Organisms of the Mediterranean marine environment

Designer: Sofia Malekou

The Mediterranean is a mosaic of cultures, natural features and human activity.

Thousands of years ago, man began living on its shores and took to its waters and fishing, trade and navigation created the foundations for wide-scale development across its length and breadth.

The Mediterranean Sea has now become an ecologically significant area.

There are a number of varied ecosystems in the Mediterranean which are areas of reproduction, development and protection for marine organisms.

Around 12.000 species have been recorded, of which 8.000 are fauna, 1.500 flora and 2.500 that belong to other groups.

Sea fan coral: This is a member of the Anthozoa class. It develops a flexible and predominantly branched frame, reminiscent of a fan. There are around 200 species in the Mediterranean, around 30 of which are “fan” coral. They grow very slowly and are therefore highly vulnerable to human exploitation or carelessness.

Sea anemones: These are also members of the Anthozoa class. Most anemones are small (1.5-3 cm) in diameter, but examples of nearly 2 metres are known. They live in varying types of marine environments, including sand and rock. Some have symbiotic relationships with different types of algae.

Seahorse: Seahorses are found mainly in shallow, warm waters in areas containing seagrass. They range in size from 1.5 to 35 cm. After breeding, the male seahorse transfers the fertilised eggs to his brood pouch. They feed on small crustaceans. Seahorses swim upright very slowly and are highly vulnerable. Their thoughtless collection by people for decorative purposes has rendered them almost extinct.

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