does water animals have a “home”?


Land or air animals usually have a home or a region where they live like next to bird nests, next to river, etc. Does the same happen for water animals? Like when a whale migrate, when they go back, they go to the same region or they just find another cold water place? Or when turtles need to deposit eggs, they always go to the same specific beach. Or just some random fish who doesn’t swim too far sleep at the same hidden place everytime.

In: Biology

I know that Aquarium fish will often determine a sort of territory via landmarks like rocks and plants. For some fish it’s advised to add multiple landmarks to reduce fighting.

Various crabs live in shells. Eels in caves. Clownfish in anemone. Penguins, seals etc will return to various places for breeding, eating etc.

It depends on the critter and what you consider to be a “home”. Lots of whale species are either migratory or hang around within roughly the same area with varying degrees of territoriality. Sometimes the migratory whales do so for mating reasons, but most of them migrate to where the food is. Whether you consider the Southern Ocean or the North Atlantic to be “home” or not depends on your definition, I suppose.

Most turtles return to the same beaches to lay their eggs. However, they only lay their eggs one one night of the year and then they’re back in the water. They’re also probably pretty uncomfortable and nervous while they schlep up and down the beach and lay their eggs, so I’m not sure they’d feel particularly “at home” during the process.

Fish are the most diverse vertebrate group on the planet so there are a bajillion strategies there. Some fish absolutely find a nice place to call home. A clownfish will have a home anemone, Moray eels live inside holes in rocks, all kinds of coral reef fish find safe places in and around the coral reef. However, large pelagic fish (those that live in open water and never come into contact with the bottom) are often found throughout huge areas (e.g. all of the tropics, most of the South Atlantic ocean, the entire Indian Ocean, etc.) Some pelagic fish, such as Great White Sharks, don’t have a home region at all and just swim wherever they want. It all depends on the critter.

I think this may help. I always liked the story of the shrimp that live in glass sponges. A male and female shrimp will move into the sponge and defend it from other would be tenants. Eventually they become to big to leave and live their lives eating by filter feeding. My professor had a glass sponge that was filled with a few shrimp remains and said that some cultures would give them as wedding gifts to signify living together for the rest of their lives.

Many aquatic animals live in a well defined area – sessile (immobile) animals obviously remain where they set up camp (a rock, a reef, a boat, another animal), but even many mobile animals stay close to home. Many fish live in or near coral reefs and do not, or cannot, swim long distances to new homes. Others are bound by adaptation to types of water environments – some live only on or near the sea floor and have to stay at the depths they are adapted to to avoid pressure changes that would kill them, for instance. Others require caves or other shelter to hide in or breed in and so defend their specific home quite aggressively.

Migratory animals like some whales may return to a similar area every year, just like birds and migratory insects do. The areas are places where their preferred food source is abundant.and conditions suit their needs (water temp, etc) so they will only find a new territory if food sources are depleted or the area becomes environmentally unsuitable (which is a major cause of food depletion).