Updated: February 13, 2023
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The world’s oceans are divided into five sections – the Pacific Ocean, Atlantic Ocean, Indian Ocean, Antarctic Ocean, and the Arctic Ocean. Before the year 2000, only four oceans were recognized officially by the International Hydrographic Organization, but the entity added the Antarctic Ocean (also known as the Southern Ocean) that year.

Oceans make up 71% of the Earth’s surface, and they exclusively hold saltwater. These oceans are only home to marine creatures, and there are no oceans in the world that are the primary home to any land-dwelling animals. Every area of the world has unique and colorful species of fish, mammals, and other wildlife. The ocean is a crucial part of the world’s ecosystems, and researchers have openly admitted that approximately 80% of the oceans are still unmapped and unexplored in 2021.

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Where to Find the Ocean Animals

A bowhead whale breaches off the coast of western Sea of Okhotsk

A bowhead whale, here breaching off the coast of western Sea of Okhotsk, can weigh up to 100 tons!

©Olga Shpak / CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons – Original / License

Our water bodies around the world are known to be homes to diverse and unique ocean animals and other wildlife. Most wild marine creatures are spread out across the world and are known to reside in different oceans. The Pacific Ocean is home to:

  • Hammerhead sharks. These sharks can weigh up to 1,000 lbs., and they have one of the most distinctive bodies of any shark.
  • Giant squids. The Giant squid is the largest invertebrate found on Earth so far. It can grow up to 33 feet long.

In the Indian Ocean, you’ll find:

  • Indian river dolphins. These dolphins have terrible vision, and they primarily live in the few areas of the world with fresh water.
  • Goonch catfish. Typically found around India and Nepal, these fish are one of the largest types of catfish in the world.

The Arctic Ocean is known for the brisk waters that animals already have to survive in, but it still manages to contain:

  • Bowhead whales. The bowhead whale can weigh up to 100 tons.
  • Pacific walruses. This type of walrus was once considered an endangered species but was denied the classification in 2017.

The Southern Ocean, which is more commonly known as the Antarctic Ocean, is rather diverse, residing at the southernmost point of the world. It was only officially recognized by the International Hydrographic Organization in 2000. Some of the most common animals in this region include:

  • Cuttlefish. These fish can be kept as pets, though they have intricate needs to keep the invertebrate healthy.
  • Colossal squids. This squid is larger than the giant squid, and it is only found 2,000 meters below the Ocean’s surface.

The Atlantic Ocean is home to a diverse group of animals as well, including:

These are only some of the animals that you’ll find in oceans around the world. So much of the world’s oceans have yet to be explored beyond a certain depth, so it is likely that many other animals lurk beneath the surface.

The Most Dangerous Ocean Animals

pufferfish inflated

The stomach of a pufferfish can inflate up to three times its normal size. Its deadly toxins can be potentially lethal.


No matter how calm the ocean water looks at the surface, a lot can always be going on inside it. There are several dangerous animals inside the ocean at any given point in time. These include:

  • Pufferfish: A pufferfish might contain deadly toxins that can be severely dangerous. It can make you gravely ill and can also be potentially lethal.
  • Lionfish: This fish is venomous, and it is primarily found in the Caribbean.
  • Sea snakes: The bite of a sea snake can be fatal, which is why they are considered to be dangerous especially for anglers.
  • Tiger sharks: Tiger sharks are known to attack humans unprovoked and can tear out the flesh with their specially designed teeth.
  • Box jellyfish: The bodies of box jellyfishes have tiny darts that are loaded with poison. Once stung by them, humans and animals can experience cardiac arrest, paralysis, or even death.

Considering how much of the world’s oceans still are hidden from access (due to their depth), it is likely that many more dangerous animals are still around. Perhaps the most dangerous part of these waters is that animals may be waiting to attack if anyone decides to go beyond what is already known to scientists.

Endangered Animals

Anglerfish (Monkfish) with large mouth lurking for food on the sandy bottom of Osezaki, Japan

Anglerfish (Monkfish) with largemouth lurks for food on the sandy bottom of Osezaki, Japan. It is among the endangered ocean animals.

