What Animals Live in the Oceanic Zone?

Animal life from the topmost to the lowest oceanic zone ranges from sharks and other fish to deep-sea squid and echinoderms such as the sea pig and sea cucumber. The oceanic or pelagic zone has every form of animal life that lives away from the coastal regions.

The oceanic or pelagic zone is located in the open ocean and is divided into the epipelagic, mesopelagic, bathypelagic and abyssopelagic zones. The epipelagic zone extends to 200 meters below the surface of the ocean. It has ample sunlight, and it contains most of the sea creatures familiar to man, such as dolphins, sharks, tuna, jellyfish, sea turtles, orcas and blue whales.

Next is the mesopelagic zone or the twilight zone, which extends down to a depth of 1,000 meters. The sunlight present here is not adequate for photosynthesis to take place. Animals in this zone include big-scale fish, ctenophores, firefly squid, hatchetfish and viperfish.

The bathypelagic zone begins at a depth of 1,000 meters and extends downward to 4,000 meters. Animals here are largely bioluminescent organisms. Giant squid and sperm whales are found in this region, along with the snake dragon fish and angler fish.

The abyssopelagic zone extends from 4,000 meters down to the ocean floor. It has no sunlight, and the animals here are colorless and have evolved without eyes. The deep-sea squid, octopus, sea spider and echinoderms such as sea pigs, sea cucumbers and basket stars inhabit this region.