the Legacy continues…………………….
Gregory R. Mann, Ph.D. {ret.}

Marine Animal Records




Largest Whale – Blue Whale:  32.64 meters (107 feet 1 inch) 201 tons estimated weight

Largest Fin Whale:  90 feet & 97 tons estimated weight

Largest Sei Whale:  72 feet & 45 tons estimated weight

Largest Sperm Whale:  67 feet 10 inches & 72 tons estimated weight

Largest Humpback Whale:  65 feet & 64 tons estimated weight

Largest Gray Whale:  51 feet &  39 tons estimated weight

Fastest Swimming Baleen Whale (short distance)

Sei Whale:  35 mph in short bursts

Fastest Swimming Dolphins

Dall’s Porpoise:  recorded at 56 km/hr (34.797 mph)

Killer Whale:  recorded at 36 km/hr (24.233 mph)

Common Dolphin:  37 mph while riding ship’s bow waves, 28 mph in open water


Largest Northern Elephant Seal:  18 feet 2 inches taken in 1952 off Santa Barbara Island

Largest Southern Elephant Seal:  21 feet 4 inches taken near South Georgia Island in 1943

Smallest Pinniped

Baikal Seal:  Adults are 4 feet 6 inches & 140 lbs

Fastest Swimming Pinniped

Northern Sea Lion:  25 mph

Greatest Age for a Pinniped
Ringed Seal:  
43 years collected on Baffin Island and based on growth layers in the teeth

Grey Seal:  41-42 years kept in captivity in Sweden from 1901-1942


Largest Fish
Whale Shark:  
59 feet for a specimen captured in Thailand in 1919. Larger sizes have been reported, but these are estimated and may not be accurate. Many reliable records exist for animals over 40 feet

Largest Basking Shark:  45 feet & estimated at 32,000 pounds

Largest Tiger Shark:  20 feet 10 inches & 2,070 pounds

Largest Great White Shark:  23 feet 7 inches & 2,509 pounds

Largest Hammerhead Shark:  18 feet 4 inches & 1,860 pounds

Largest Thresher Shark:  18 feet & 1,100 pounds

Largest Six-gill Shark:  15 feet & 1,300 pounds

Heaviest Fish in the Class Ostyichtheys (bony fish)
Ocean Sunfish:  
14 feet between dorsal and anal fins & 4,928 pounds, struck and killed by a ship off Australia in 1958

Longest Fish in the Class Ostyichtheys (bony fish)
Russian Sturgeon:  
24 feet & 1,470 kilograms (3,250 pounds) caught in the Volga River in 1957

Shortest Marine Fish
Found in Samoa in the South Pacific: 12-19 millimeters in length, weight 2 milligrams

Fastest Fishes
68.7 mph

Mako Shark:  60 mph

Marlin:  50 mph

Wahoo:  48.5 mph

Bluefin Tuna:  43.4 mph

Blue Shark:  43 mph

Bonefish:  40 mph

Swordfish:  40 mph

Slowest Fish
Sea Horse:  
0.01 mph


Largest Sea Star:  96 centimeters (37.79 inches) in diameter, weight 5 kilograms (11 pounds) collected in the North Pacific

Smallest Sea Star:  1.83 centimeters (0.72 inches) total diameter

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

Fastest Sea Star

Sun Star:  75 centimeters per minute (0.027 mph)

Largest Sea Urchin:  diameter of 38 centimeters (13 inches)

Smallest Sea Urchin:  diameter of 5.5 millimeters (0.21 inches)

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

Largest Sea Cucumber:  Individuals have been measured up to 1.3 meters (40 inches) in length and 20 centimeters (8 inches) in diameter

Smallest Sea Cucumber:  Found in the North Sea 10 millimeters (0.39 inches) in length

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

Largest Crinoid:  Found in the Northeast Pacific 90 centimeters (36 inches) in diameter

Smallest Crinoid:  With a diameter of 3 centimeters (1.18 inches)

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


Largest Crustacean

Giant Spider Crab:  Individuals can measure 12-14 inches across the body, with a claw span of 8-9 feet. There is a report of a Giant Spider Crab weighing 14 pounds with a claw span of 12 feet.

Smallest Crab
Pea Crab:  
Are about .25 inch across the shell

Heaviest Crustacean

Atlantic Lobster:  Several records exist of individuals that weighed over 20 pounds. The record however, goes to an Atlantic Lobster weighing 42 pounds, 7 ounces, which was caught in 1964 and nicknamed “Mike”.

Mollusks & Invertebrates 

Giant Squid:  The largest Giant Squid ever recorded was found onshore in 1978. One of the tentacles measured 35 feet long. It is estimated that the animal weighed in the neighborhood of 4,000 pounds.

Largest Clam:  With a length of 137 centimeters, 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:  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 Sea Jelly:  Found in the North Atlantic where specimens have been measured up to 7 foot 6 inches across the bell with a tentacle of 120 feet.


Largest Sponge:  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:  A brown algae called the Giant Kelp. The longest recorded length is 54 meters long! 


Longest Wingspan

Wandering Albatross:  Up to 11 feet 11 inches

Longest Lived

Wandering Albatross:  Up to 70 years

Longest Bill

Australian Pelican:  Up to 18.5 inches

Smallest Seabird

Least Tern:  23 centimeters

Highest Soaring

Magnificent Frigatebird:  Up to 2,500 meters

Longest Migration

Arctic Tern:  10,000 to 14,000 miles

Longest Known Flight

Arctic Tern:  An individual that was banded in June 1996 in Finland was recaptured alive at Rotamah Island off the coast of 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:  Up to 565 meters (1,853.7 feet)

Longest Dive

Emperor Penguin:  22 minutes

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