©Martin Voeller/Shutterstock.com

Despite the wildlife and ocean animals around the world being diverse and unique, there is always a threat to these animals being endangered or extinct. In fact, approximately one-third of the animals in oceans today are currently endangered. Some of these endangered animals include:

Pollution is a major threat to marine creatures around the world. As many as one million animals are killed each year from the trash and other debris that humans leave behind in the ocean. Conservation efforts are being made by companies like Ocean Conservancy and Oceana.

As of 2015, 15 different animals have got extinct so far, including the great auk and the Caribbean monk seal. Most of the animals were never photographed, leaving researchers only to guess what they may have once looked like.

Ocean Animals: Birds

Types of Big Birds

Most penguins, including Emperor penguins, inhabit the coastal shores in the southern hemisphere.

©robert mcgillivray/Shutterstock.com

While there aren’t any birds that live in the ocean, there are many different types of birds that inhabit coastal shores or spend most of their time at sea.

Types of seabirds include:

  • Penguins: There are 18 species of penguins, almost all of which are found in the southern hemisphere. The only exception is Galapagos penguins. Penguins live in a variety of habitats, from Galapagos penguins on tropical islands to emperor penguins in the Antarctic. Most species live somewhere in-between. They are all highly specialized for marine life.
  • Petrels: Petrels are pelagic birds, meaning they spend almost all of their time at sea. They only return to land for breeding. Petrels are found in all oceans. Most species reside north of New Zealand. There are four main groups of petrels; prions, shearwaters, fulmarines, and gadflys. Breeding and migration vary based on species and location.
  • Pelicans: Pelicans are native to all continents except Antarctica. There are eight living species of pelicans. Not all pelicans migrate, some populations stay on coasts year-round. Others migrate to warmer climates during breeding season.
  • Gulls and Terns: Gulls and terns are closely related and have similar lifestyles. They spend breeding seasons on coastal or offshore islands and take to the open sea during non-breeding seasons. Some species are pelagic. Terns inhabit all continents except for Antarctica, while gulls are found worldwide.

Types of Fish In The Ocean

grass carp

The grass carp is one of the 5 most common fish in the ocean.

©Vladimir Wrangel/Shutterstock.com

Fish inhabit every ocean and nearly all marine habitats and oceanic zones. It is the world’s largest ecosystem, not only home to many animals but also provides food, jobs, and entertainment for humans.

One main category of animals in the ocean is fish, with an estimated 20,000 species of fish in the oceans around the world from coastal waters to the open sea.

The 5 most common fish in the ocean:

  • Grass Carp
  • Peruvian Anchoveta
  • Silver Carp
  • Common Carp
  • Alaska Pollock

Due to their popularity, fish can make excellent pets. There are some strict requirements, though, to make their habitat a great one, namely proper water. You can own freshwater fish or saltwater fish, with the latter the more exciting prospect. On average, be prepared to spend $1,000 to $2,000 on a medium-sized saltwater tank with all the accessories and the fish.

Some of the most popular saltwater aquarium fish:

Ocean Animals: Snakes

Where Do Snakes Live

There are many species of snakes native to the ocean, like this Banded Sea Snake.

©Rich Carey/Shutterstock.com

Most people don’t think of snakes when they picture the ocean. In fact, there are 69 species of snakes native to the ocean, almost all of which are venomous. There are two groups of sea snakes, also known as coral reef snakes; true sea snakes, and sea kraits. Sea kraits don’t have as many adaptations for marine life. The bodies of true sea snakes have evolved for a life completely in water, while sea kraits can go on land. True sea snakes even give birth in water. Sea kraits lay eggs on land.

Sea snakes are found in tropical waters between the Indian and western Pacific Oceans. Most of them live in coral reefs and estuaries. The yellow-bellied sea snake is the only species that lives in open waters away from the coasts. It is found in all oceans except for the Atlantic.

The 6 Rarest Ocean Animals

Frilled shark (Chlamydoselachus anguineus)

Under the ocean is the ancient-looking frilled shark, which looks and moves more like an eel.

©OpenCage / CC BY-SA 2.5 – Original / License

The ocean is a vast space, so as you can imagine, there are many animals that live in and around the water, some all the way to the bottom, where it is dark and mysterious. There are plenty of ocean species we have yet to find, and new ones are added each year by scientists who have made wonderful discoveries.

