Below you can find a complete list of Atlantic Ocean animals. We currently track 196 animals in the Atlantic and are adding more every day!
The Atlantic Ocean is a warm body of saltwater, the second largest ocean on the planet.
The Atlantic is home to a litany of wildlife. From the smallest creatures to massive mammals, from the dangerous to the nearly extinct, the Atlantic is a fascinating world.
Let’s take a look at the Atlantic Ocean and its inhabitants.
What Thrives in the Atlantic Ocean?
South and North America, Africa, and Europe border the Atlantic Ocean. It is the richest fishing water on Earth. The wildlife consists of ghost crabs, sharks, starfish, sea turtles, and much more.
There are a variety of species considered endangered. This includes whales, the manatee, albatrosses, and sea lions. A lot of that is due to interference by humankind. There is also overfishing, accidental netting, and pollution.
Besides being the second largest body of water, one of the most interesting facts about the region is the Atlantic can also boast of being the world’s second most dangerous ocean. And we’re not talking about the unique animals in national waters. You can add surface temperatures, coastal winds, and water currents to the list.
The Most Dangerous Animals in the Atlantic Ocean Today
The ocean is a dangerous place. It’s inhabited by creatures whose sole code is survival.
From the outright aggressive and vicious down to the poisonous, there is a reason they call it wildlife. Here is a list and some facts about three dangerous and unique animals we want to watch out for.
- Great White Shark – Despite what the movies want you to believe, the Great White isn’t looking to chomp on human flesh but it inexplicably happens. Compared to other sharks in the Atlantic Ocean, these dangerous animals are the world’s largest predatory fish and are extremely powerful. The Great White swims all over the planet, but the scientific community believes numbers are going down due to hunting and habitat loss.
- Lionfish – It’s said the lionfish was originally brought to and intentionally released into the Atlantic. Recognized by its spiky fin rays, the lionfish is pretty dang venomous. The sting isn’t fatal but extremely painful. But the lionfish aren’t predatory animals. They attack when disturbed.
- Manta Ray – The manta, or devil, ray swims at or near the ocean surface. Their whiplike tails can leave a pretty painful lash. Some manta ray tails have one or more unique stinging spines. The smallest of the species will grow close to two feet. The largest may grow as large as 23 feet.
Where to Find The Top Wild Animals In the Atlantic Ocean
Considering the expanse of an ocean, it can be hard to determine where to find a specific species in national waters. But it’s not impossible.
The main species found in the northwest region of the Atlantic are:
Among the creatures in the Northeast Atlantic are:
- Blue whiting
In the southwest region of the ocean, the list of animals include:
The Southeast Atlantic is home to:
- Cape horse mackerel
Endangered Animals in The Atlantic Ocean
Humankind and its determined need for progress continue to leave the world inundated with endangered animals. Oil spills, hunting, pollution, and waste all play a role in destroying ecosystems.
Here are the species looking to be extinct if humankind does nothing to preserve them.
Sea Countries Animals Lists
Click any of the countries below to see a detailed list of animals located in that country!
Eats up to 2kg of food per day!
The only penguin species in Africa!
It's one of the most commonly eaten fish in the world
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.
One got to be 255 years old!
They have two sets of eyelids!
Amberjack can grow up to 200 pounds
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
Similar in length to a rat or squirrel
Arctic char is the northern-most fish; no other fish lives anywhere further north!
One of the most popular food fishes in the world
These fish are known for their ability to leap and fight when hooked.
This small fish fetches a high price tag, with individuals selling from $1,000 to $5,000.
“Sings” a whale song during breeding season.
Named for the yellow body and brown spots that make it look like a banana.
Can grow to nearly 2 meters long!
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
They emit bioluminescence during their mating ritual.
Builds a dam from sticks and leaves!
The beluga sturgeon is one of the largest bony fish in the world!
Can change color through use of chromatophores
Not all birds are able to fly!
