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Biggest, Smallest, Fastest, Deepest: Marine Animal Records
10 years ago
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Largest Whale: Blue Whale, Balaenoptera musculus

female: 33.27 meters (109 feet 3.5 inches) 190 tons estimated weight
male: 32.64 meters (107 feet 1 inch)
Both captured near the South Shetland Islands in 1926

Largest Fin Whale, Balaenoptera physalus
90 feet, 97 tons estimated weight

Largest Sei Whale, Balaeonoptera borealis
72 feet, 45 tons estimated weight

Largest Sperm Whale, Physeter catodon
67 feet 10 inches, 72 tons estimated weight

Largest Humpback Whale, Megaptera novaeangliae
65 feet, 64 tons estimated weight

Largest Gray Whale, Eschrichtius robustus
51 feet, 39 tons

Fastest Swimming Baleen Whale (short distance)
Sei Whale, Balaenoptera borealis: 35 miles per hour in short bursts

Fastest Swimming Dolphin

Dall's porpoise, Phocoenoides dalli, recorded at 56 km/hr
Killer Whale, Orcinus orca , recorded at 56 km/hr
Common Dolphin, Delphinus delphis - 37 miles per hour while riding ship's bow waves, 28 miles per hour in open water

Seals and Sea Lions

Largest Northern Elephant Seal, Mirounga angustirostris: 18 feet, taken in 1852 off Santa Barbara Island, 15 feet 7 inches taken in 1929 off San Diego

Largest Southern Elephant Seal, Mirounga leonina: 21 feet, 4 inches, taken near South Georgia Island in 1913

Smallest Pinniped: Baikal Seal, Pusa sibirica
Adults are 4 feet 6 inches and 140 pounds

Fastest Swimming Pinniped: California Sea Lion, Zalophus californianus
25 miles per hour

Greatest Age for a Pinniped:
Ringed Seal, Phoca hispida: 43 years, collected on Baffin Island and based on growth layers in the teeth
Grey Seal, Halichoerus grypus, 41-42 years, kept in captivity in Sweden from 1901-1942

10 years ago

Largest Fish
Whale Shark, Rhinodon typus
59 feet, for a specimen captured in Thailand in 1919 Larger sizes have been reported, but these are estimates, and may not be accurate. Many reliable records exist for animals over 30 feet in length.

Largest Basking Shark, Cetorhinus maximus
45 feet. Weight estimated at 32,000 pounds

Largest Tiger Shark, Galeocerdo cuvieri
20 feet, 10 inches, 2070 pounds

Largest Hammerhead Shark, Sphyrna mokarran
18 feet, 4 inches, 1,860 pounds

Largest Thresher Shark, Alopias vulpinus
18 feet, 1,100 pounds

Largest Six-gill Shark, Hexanchus griseus
15 feet, 1,300 pounds

Heaviest Fish in the Class Ostyichtheys (bony fish)
Ocean Sunfish, Mola mola: 10 feet in length, 14 feet between dorsal and anal fins, 4,928 pounds, struck and killed by a ship off Australia in 1908

Longest Fish in the Class Ostyichtheys (bony fish)
Russian Sturgeon, Acipenser huso: 24 feet in length, weight 1,470 kg (3,250 pounds) caught in the Volga river in 1827

Shortest Marine Fish
Schindleria praematurus, found in Samoa in the South Pacific: 12-19 mm in length, weight 2 mg.

Fastest Fish:
Sailfish, Istiophorus platypterus: 68.18 mph
Mako Shark, Isurus oxyrinchus: 60 mph
Marlin, Tetrapturus sp. 50 mph
Wahoo, Acanthocybium solandri 48.5 mph
Bluefin Tuna, Thunnus thynnus 43.4 mph
Blue Shark, Prionace glauca 43 mph
Bonefish, Albula vulpes 40 mph
Swordfish, Xiphius gladius 40 mph

Slowest Fish:
Sea Horse 0.01 mph


Largest Sea Star: Evasterias echinosomo
96 cm (37.79 inches) in diameter, weight 5 kg (11 pounds), collected in the North Pacific

Smallest Sea Star: Leptychaster propinquus
1.83 cm (0.72 inches) total diameter

Deepest Sea Star: Eremicaster tenebrarius
Collected in 7,630 meters (25,032 feet)