Here are 6 of the rarest ocean animals we know to exist:

  • Black Swallower: This fish has the extraordinary ability to completely engulf its prey. It can swallow almost any creature twice its size and 10 times its mass because its stomach has the ability to stretch to that size. It is found in the dark depths of the ocean.
  • Tongue-Eating Louse: This isn’t a fish, but an unusual animal that lives inside a fish! Its job is to completely atrophy, disintegrate and destroy its host’s tongue by sucking its blood, which then replaces the tongue, with itself. That’s not a fun companion animal, is it?
  • Spotted Wobbegong: This animal looks more like a carpet than a shark but it is one of the rarest sharks in the world. Its flattened body and ability to blend in with its surroundings help it be a great hunter and predator, worthy of the shark classification.
  • Frilled Shark: This animal might give you nightmares. Under the depths of the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans is this ancient-looking shark, with a body like an eel. It moves through the water much like one and bites its prey like a snake. It is also known to swallow its food whole, which often consists of squid.
  • Blobfish: Labeled the world’s ugliest fish, this animal lives in the deep oceans off of Australia and Tasmania. Due to the high pressure at the depth where it lives, the blobfish has very little muscle, making it look like a gelatinous mass. In all actuality, it looks more like a fish when it’s in the fish’s natural habitat, but when brought up to less depth, it turns into … well, a blob!
  • Dumbo Octopus: A little less scary, a dumbo octopus lives in extreme ocean depths off the coast of the Philippines, New Zealand, and Australia. It is named after the Disney elephant because of the big round “ears” it uses to help it swim. The dumbo octopus also is one of the few species of octopus that do not have an ink sac, as it has few natural predators. 

The 5 Largest Ocean Animals

Giant Manta Ray swimming

Giant Manta Ray can have a wingspan of close to 30 feet!


The ocean can produce many large animals, with some the size of buildings! There are many species and subspecies of marine life that roam the ocean, with the buoyancy of water to help them navigate their large bodies.

Here are the top 5 largest ocean animals:

  • Blue Whale: The No. 1 animal on all the lists is the blue whale. That’s because it can grow up to 100 feet long and weigh up to 200 tons. A blue whale has the world’s largest lung capacity at 1,300 gallons, a tongue that can weigh as much as an elephant, and a heart that can weigh as much as an automobile at 400 pounds. Lucky for humans, it actually eats krill, up to 8,000 pounds per day!
  • Ocean Sunfish: This animal is the largest bony fish in the world. It can weigh between a measly 545 pounds to nearly 5,000 pounds! Fin to fin, its length is about 8 feet, though some have been discovered at 10 feet long. It is flattened laterally, and its main diet consists of small fish, fish larvae, squid, and crustaceans.
  • Giant Manta Ray: Another majestic ocean giant is the giant manta ray. Graceful and gentle, this animal can have a wingspan of close to 30 feet, and it mainly feeds on zooplankton. Also, the giant manta ray is very smart, possessing the largest brain of any ocean fish.
  • Lion’s Mane Jellyfish: The largest jelly species in the world, this animal lives in cooler waters off the coast of Washington and Alaska in the North Pacific Ocean. Its tentacles can reach up to 120 feet long! Though it has a powerful sting for its prey, it often doesn’t kill humans, only providing a very painful situation.
  • Giant Squid: An elusive creature, the giant squid is still a mystery to this world. It lives deep in the ocean, and most studies come from dead carcasses that wash on shore. The longest specimen recorded was 43 feet and possibly weighed about a ton. Its feeding tentacles are the longest part, which can be used to catch prey up to 33 feet away.

Sea Countries Animals Lists

Click any of the countries below to see a detailed list of animals located in that country!

Sea Animals

Adélie Penguin

Eats up to 2kg of food per day!

African Penguin

The only penguin species in Africa!

Alaskan Pollock

It's one of the most commonly eaten fish in the world

Albacore Tuna

The albacore is a very fast swimmer


The largest wingspan of any bird in the world!


The Albertonectes had the longest neck out of other Elasmosaurids.

Aldabra Giant Tortoise

One got to be 255 years old!

American Alligator

They have two sets of eyelids!


Amberjack can grow up to 200 pounds

American Eel

Don't eat raw eel! Their blood is poisonous to humans when consumed raw.


November 12th is celebrated as National Pizza with the Works Except Anchovies Day


There are 70 different species!


The anglerfish has a glowing lure on its head to attract unsuspecting prey

Antarctic Scale Worm

Similar in length to a rat or squirrel

Arctic Char

Arctic char is the northern-most fish; no other fish lives anywhere further north!