Every black marlin is born as a female.
expensive sushi-grade tuna
When threatened, Blacknose sharks raise their head, arch their back, and lower their pectoral fins.
They move in and out of mangrove swamps with the tides.
One of the most commonly-encountered sharks
The tiny bladefin basslet belongs to the same subfamily as the giant grouper, Epinephelinae.
Females can weigh up to 40,000 times more than their partners.
One of the ugliest creatures in existence!
They inflict a painful, venomous sting
The blue-ringed octopus produces some of the deadliest poison in the world
Blue sharks can have up to 135 pups at a time.
One of the most colorful members of the genus Acanthurus
The largest animal on Earth
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.
May eat squid or other small invertebrate ocean life
Bonnetheads are the only hammerhead sharks that use their pectoral fins to swim.
Seabirds found across the South Pacific!
The smallest species of elephant!
Stays in groups from 15 to 2,000 in number!'
Can release a toxin from its skin
The Bronze Whaler Sharks only hunt in large groups.
Unpredictable and aggressive temperament!
There are thought to be up 17,500 species!
There are more than 100 different species!
These sharks are a big part of ecotoursim in the Caribbean.
There are nearly 3,000 different species!
The Chinook salmon undertakes a long migration for the spawning season
There are 7 million breeding pairs!
Chitons are closely related to snails, oysters, and mussels because of their shared phylum
During the breeding season, roads can dangerous for cars as well as the crab. Their shells are so hard they can puncture tires.
The skate with translucent nose patches
Also known as the anemonefish!
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.
The largest terrestrial arthropod in the world
Codfish are carnivorous and eat other fish, including young codfish.
Can survive eating a single fish for months
The European Conger ( Conger conger) can weigh as much as an adult human!
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
The crappie is one of the most popular freshwater fish in North America.
Has long yellow eyebrows!
Responsible for damaging fiber optic cables laid by AT&T in 1985
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
Recycle old decorations when they molt
Can spray acidic mucus at predators
Can reach speeds of up to 25 mph!
Dragon eels have double jaws and two sets of razor-sharp teeth
It's larvae are carnivorous!
The drum fish makes a croaking sound with its swimming bladder!
Rows of tiny plates line their teeth!
Closely related to the Manatee!
Communicates using whistles, squeaks and clicks!
Majestic underwater bird like fish
Eels can be a mere few inches long to 13 feet!
The largest species of seal in the world!
One of the most beautiful fish on the planet!
The world's largest species of penguin!
Its system can’t metabolize wax esters, which can lead to unpleasantness for diners.
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 stars look like flowers. They have no heart, eyes, or brain.
Found throughout ocean waters worldwide!
Respire through the gills on their heads!
A flat fish found in the Atlantic and Pacific!
There are around 240 different species of Flounder fish
The chameleon of the seas!
There are more than 240,000 different species!
Can glide in the air for hundreds of feet
The football fish is named after its unusual round or oblong shape
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
Found only in the Northern Hemisphere!
Found around the Equator!
The biggest species of tortoise in the world!
Garden eel colonies are made up of hundreds to thousands of individuals.
Found throughout the sub-Antarctic!
Their eyestalks, which are sometimes horned, can swivel 360 degrees
Can reach nearly 4ft in length!
Giant isopods are the largest group of isopods in the world
The giant siphonophore is longer than the largest sea mammal – the blue whale.
The largest fish in its genus
Some Goby species are toxic.
There are 29 different species!
The goshawk is a popular choice among European falconers
Great hammerhead sharks have a 360 view because their eyes are situated on the ends of their mallet-like heads.
Can grow to more than 8 meters long!
This shark has the longest lifespan of any vertebrate.
One of the most common shark species!
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 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 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.
Found in coastal waters around the world!
Surprisingly, not a dolphin!
Harbor seals can dive as deep as 1400 feet
The hardhead catfish has a sharp spine near its fin to inject venom
The harp seal can migrate up to 3,000 miles every year
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.
