The Indian Ocean is the third largest of Earth's five oceans. Due to the fact that it is the warmest ocean, the water temperatures do minimize the possibility of some plants and animals thriving there. Despite the warmth, many species of animals and plants, including fish, turtles and flowering plants, make their home in the Indian Ocean.
Animals Unique to the Indian Ocean
Several animals are only found in the Indian Ocean. Those include a form of clownfish, the Chagos anemonefish, that is light to dark brown in color. The Chagos dottyback is a bright colored fish and gobies in the species of Trimmatom Nanus are small fish. Invertebrates that are unique to the Indian Ocean shoreline are the St. Valentines Day moth and the marine mollusk nymph's cowrie, which are both found in the Chagos Islands vicinity.
Animals found in the Indian Ocean, but Not Unique to the Area
The green turtle, the largest of hard-shelled sea turtles, swims the waters of the Indian Ocean as does the leatherback turtle, the largest living reptile in the world and the only sea turtle without a hard shell. The hawksbill turtle once faced extinction due to being hunted for their tortoise shell. Programs were set in place to ensure their safety, and they can now be found in larger numbers. The wahoo, a steel blue fish and the lionfish, poisonous with spiky fins, are two species of fish found in the Indian Ocean. The Masked Butterfly fish, named for its dark marking on the eyes, and the Arabian Angelfish, with vivid blue and yellow coloration, are among other fish in the Indian Ocean.
Plants Found Along the Indian Ocean Shores
Found seaside on the offshore islands of the Indian Ocean is the citrus limon, which is a flowering tree that produces lemon. The hibiscus tiliaceus is an ornamental tree with bright flowers that is native to the shores of the Indian Ocean. The tectona grandis, commonly known as teak, is found on the seashore of the ocean and is often used for door and window frames and furniture. Giant reed is a perennial grass with tall, striped leaves that are used to make baskets and reeds for instruments.
Aquatic Plants of the Indian Ocean
The hydrilla verticillata is an aquatic herb with pale green leaves found in the waters of the Indian Ocean. The ocean also is home to the floating perennial water lettuce and curly pondweed found in deep water in dense beds. Purple loosetrife are reddish and purple flowers that can be found growing in the more shallow waters of the ocean.