Atlantic Cod

One of the most popular food fishes in the world

Atlantic Salmon

These fish are known for their ability to leap and fight when hooked.

Australian Flathead Perch

This small fish fetches a high price tag, with individuals selling from $1,000 to $5,000.

Baleen Whale

“Sings” a whale song during breeding season.

Banana Eel

Named for the yellow body and brown spots that make it look like a banana.


Closely related to crabs and lobsters!


Can grow to nearly 2 meters long!

Barramundi Fish

Scale rings indicate age

Barreleye Fish (Barrel Eye)

A barreleye fish's eyes can rotate in their head to look for prey.


Prized by sport fishers for their size and strength


The batfish has a lure on its head to attract prey

Bearded Fireworm

They emit bioluminescence during their mating ritual.


Builds a dam from sticks and leaves!

Beluga Sturgeon

The beluga sturgeon is one of the largest bony fish in the world!

Bigfin Reef Squid 

Can change color through use of chromatophores


Not all birds are able to fly!

Black Marlin

Every black marlin is born as a female.

Blackfin Tuna

expensive sushi-grade tuna

Blacknose Shark

When threatened, Blacknose sharks raise their head, arch their back, and lower their pectoral fins.

Blacktip Reef Shark

They move in and out of mangrove swamps with the tides.

Blacktip Shark 

One of the most commonly-encountered sharks

Bladefin Basslet

The tiny bladefin basslet belongs to the same subfamily as the giant grouper, Epinephelinae.

Blanket Octopus

Females can weigh up to 40,000 times more than their partners.


One of the ugliest creatures in existence!

Blue Dragon Sea Slug

They inflict a painful, venomous sting

Blue-Ringed Octopus

The blue-ringed octopus produces some of the deadliest poison in the world

Blue Shark

Blue sharks can have up to 135 pups at a time.

Blue Tang

One of the most colorful members of the genus Acanthurus

Blue Whale

The largest animal on Earth

Bluefin Tuna

The bluefin is one of the largest fish in the world


Bluefish are known for their "bluefish blitzes," where they chase schools of small baitfish to the surface, creating a feeding frenzy visible from the shore.


Bonefish have migratory habits, moving from shallow waters to deeper waters during different times of the year.

Bonito Fish

May eat squid or other small invertebrate ocean life

Bonnethead Shark

Bonnetheads are the only hammerhead sharks that use their pectoral fins to swim.


Seabirds found across the South Pacific!

Borneo Elephant

The smallest species of elephant!

Bottlenose Dolphin

Stays in groups from 15 to 2,000 in number!'

Box Jellyfish

Venomous marine animals


Can release a toxin from its skin

Bronze Whaler Shark

The Bronze Whaler Sharks only hunt in large groups.

Bull Shark

Unpredictable and aggressive temperament!


Has loud cow-like calls!


There are thought to be up 17,500 species!

Butterfly Fish

There are more than 100 different species!

Caribbean Reef Shark

These sharks are a big part of ecotoursim in the Caribbean.


There are nearly 3,000 different species!


Also called ghost shark

Chinook Salmon

The Chinook salmon undertakes a long migration for the spawning season

Chinstrap Penguin

There are 7 million breeding pairs!


Chitons are closely related to snails, oysters, and mussels because of their shared phylum

Christmas Island Red Crab

During the breeding season, roads can dangerous for cars as well as the crab. Their shells are so hard they can puncture tires.

Chromodoris Willani

Their skin is toxic

Clearnose Skate

The skate with translucent nose patches


Also known as the anemonefish!

Cobia Fish

It has teeth not only in its jaws but in its tongue and the roof of its mouth


Cockles live quite long; their lifespan usually ranges from 5 to 10 years in the wild.

Coconut Crab 

The largest terrestrial arthropod in the world


Codfish are carnivorous and eat other fish, including young codfish.

Colossal Squid

Can survive eating a single fish for months

Cone Snail

Beautiful, but deadly!

Conger Eel

The European Conger ( Conger conger) can weigh as much as an adult human!

Cookiecutter Shark

The cookiecutter shark takes its name because it leaves a cookie-shaped bite hole in its prey.


There are more than 6000 species of coral in the world's oceans.


There are 93 different crab groups

Crappie Fish

The crappie is one of the most popular freshwater fish in North America.