Sea snakes are the most numerous venomous reptiles on Earth.
Endemic to the Californian coast!
Got their name from a myth that other fish would ride them over great distances
Changed little in over 500 million years!
Found on the South American coast!
The Humboldt squid can change colors to communicate
There are thought to be 80,000 left in the wild!
Gave birth to live young instead of laying eggs like other reptiles
Excellent hitchhiker on long-trip cargo ships
Natively found in parts of India and Sri Lanka!
There are an estimated 30 million species!
One of the biggest species in the Caranx genus
Have tentacles around their mouths!
The John Dory is often labeled one of the ugliest fish in the world and has no known relatives.
During spawning the look of the male changes. Among other things, he grows a beak called a kype that bears fangs.
Typically consumes over 200 kg of food a day!
Can have a leg span of nearly 2 meters!
More than 2 million breeding pairs!
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!
Lancetfish live at depths up to 6,500 feet below sea level
The world's most aggressive seal species!
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!
Though it’s a huge animal, the lifespan of the lion’s mane jellyfish is only a year.
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
Gather in colonies of up to 100,000 members!
Threatened by oil spills!
It's called the rabbit of the ocean because it multiplies so quickly.
Named for an 18th century warship
Also known as the Sea Cow!
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.
Swims with its mouth open to capture prey
Females lay up to 5 million eggs at one time in warm, shallow and salty waters
There are two recognised species!
The mojarra's protruding mouth allows it to sift along the seabed for food
The ocean sunfish is the biggest bony fish in the world
Moon Jellies are bioluminescent, so they glow in the dark! They can also de-age!
Sometimes, groupers invite moray eels to help them hunt!
The Mosasaurus was much longer than the fearsome Tyrannosaur rex.
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
Nematodes range in size from 1/10 of an inch to 28 feet long
The largest recorded specimen ever caught was 17" long
Dense underfur means they don’t need blubber to stay warm
They get toxins from their prey to use it against predators.
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.
As a scorpionfish, the ocean perch has spines along its back!
Females guard their eggs for up to 3 months
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 snakes can stay underwater for two hours without taking a breath.
Opah are brightly colored, with red-orange fins and a silvery body.
One of the oldest commercially harvested fish
Oldest and most common extant crustaceans
Can process up to 10 litres of water an hour!
The oyster toadfish can produce poison to protect itself
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!
The peppermint angelfish was only first described in 1992.
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
Could be extinct within the next 30 years!
Pollock is a nutritious fish, generally readily available for human consumption, and more sustainable and affordable than other whitefish species like hake or haddock.
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.
The second most poisonous creature in the world!
Can remain in the water for up to 2 minutes!
Pygmy sharks underbelly glows to attract prey that swims beneath it.
They float with the current.
Their hinged shell protects their soft body
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.
Grey reef sharks can give birth without males
Also known as the Caribou
Males will fight each other to get to females.
These fish can grow up to three feet long!
There are 3 different species!
Can reach speeds of 20mph!
Fast billfish with a sail-like dorsal fin
Returns upstream every year to spawn
Salmon sharks are related to Great Whites.
Sand Dollar skeletons make popular collection items for seashell collectors.
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.
There are more than 200 recognised species!
Creatures have characteristics of both animal and plant
Inhabits tropical coastal waters of Australia!
The sea eagle tends to mate for life with a single partner
It's flippers allow it to walk on the land
Eats over 40 different marine species!
All sea slugs have both male and female sex organs
The sea snake is incredibly venomous, even more than a cobra!”
These animals breathe through their legs
There are more than 3,000 known species!
Always return to the same beach to lay eggs!
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!
This whale is one of the fastest of the cetaceans
No shark species has any bones in their bodies
Shortfin Mako sharks can jump 20 feet above the water!”
There are 2,000 different species worldwide!