Fastest Sea Star: Sun Star, Pycnopodia helianthoides
75 cm per minute (0.027 miles per hour)

Largest Sea Urchin: Sperosoma giganteum
Test diameter of 38 cm (13 inches)

Smallest Sea Urchin: Echinocyamus scaber
Test diameter of 5.5 mm (0.21 inches)

Deepest Sea Urchin: Unidentified specimen
taken from 7,250 meters (23,786 feet) near Indonesia in 1951

Largest Sea Cucumber: Members of the genus Stichopus have been measured up to 1.3 meters (40 inches) in length and 20 cm (8 inches) in diameter

Smallest Sea Cucumber: Rhabdomolgus ruber, found in the North Sea
10 mm (0.39 inches) in length

Deepest Sea Cucumber: Unidentified specimen taken from the Philippine trench in 1951 in 10,190 meters (33,431 feet)

Largest Crinoid: Helimoetra glacialis, found in the Northeast Pacific
90 cm (36 inches) in diameter

Smallest Crinoid: Unidentified species with a diameter of 3 cm (1.18 inches)

Deepest Crinoid: Unidentified specimen taken from the Kermadec Trench in 1951 in 8,210 meters (26,935 feet)

10 years ago


Largest Crustacean: Giant spider crab Macrocheira kaempferi
Individuals can measure 12-14 inches across the body, with a claw span of 8-9 feet. There is a report of a crab weighing 14 pounds with a claw span of 12 feet.

Smallest Crab
Pea crabs in the family Pinnotheridae are about .25 inches across the shell

Heaviest Crustacean: Atlantic Lobster Homarus americanus
Several records exist of individuals that weighed over 20 pounds. The record, however goes to a lobster weighing 42 pounds, 7 ounces, which was caught in 1934 and nicknamed "Mike".


Heaviest Mollusc (and heaviest invertebrate): The giant squid (Architeuthis sp.)
The largest giant squid ever recorded (Architeuthis princeps) was captured in 1878. One of the "arms" (probably a tentacle) measured 35 feet long. It is estimated that the animal weighed in the neighbourhood of 4000 pounds.

Largest Clams: Tridacna gigas, with a length of 137cm, as reported by Rosewater, J. 1965. The family Tridacnidae in the Indo-Pacific. Indo-Pacific Mollusca 1: 347-396. Tridacna derasa, found on coral reefs in the South Pacific. One was collected on the Great Barrier Reef in 1917 that measured 49 inches by 29 inches, and weighed 579.5 pounds.

Largest Gastropod: Syrinx aruanus, the trumpet or baler conch found off the coast of Australia. In 1979, a 40 pound animal was found with a shell that measured 30.4 inches in length and 39.75 inches in girth.


Largest Jellyfish: Cyanea arctica, found in the North Atlantic
Specimens have been measured up to 7 feet 6 inches across the bell with a tentacle of 120 feet.


Largest Sponge: Xestospongia muta, the barrel sponge, found in tropical coastal waters. Some individuals in the Caribbean measure 6-8 feet tall, and 6-8 feet across. It should be noted, however, that some species of encrusting sponge can cover a very large area.


Largest Seaweed: Macrocystis pyrifera, a brown algae called the giant kelp. The longest recorded length is 54 metres long! M. pyrifera is the type of kelp that makes up the majority of the giant kelp forests off the California coast.

10 years ago

Longest wingspan, wandering albatross, up to 11 feet 11 inches.

Largest known seabird, psuedontron (long-toothed bird), glided over the world's oceans 50 million to 5 million years ago. It weighed close to 90 pounds, and had a wingspan of 18 feet.

Longest lived, albatross, to 70 years.

Longest bill, Australian pelican, up to 18.5 inches.

Smallest seabird, least tern, 23 centimeters.

Highest soaring, frigatebird, to 2500 meters.

Longest migration, Arctic tern, 10,000 to 14,000 miles.

Longest known flight.  A common tern that was banded in June 1996 in Finland was recaptured alive at Rotamah Island, Victoria, Australia, in January 1997. It had traveled at a rate of 125 miles a day.

Fastest swimming underwater, gentoo penguin, 22.3 mph.

Deepest diving, emperor penguin, to 565 meters.

Longest dive, emperor penguin, 22 minutes.


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