Crested Penguin

Has long yellow eyebrows!

Crocodile Shark

Responsible for damaging fiber optic cables laid by AT&T in 1985

Cubera Snapper

While very intimidating, the cubera snapper also falls prey to other marine animals like barracudas, whale sharks, and moray eels.


Found throughout the world's oceans!


Damselfish belong to the family Pomacentridae

Decorator Crab

Recycle old decorations when they molt

Disco Clam

Can spray acidic mucus at predators


Can reach speeds of up to 25 mph!

Dragon Eel

Dragon eels have double jaws and two sets of razor-sharp teeth


It's larvae are carnivorous!

Drum Fish

The drum fish makes a croaking sound with its swimming bladder!


Rows of tiny plates line their teeth!


Closely related to the Manatee!

Dusky Dolphin

Communicates using whistles, squeaks and clicks!

Eagle Ray

Majestic underwater bird like fish


Eels can be a mere few inches long to 13 feet!


Not actually "eels"

Elephant Seal

The largest species of seal in the world!

Emperor Angelfish

One of the most beautiful fish on the planet!

Emperor Penguin

The world's largest species of penguin!


Its system can’t metabolize wax esters, which can lead to unpleasantness for diners.

False Killer Whale

The false killer whale looks like a cross between a dolphin and orca!


Has the largest teeth compared to body size of any known fish!

Feather Star

Feather stars look like flowers. They have no heart, eyes, or brain.

Fin Whale

Found throughout ocean waters worldwide!


Respire through the gills on their heads!


A flat fish found in the Atlantic and Pacific!

Flounder Fish

There are around 240 different species of Flounder fish

Fluke Fish (summer flounder)

The chameleon of the seas!


There are more than 240,000 different species!

Flying Fish

Can glide in the air for hundreds of feet

Football Fish

The football fish is named after its unusual round or oblong shape

Freshwater Eel

Freshwater eels are actually catadromous, meaning they migrate to saltwater to spawn


Found inhabiting tropical islands and coasts!


The frogfish can change colors, but it takes several weeks to do so

Fur Seal

Found only in the Northern Hemisphere!

Galapagos Penguin

Found around the Equator!

Galapagos Tortoise

The biggest species of tortoise in the world!

Garden Eel

Garden eel colonies are made up of hundreds to thousands of individuals.

Gentoo Penguin

Found throughout the sub-Antarctic!

Ghost Crab

Their eyestalks, which are sometimes horned, can swivel 360 degrees

Giant Clam

Can reach nearly 4ft in length!

Giant Isopod

Giant isopods are the largest group of isopods in the world

Giant Siphonophore

The giant siphonophore is longer than the largest sea mammal – the blue whale.

Giant Trevally

The largest fish in its genus

Goby Fish

Some Goby species are toxic.


There are 29 different species!


The goshawk is a popular choice among European falconers

Great Hammerhead Shark

Great hammerhead sharks have a 360 view because their eyes are situated on the ends of their mallet-like heads.

Great White Shark

Can grow to more than 8 meters long!

Greenland Shark

This shark has the longest lifespan of any vertebrate.

Grey Reef Shark

One of the most common shark species!

Grey Seal

One of the rarest species of seal on Earth


Many grouper can change their sex, and it is always from female to male.


Their whole bodies are edible

Gulper Eel 

Gulper eels have a similar lifespan to humans and can live up to 85 years old. However, their age depends on their habitat and the availability of food.


The haddock is very popular in both recreational and commercial fishing


Can use slime to suffocate marine predators or escape capture

Hairy Frogfish

Hairy frogfish can eat prey as large as themselves by swallowing them whole.


The word "halibut" is comes from haly meaning "holy" and butte meaning flat fish due to its popularity on Catholic holy days.

Hammerhead Shark

Found in coastal waters around the world!

Harbor Porpoise

Surprisingly, not a dolphin!

Harbor Seal

Harbor seals can dive as deep as 1400 feet

Hardhead Catfish

The hardhead catfish has a sharp spine near its fin to inject venom

Harp Seal

The harp seal can migrate up to 3,000 miles every year

Hermit Crab

There are over 500 different species!


People enjoy the taste of the oily fish in many different ways including pickled, smoked, salted, dried and fermented.

Hook-Nosed Sea Snake

Sea snakes are the most numerous venomous reptiles on Earth.

