Room 3, at Balclutha Primary School, asks :-

What different types of animals live in the sea?

Peter Batson, of Otago University's Department of Marine Science and the author of the book "Deep New Zealand", responded.

Think of an animal, any animal. The chances are pretty good that the creature you chose, or one of its relatives, lives in the ocean. The seas are crammed full of different kinds of life, "like a giant bowl of minestrone soup", as deep-sea explorer Sylvia Earle puts it. Everything from tiny shrimps and worms too small to see without a microscope, to whales with bodies as big as a Boeing 737 airliner.

In fact, there's such a wide variety of animals in the sea that it's an awful lot quicker to think of common kinds of animal that DON'T live there. And that would be frogs. That's right, there are no frogs, or other amphibians, in the sea - they don't like the salt, apparently.

Oh, and there's some kinds of animals that live ONLY in the sea, like starfish and jellyfish. It's easy to see why - can you imagine a big, gloopy jellyfish trying to survive on land, squelching its way across the ground, climbing a tree, or trying to fly?

How many kinds of animals live in the ocean, anyway? The truth is that nobody knows because we're finding new types (called species) all the time. For example, a new fish species is discovered in the seas around New Zealand every couple of weeks.

In all, about 160,000 animal species are known from the ocean, but some scientists reckon there's millions more out there, just waiting for someone to discover them. One thing is for sure: scientists will be arguing about the exact number long after you're old and grey.