The Ocean Environment [chapter]

Paul C. Fiedler
2009 Encyclopedia of Marine Mammals  
M arine mammals live, feed, and reproduce in a vast, threedimensional fl uid environment-the ocean. Air-breathing necessitates frequent attendance to the sea surface for all marine mammals, whereas pinnipeds cannot reproduce in the water and have thus retained a close tie to land or ice. Despite these ties to the boundaries of the ocean environment, oceanography is an important part of the study of marine mammals. Habitat and distribution of marine mammals are affected by the physical and
more » ... physical and chemical properties of the water through which they swim and communicate, the topography of the ocean bottom where they feed, the physical state of the ocean surface where they breathe and haul out, and numerous factors infl uencing the distribution of food organisms.
doi:10.1016/b978-0-12-373553-9.00185-1 fatcat:nw5gxur23jdz7kw54h73r4cr5q