Horn Shark

Endemic to the Californian coast!

Horse Mackerel

Got their name from a myth that other fish would ride them over great distances

Horseshoe Crab

Changed little in over 500 million years!

Humboldt Penguin

Found on the South American coast!

Humboldt Squid

The Humboldt squid can change colors to communicate

Humpback Whale

There are thought to be 80,000 left in the wild!


Gave birth to live young instead of laying eggs like other reptiles

Immortal Jellyfish

Excellent hitchhiker on long-trip cargo ships

Indian Palm Squirrel

Natively found in parts of India and Sri Lanka!


There are an estimated 30 million species!

Jack Crevalle

One of the biggest species in the Caranx genus


Have tentacles around their mouths!

John Dory

The John Dory is often labeled one of the ugliest fish in the world and has no known relatives.

Keta Salmon

During spawning the look of the male changes. Among other things, he grows a beak called a kype that bears fangs.

Killer Whale

Typically consumes over 200 kg of food a day!

King Crab

Can have a leg span of nearly 2 meters!

King Penguin

More than 2 million breeding pairs!

King Salmon

Largest of the Pacific salmon


Inhabits wetlands and woodlands worldwide!


A delicacy in South Africa


The krill is perhaps the most important animal in the marine ecosystem!


Not related to the eel


Lancetfish live at depths up to 6,500 feet below sea level

Leopard Seal

The world's most aggressive seal species!

Leopard Shark

Leopard Sharks have teeth with three points.


Can change sex from male to female and back again


Females can release up to 15,000 eggs at a time!

Lion’s Mane Jellyfish

Though it’s a huge animal, the lifespan of the lion’s mane jellyfish is only a year.

Little Penguin

The smallest species of penguin!


The Livyatan had 1 to 1.2 foot long, interlocking teeth


Have been known to reach 100 years old!


The lumpfish have sticky suction cups on their fins

Macaroni Penguin

Gather in colonies of up to 100,000 members!

Magellanic Penguin

Threatened by oil spills!

Mahi Mahi (Dolphin Fish)

It's called the rabbit of the ocean because it multiplies so quickly.

Man of War Jellyfish

Named for an 18th century warship


Also known as the Sea Cow!

Mangrove Snapper

Tagging studies have found that once adults establish a habitat they typically remain there for long periods. In fact, they found that these fish can stay in one area for up to 4 years.

Manta Ray

Can grow up to 9m wide!

Megamouth Shark

Swims with its mouth open to capture prey


Females lay up to 5 million eggs at one time in warm, shallow and salty waters

Minke Whale

There are two recognised species!


The mojarra's protruding mouth allows it to sift along the seabed for food

Mola mola (Ocean Sunfish)

The ocean sunfish is the biggest bony fish in the world

Moon Jellyfish

Moon Jellies are bioluminescent, so they glow in the dark! They can also de-age!

Moray Eel

Sometimes, groupers invite moray eels to help them hunt!


The Mosasaurus was much longer than the fearsome Tyrannosaur rex.


They walk on land

Mullet Fish

The Striped Mullet is one of the best-known and most easily identified species, with black horizontal stripes along its body.


Living fossils that evolved over 500 million years ago

Neptune Grouper

The largest recorded specimen ever caught was 17" long

Northern Fur Seal

Dense underfur means they don’t need blubber to stay warm


They get toxins from their prey to use it against predators.

Nurse Shark

Commonly found in Central American waters!


The Giant oarfish (Regalecus glesne) holds the Guinness Book of World Records for the longest bony fish in the world.

Ocean Perch

As a scorpionfish, the ocean perch has spines along its back!

Ocean Pout

Females guard their eggs for up to 3 months

Ocean Whitefish

Common around Southern California


There are around 300 different species!


They live in deep water as far as 2,600 feet below the water’s surface.

Olive Sea Snake

Olive sea snakes can stay underwater for two hours without taking a breath.


Opah are brightly colored, with red-orange fins and a silvery body.

Orange Roughy 

One of the oldest commercially harvested fish


Oldest and most common extant crustaceans


Can process up to 10 litres of water an hour!

Oyster Toadfish

The oyster toadfish can produce poison to protect itself

Pacific Sleeper Shark

In 2015, a Pacific Sleeper Shark was filmed living underneath an active volcano near the Solomon Islands. This shark is able to survive in waters with very high temperatures and acidity!


