10 Maiores criaturas vivas do mar

10 Largest Living Sea Creatures
The ocean contains some of the largest creatures on Earth. Here you can meet some of the largest living sea creatures. Some have fierce reputations while others are enormous, gentle giants.
Each marine phylum has its own largest creatures, but here contains some of the largest creatures overall, based on maximum recorded measurements of each species.

10. Great White Shark (Carcharodon carcharias)
White shark.jpg
A list of the largest creatures in the ocean wouldn't be complete without the ocean's largest apex predator - the white shark, commonly called the great white shark (Carcharodon carcharias). There are conflicting reports as to the largest white shark, but it it thought to be about 20 feet. While white sharks in the 20-foot range have been measured, lengths of 10-15 feet are more common.

9. Colossal Squid (Mesonychoteuthis hamiltoni)

Colossal squid rival the giant squid in size.  They are thought to grow to lengths of about 45 feet. Like the giant squid, the habits, distribution and population size of colossal squid are not well known, as they are not often observed alive in the wild. 

This species wasn't discovered until 1925 - and only then because two of its tentacles were found in a sperm whale's stomach. Fishermen caught a specimen in 2003 and hauled it aboard.  To give a better perspective on size, it was estimated that calamari from the 20-foot specimen would have been the size of tractor tires.

8. Giant Squid (Architeuthis dux)

Giant squid are animals of legend - have you ever seen an image of a giant squid wrestling with a ship or a sperm whale? Despite their prevalence in ocean images and lore, these animals prefer the deep sea and are rarely seen in the wild. In fact, most of what we know about giant squid comes from dead specimens found by fishermen, and it wasn't until 2006 that a live giant squid was filmed.

Measurements of the largest giant squid vary. Measuring these creatures can be complicated since tentacles may be stretched or even lost. The largest squid measurements vary from 43 feet to over 60 feet, and the largest are thought to weigh about a ton. The giant squid is estimated to have an average length of 33 feet.

7. Giant Siphonophore (Praya dubia)

Giant siphonophores can be even longer than a blue whale.  Granted, these aren't really a single organism, but they bear mentioning in a list of the ocean's largest creatures.

These fragile, gelatinous animals are cnidarians, which means they are related to corals, sea anemones and jellyfish.  Like corals, siphonophores are colonial organisms, so rather than one whole being (like a blue whale), they are formed by many bodies called zooids. These organisms are specialized for certain functions like feeding, movement and reproduction - and all strung together on a stem called a stolon so together, they act like one organism. These animals can be bioluminescent.

So, how big can they get? Giant siphonophores measuring more than 130 feet have been found.

6. Portuguese Man o' War (Physalia physalis)

The Portuguese man o' war is another animal that is very large based on the size of its tentacles. These animals can be identified by their purplish-blue float, which is only about 6 inches across. But they have long, slender tentacles that can be more than 50 feet long.

Portuguese man o' wars feed using their tentacles. They have tentacles used to capture the prey, and then stinging tentacles that paralyze the prey.

Although it resembles a jellyfish, the Portuguese man o' war is actually a siphonophore..
Although they are occasionally pushed by currents into cooler regions, Portuguese man o' wars prefer warm tropical and subtropical waters. In the U.S., they are found in both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans off the southeastern portions of the U.S. and in the Gulf of Mexico.

5. Giant Manta Ray (Manta birostris)

Giant manta rays are the world's largest ray species. With their large pectoral fins, they can reach a span of up to 30 feet across, but average-sized manta rays are about 22 feet across.

Giant manta rays feed on zooplankton, and sometimes swim in slow, graceful loops as they consume their prey. The prominent cephalic lobes extending from their head help funnel water and plankton into their mouth.

4. Lion's Mane Jelly (Cyanea capillata)
Cyanea capillata.jpg
If you include its tentacles, the lion's mane jelly is one of the longest creatures on Earth. These jellies have 8 groups of tentacles, with 70-150 in each group. Their tentacles are estimated to be able to grow to 120 feet in length.  This is not a web you'd want to get tangled in!  While some jellies are harmless to humans, the lion's mane jelly can inflict a painful sting.

3. Whale Shark (Rhincodon typus)

The trophy for world's biggest fish isn't exactly a "trophy fish"... but it's a big one. It's the whale shark. The whale shark's name comes from its size, rather than any characteristics resembling a whale. These fish max out at about 65 feet and can weigh up to 75,000 pounds, making their size rival some of the largest whales on Earth.

Similar to large whales, though, whale sharks eat small creatures. They filter-feed, by gulping in water, plankton, small  fish, and  crustaceans and forcing the water through their gills, where their prey gets trapped. During this process, they can filter over 1,500 gallons of water in an hour.

2. Fin Whale (Balaenoptera physalus)

The second-largest sea creature - and second-largest creature on Earth - is the fin whale. Fin whales are a very slender, graceful whale species.  Fin whales can reach lengths up to 88 feet and weigh up to 80 tons.

These animals have been nicknamed "the greyhounds of the sea" because of their fast swimming speed, which is up to 23 mph.

Size compared to an average human
Fin whale size.svg

1. Blue Whale (Balaenoptera musculus)

The blue whale is not only the largest creature in the ocean, it's the largest creature on Earth. The largest blue whale ever measured was 110 feet long. Their average length is about 70-90 feet. 

Just to give you a better perspective, a large blue whale is about the same length as a Boeing 737 airplane, and its tongue alone weighs about 4 tons (about 8,000 pounds, or about the weight of an African elephant).

Size compared to an average human
Blue whale size.svg

Source: http://marinelife.about.com/od/marinelife101/ss/Largest-Living-Sea-Creatures.htm#step-heading


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