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Ocean Biodiversity - Discovering Marine Invertebrates

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Life Sciences Age Levels Elementary (9 to 12 years old), Middle School (13 to 15 years old)

This Smithsonian Science How learning collection, from Q?rius at the National Museum of Natural History, is part of a distance learning program at This collection focuses on the biodiversity of tiny, deep ocean life. Targeted at middle schoolers, the collection invites students into an authentic understanding of how biologists find, classify, and name microscopic animals that live in the open ocean . Zoologist Dr. Karen Osborn is featured as an expert explainer. The collection includes an interactive webcast video with discussion questions, cross-cutting activities, an independent project, and other resources for teachers and students.

Key Terms:

marine zoology, mid-water, pelagic, invertebrate, biodiversity, DNA barcoding, taxonomy

Key Concepts:

  • Mid-water ecosystem biodiversity
  • Distribution of mid-water animals
  • Ecology and adaptations of ocean invertebrates
  • Ocean biodiversity and its global importance
  • Technology used by marine invertebrate zoologists