The parrotfish can change from female to male at some point in its life.


Spends 75% of it's time hunting for food!

Peppermint Angelfish

The peppermint angelfish was only first described in 1992.

Pink Salmon

The smallest of the North American salmon


The male pipefish has the ability to carry fertilized eggs with him


Plesiosaur had a short tail and an extremely long neck

Polar Bear

Could be extinct within the next 30 years!

Pollock Fish

Pollock is a nutritious fish, generally readily available for human consumption, and more sustainable and affordable than other whitefish species like hake or haddock.

Pompano Fish

They are bottom-feeders

Porbeagle Shark

The porbeagle is one of the few sharks that jumps out of the water


The Porcupinefish secrete a potent neurotoxin known as tetrodotoxin; this poison can kill both people and predators.


Closely related to crabs and lobsters!


The second most poisonous creature in the world!


Can remain in the water for up to 2 minutes!

Pygmy Shark

Pygmy sharks underbelly glows to attract prey that swims beneath it.


They float with the current.

Quahog Clam

Their hinged shell protects their soft body

Red Drum Fish

There were a few sightings of red drums in the Mediterranean Sea off Sicily and Israel, but they do not naturally occur there, so theories are they escaped from fish farms.

Reef Shark

Grey reef sharks can give birth without males


Also known as the Caribou

Rock Crab

Males will fight each other to get to females.


These fish can grow up to three feet long!

Rockhopper Penguin

There are 3 different species!

Royal Penguin

Can reach speeds of 20mph!


Fast billfish with a sail-like dorsal fin


Returns upstream every year to spawn

Salmon Shark

Salmon sharks are related to Great Whites.

Sand Dollar

Sand Dollar skeletons make popular collection items for seashell collectors.

Sand Tiger Shark

The sand tiger is the shark most commonly seen in aquariums.


Legs also function as gills


Schools of sardines can be miles long and are often visible from an airplane


Sawfish teeth keep growing as the fish gets older


Scallops begin their lives by attaching to sea grass on the ocean floor.

Scorpion Fish

There are more than 200 recognised species!

Sea Anemone

Creatures have characteristics of both animal and plant

Sea Dragon

Inhabits tropical coastal waters of Australia!

Sea Eagle

The sea eagle tends to mate for life with a single partner

Sea Lion

It's flippers allow it to walk on the land

Sea Otter

Eats over 40 different marine species!

Sea Slug

All sea slugs have both male and female sex organs

Sea Snake

The sea snake is incredibly venomous, even more than a cobra!”

Sea Spider

These animals breathe through their legs

Sea Squirt

There are more than 3,000 known species!

Sea Turtle

Always return to the same beach to lay eggs!

Sea Urchin

Can live for up to 200 years!


Some gulls are capable of using tools


Males give birth to up to 1,000 offspring!


There are 30 different species worldwide!

Sei Whale

This whale is one of the fastest of the cetaceans


No shark species has any bones in their bodies

Shortfin Mako Shark

Shortfin Mako sharks can jump 20 feet above the water!”


There are 2,000 different species worldwide!

Silky Shark

Has an extremely acute sense of hearing

Sixgill shark

The sixgill shark has six pairs of gills instead of the normal five

Skipjack Tuna

The skipjack is the most commonly caught tuna in the world

Sleeper Shark

The Greenland shark is one of the longest living vertebrates in the world.

Smooth Hammerhead Shark

Congregate in large groups during annual migrations


There are nearly 1,000 different species!


The deepest ocean-dweller is a snailfish who was found over 26,700 feet below sea level.

Snook Fish

Males change into females after the spawning season

Snow Crab

Snow crabs communicate with each other by waving or drumming their pincers.

Snowy Owl

One of the largest owl species in the world!

Sockeye Salmon

Called "red salmon" because their skin turns bright red to dirty red during spawning season

Spanish Mackerel

Spanish mackerel typically live to the age of 12, but there have been cases of these fish living as long as 25 years!

Speckled Trout

Speckled trout are not actually a species of trout.

Sperm Whale

Each tooth weighs 1kg!

Spinner Shark

Can have up to 20 babies

Spiny Dogfish

Found in ocean waters worldwide!


There are more than 9,000 known species!


Some species are known to have 10 arms!


