoridae The family Castoridae contains the two living species of beaver Beavers are large, semiaquatic rodents in the genus ''Castor'' native to the temperate Northern Hemisphere. There are two extant species: the North American beaver (''Cas ...
), although these are technically amphibious or
semiaquatic In biology Biology is the natural science that studies life and living organisms, including their anatomy, physical structure, Biochemistry, chemical processes, Molecular biology, molecular interactions, Physiology, physiological mechanisms ...
. There are up to one million types of aquatic animals and aquatic species.
Amphibian Amphibians are ectothermic, tetrapod vertebrates of the Class (biology), class Amphibia. All living amphibians belong to the group Lissamphibia. They inhabit a wide variety of habitats, with most species living within terrestrial animal, ter ...
s, like
frog A frog is any member of a diverse and largely Carnivore, carnivorous group of short-bodied, tailless amphibians composing the order (biology), order Anura (literally ''without tail'' in Ancient Greek). The oldest fossil "proto-frog" ''Triadobat ...

frog
s (the order
Anura
Anura
), while requiring water, are separated into their own environmental classification. The majority of amphibians (class
Amphibia Amphibians are ectotherm File:Junonia lemonias DSF by Kadavoor.JPG, ''Junonia lemonias'' is basking under the sun. An ectotherm (from the Ancient Greek, Greek ἐκτός (''ektós'') "outside" and θερμός (''thermós'') "hot") is an o ...

Amphibia
) have an aquatic
larva A larva (plural larvae ) is a distinct juvenile form many animal Animals (also called Metazoa) are organisms that form the Animalia. With few exceptions, animals , , are , can , and grow from a hollow sphere of , the , during . Ove ...
l stage, like a
tadpole A tadpole is the larval stage A larva (plural larvae ) is a distinct juvenile form many animal Animals (also called Metazoa) are multicellular eukaryotic organisms that form the Kingdom (biology), biological kingdom Animalia. With ...
, but then live as terrestrial adults, and may return to the water to
mate Mate may refer to: Science * Mate, one of a pair of animals involved in: ** Mate choice, intersexual selection ** Mating * Multi-antimicrobial extrusion protein, or MATE, an efflux transporter family of proteins Person or title * Mate (colloqu ...

mate
. Certain
fish Fish are , , -bearing animals that lack with . Included in this definition are the living , s, and and as well as various extinct related groups. Around 99% of living fish species are ray-finned fish, belonging to the class , with over 95 ...

fish
also evolved to breathe air to survive oxygen-deprived water, such as ''
Arapaima The arapaima, pirarucu, or paiche is any large species of bonytongue in the genus ''Arapaima'' native to the Amazon and Essequibo basins of South America. Genus ''Arapaima'' is the type genus of the family Arapaimidae.Castello, L.; and Stewa ...

Arapaima
'' (family
Osteoglossidae Arowanas are freshwater bony fish of the family Osteoglossidae, also known as bony tongues (the latter name is now often reserved for Arapaimidae). In this family of fish, the head is bony and the elongated body is covered by large, heavy scales, ...
) and
walking catfish The walking catfish (''Clarias batrachus'') is a species of freshwater airbreathing catfish native to Southeast Asia. It is named for its ability to "walk" and wiggle across dry land, to find food or suitable environments. While truly, it does no ...
. Most mollusks have
gill A gill () is a respiratory organ that many aquatic Aquatic means relating to water Water (chemical formula H2O) is an inorganic, transparent, tasteless, odorless, and nearly colorless chemical substance, which is the main constituent ...
s, while some fresh water ones have a
lung The lungs are the primary organs An organ is a group of tissues with similar functions. Plant life and animal life rely on many organs that co-exist in organ systems. A given organ's tissues can be broadly categorized as parenchyma ...

lung
instead (e.g. ''Planorbidae'') and some amphibious ones have both (e.g. ''
Ampullariidae Ampullariidae, common name the apple snails, is a family In human society, family (from la, familia) is a group of people related either by consanguinity (by recognized birth) or affinity (by marriage or other relationship). The purpos ...
''). Many species of aquatic animals lack a backbone or are invertebrates.


Importance on environment

Aquatic animals play an important role on the environment as well as human's daily usage. The importance of aquatic animals comes from the fact that they are organisms that provide us with sources such as medicine, food, energy shelter, and raw materials that are used on a humans's daily life. Each aquatic species plays a different role to help us make every day easier, healthier, and also more productive. They also help with the
atmospheric pressure Atmospheric pressure, also known as barometric pressure (after the barometer A barometer is a scientific instrument that is used to measure air pressure Atmospheric pressure, also known as barometric pressure (after the barometer), is the ...
and global
climate change Contemporary climate change includes both the global warming caused by humans, and its impacts on Earth's weather patterns. There have been previous periods of climate change, but the current changes are more rapid than any known even ...
.


See also

*
Aquatic mammal Aquatic and semiaquatic mammals are a diverse group of mammal Mammals (from Latin language, Latin , 'breast') are a group of vertebrate animals constituting the class (biology), class Mammalia (), and characterized by the presence of mamma ...
*
Aquatic plant Aquatic plants are plant Plants are predominantly photosynthetic eukaryotes of the Kingdom (biology), kingdom Plantae. Historically, the plant kingdom encompassed all living things that were not animals, and included algae and fungi; howeve ...
*
Freshwater snail Freshwater snails are gastropod mollusks which live in fresh water. There are many different families. They are found throughout the world in various habitats, ranging from ephemeral pools to the largest lakes, and from small seeps and springs ...
*
List of semiaquatic tetrapods This is a list of tetrapod Tetrapods (; from Greek 'four' and 'foot') are four-limbed animals constituting the superclass Tetrapoda . It includes extant and extinct amphibians, reptiles (including dinosaurs and therefore birds), and synap ...
*
Marine biology Marine biology is the scientific study of the biology of marine life Marine life, sea life, or ocean life is the plant Plants are predominantly photosynthetic Photosynthesis is a process used by plants and other organisms to ...
*
Marine invertebrates Marine invertebrates are the invertebrates that live in marine habitats. Invertebrate is a blanket term that includes all animals apart from the vertebrate members of the chordate phylum. Invertebrates lack a vertebral column, and some have evolved ...
*
Marine mammal Marine mammals are aquatic mammals that rely on the ocean and other marine ecosystems for their existence. They include animals such as Pinniped, seals, Cetacea, whales, Sirenia, manatees, sea otters and polar bears. They are an informal group, ...


References

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