Discover the largest marine animals in the world and learn about their habitat
The bottom of our oceans is full of amazing species, many of them considered the largest marine animals in the world . Surely you have heard of species that are hard to believe are real, such as the giant squid, or other aquatic animals that have inspired horror films, such as the mythical “Jaws”, in which the great white shark appears. If you want to know what are the 10 largest marine animals in the world , pay attention.
This list deserves to start with the blue whale (Balaenoptera musculus) . This cetacean, which weighs between 100 and 120 tons, and is approximately 30 meters long, is not only the largest marine animal in the world , but also in the entire planet Earth. It is capable of vocalizing underwater and swimming long distances throughout the year. A curiosity is that it feeds on one of the smallest organisms: krill .
Another example of a marine animal that we have known through popular culture is the sperm whale (Physeter macrocephalus) , since it is the protagonist of the movie “Moby Dick”. This species is the largest in terms of toothed whales and, in addition, it holds the award of being the animal with the largest teeth that exist . This marine animal gives birth to a single calf every three to six years, whose care lasts more than a decade. They are long- lived animals , being able to perfectly reach seventy years.
The giant squid (Architeuthis sp.) is one of the largest marine animals in the world , specifically, the largest mollusk of all, since it can measure more than 30 meters in length and weigh more than a ton. It was not until 2004 when it was possible to obtain images of a giant squid in a live state and, later, in 2012 they managed to record it in its natural environment.
Another of the most impressive marine creatures that exist is the whale shark (Rhincodon typus) , being the largest existing fish in the world , with approximately 12 meters in length. It inhabits the oceans and seas near the tropics , although some specimens have been observed in cooler waters, such as off the coast of New York. Their reproductive habits are not very clear, but it is believed that they reach sexual maturity at the age of 30 and live on average about 100.
The basking shark (Cetorhinus maximus) is second in size among fish, after the whale shark . The position it occupies is well deserved, since a specimen of this species usually reaches an average of 10 meters in length and a body weight of almost four tons. One of the characteristics of this marine animal is that it usually swims with its mouth open , which can measure up to a meter in diameter, filtering the water and feeding on plankton. Its habitat is very extensive, since it can be found in coastal areas anywhere in the world , from polar areas to tropical oceans.
Although (Orcinus orca) are known as killer whales, they actually belong to the dolphin family. In fact, it is the largest species of dolphin and the only one known within the genus Orcinus . Their diet is based on seals, penguins, fish and even other smaller whales. Like sperm whales, killer whales have an echolocation system that allows them to find their prey by emitting a kind of click and interpreting the echo produced by objects around them.
One of the most fascinating animals also holds the title of being the largest ray species of all: the manta ray or giant manta (Mobula birostris). This marine animal can measure up to nine meters wide and weigh just over a ton. It inhabits warm-water seas around the world, feeding on small fish, squid, and especially plankton .
The fin whale (Balaenoptera physalus) is, after the blue whale, the second largest animal on the planet. Its average length is usually 18 meters and it can weigh up to 90 tons. In addition, this marine animal is one of the fastest cetaceans , reaching speeds of up to 37 km/h, which is why it is nicknamed ” greyhound of the seas “.
Once again, fiction has popularized another of the world’s largest marine animals : the white shark (Carcharodon carcharias) , which measures between 5 and 7.5 meters and weighs almost two tons. This species lives in the warm and temperate waters of almost all oceans, so it is impossible to know the number of white sharks that exist. Its name is due to the fact that some specimens, over the years, change color and go from blackish to light gray which, together with the white of the belly, give it the appearance of being white.