Uses vibrations to communicate with other fish


Has 2 stomachs to aid digestion!

Stargazer Fish

Uses an electric shock to stun its prey!

Steller’s Sea Cow

Hunted to extinction in 17 years!


It's stinger is razor-sharp or serrated!

Stone Crab

Females can lay up to a million eggs in one sitting


The most venomous fish in the world

Stoplight Loosejaw

Emit red light to hunt via bioluminescent photophores

Strawberry Hermit Crab

When strawberry hermit crabs find shells that are larger than their own, they gather in a line from biggest to smallest. Once the biggest one sheds its shell, the next one in line will claim it, which is repeated down the line.


Large species can swallow whole salmon


Paracanthurus hepatus, the palette surgeonfish or bluetang, is the only member of its genus


Lose their scales and teeth as adults


Found around shallow coral reefs!


Its genus dates back to the Cretaceous period – 113 million years ago

Telescope Fish

Swallows food, much of it larger than them, whole

Thornback Ray

The skate with the biggest spines!

Thresher Shark

Thresher Sharks have a distinctive, thresher-like tail.

Tiger Salamander

Found across the North American wetlands!


Can be heard out of water


There are 40 species of Triggerfish, all with different coloring and patterns.


Nests on tropical islands and cliffs!


The tuna has a sleek body that enables it to swim quickly through the water


Some species of aquatic turtles can get up to 70 percent of their oxygen through their butt.

Vampire Crab 

Vampire crabs do not depend on saltwater for their development; instead, they live near freshwater rivers and in forests amongst rocks and dense vegetation.


Smallest cetacean in the ocean

Viper Shark (dogfish)

Most data on these fish is based on observations near Japan.


Viperfish have a bioluminescent spine on their dorsal fin.

Volcano Snail

The volcano snail lives comfortably in temperatures of up to 750 degrees Fahrenheit.

Wahoo Fish

Wahoo can change colors when they're excited and while they hunt


Inhabits the freezing waters of the Arctic Circle!

Wandering Albatross

Featured in “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner”

Whale Shark

The largest species of fish in the world!

White Marlin

speedy open ocean billfish

White Shark

White Sharks live in all of the world's oceans.


"Whiting" can refer to certain other species of ray-finned fish

Wolf Eel

Wolf Eels may become tame and interact with human in areas where people frequently dive.


The wolffish has impressive canines with a powerful bite force!

Woolly Mammoth

Tusks grew to 16ft long!


There are more than 500 different species!

Wrought Iron Butterflyfish

Is endemic to Japan.

Yellow-Bellied Sea Snake

Sea snakes spend approximately 90% of their lives under water.

Yellow-Eyed Penguin

The rarest species of penguin!

Yellowfin Tuna

The yellowfin forms schools with other tuna species

Yellowtail Snapper

Fast moving ocean fish with a long yellow stripe.

Yeti Crab

The yeti crab has hairy arms, which collect bacteria to feed on

Zebra Mussels

A female zebra mussel can deposit 30,000 to 1,000,000 eggs each year!

Zebra Shark

Can get to be 30 years old in the wild!

Sea Animals List

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About the Author

Bethany is a professional copywriter and editor, working with newspapers, small businesses, Fortune 500 companies, and everything in-between. She graduated from Penn State University with degrees in journalism and international studies. She loves her cat, Maggie, and has had numerous pets over the years, including guinea pigs, hermit crabs, fish, and a red-eared slider turtle. She lives among farmlands in southcentral PA and enjoys gardening, cooking, reading, and sewing.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

What are the most common animals in the oceans?

Some of the most common marine creatures include whale sharks, sharks, catfishes, jellyfishes, sea snakes, sea horses, fish, and sea turtles. However, the world is filled with unexplored territories, so it is possible that many more animals exist that could outnumber the species that researchers have already discovered.
Of the animals that researchers know about, approximately 15 animals have gone extinct.

Where was the largest wave ever surfed?

The largest wave ever surfed measured 86ft in height and was ridden by a man named Sebastian Steudtner from Germany. The record was set in October 2020 in Praia do Norte in Nazaré, Portugal.

What lives at the bottom of the ocean?

Creatures that live at the bottom of the ocean include tripod fish, rattail fish, sea cucumbers, octopuses, snailfish, zombie worms, dragonfish, goblin shark, pelican eels and more!