Has an extremely acute sense of hearing
The sixgill shark has six pairs of gills instead of the normal five
The skipjack is the most commonly caught tuna in the world
The Greenland shark is one of the longest living vertebrates in the world.
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.
Males change into females after the spawning season
Snow crabs communicate with each other by waving or drumming their pincers.
One of the largest owl species in the world!
Called "red salmon" because their skin turns bright red to dirty red during spawning season
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 are not actually a species of trout.
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!
Uses an electric shock to stun its prey!
Hunted to extinction in 17 years!
It's stinger is razor-sharp or serrated!
Females can lay up to a million eggs in one sitting
The most venomous fish in the world
Emit red light to hunt via bioluminescent photophores
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
Swallows food, much of it larger than them, whole
The skate with the biggest spines!
Thresher Sharks have a distinctive, thresher-like tail.
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 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
Most data on these fish is based on observations near Japan.
Viperfish have a bioluminescent spine on their dorsal fin.
The volcano snail lives comfortably in temperatures of up to 750 degrees Fahrenheit.
Wahoo can change colors when they're excited and while they hunt
Inhabits the freezing waters of the Arctic Circle!
Featured in “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner”
The largest species of fish in the world!
speedy open ocean billfish
White Sharks live in all of the world's oceans.
"Whiting" can refer to certain other species of ray-finned fish
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!
There are more than 500 different species!
Sea snakes spend approximately 90% of their lives under water.
The rarest species of penguin!
The yellowfin forms schools with other tuna species
Fast moving ocean fish with a long yellow stripe.
The yeti crab has hairy arms, which collect bacteria to feed on
A female zebra mussel can deposit 30,000 to 1,000,000 eggs each year!
Can get to be 30 years old in the wild!
Sea Animals List
Animals in Atlantic FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
What animals live in the Atlantic Ocean?
The Atlantic Ocean takes up a huge portion of the planet. It’s home to Atlantic ghost crabs, sea lions, manatees, green sea turtles. gray seals, shrimp, starfish, redfish, flounder, trout, tarpon, and a variety of whales.
What is the most dangerous animal in the Atlantic Ocean?
There is a range of dangerous wildlife in these waters. The most dangerous is the Great White Shark. Of all the shark species, the great white outnumbers all of them in unprovoked attacks on humans. Still, compared to the shark, more people get killed by dogs, horses, and cows per year.
How do animals live in the ocean?
Ocean animals can withstand temps far greater than humans. The animals can because things like temperatures, food, light, and pressure remain relatively stable for great periods. Many animals in the ocean grow very slowly and travel long distances to find sustenance.
Are all fish in the Atlantic endangered?
Humankind is changing the ecosystem with oil and gas drilling, waste disposal, fishing, and mining. Animals are having difficulty adapting to the dramatic changes these actions inflict on their environments, threatening to make them extinct.
What is the Atlantic Ocean's biggest animal?
Surprisingly, the answer to that is not a whale. It’s the Lion Mane Jellyfish. Found in the cooler regions of the Atlantic, with its tentacles, the Lion Mane Jellyfish can reach a length of 120 feet. These almost-translucent creatures are 94 percent water.
What fish can I catch in the Atlantic?
The facts are the Atlantic is a rich resource for fishing. You can get bites on Atlantic cod, red fishes, herring, mackerel, halibut, crabs, lobsters, prawn, pink shrimps, and much, much more.
How many fish are there in the world?
The scientific community puts the best estimate at more than 34 300 species of fish. And there are probably more because many portions of the planet’s waters have not been thoroughly investigated. The North Atlantic is responsible for close to 20 percent of the global fish population.
Do animals in national waters migrate?
Yes. Many wildlife, such as dolphins, whales, and seals, migrate to colder waters during warmer parts of the year. They seek out rich feeding areas and store fat for the winter. They’ll then return to the Atlantic in the winter to mate and raise their young.