Animals in Atlantic

Below you can find a complete list of Atlantic Ocean animals. We currently track 152 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.

Northwest Atlantic

The main species found in the northwest region of the Atlantic are:

Northeast Atlantic

Among the creatures in the Northeast Atlantic are:

  • Haddock
  • Capelin
  • Mackerel
  • Herring
  • Blue whiting

Southwest Atlantic

In the southwest region of the ocean, the list of animals include:

Southeast Atlantic

The Southeast Atlantic is home to:

  • Cape horse mackerel
  • Pilchard
  • Snoek
  • Sole
  • Dentext

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!

Sea Animals

Adelie 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

Albatross

The largest wingspan of any bird in the world!

Aldabra Giant Tortoise

One got to be 255 years old!

American Alligator

They have two sets of eyelids!

Anchovies

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

Angelfish

There are 70 different species!

Anglerfish

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 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.

Barnacle

Closely related to crabs and lobsters!

Barracuda

Can grow to nearly 2 meters long!

Barramundi Fish

Scale rings indicate age

Batfish

The batfish has a lure on its head to attract prey

Beaver

Builds a dam from sticks and leaves!

Beluga Sturgeon

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

Bird

Not all birds are able to fly!

Black Marlin

Every black marlin is born as a female.

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.

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.

Blobfish

One of the ugliest creatures in existence!

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 Whale

The largest animal on Earth

Bluefin Tuna

The bluefin is one of the largest fish in the world

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.

Booby

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!'

Boxfish

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!

Bullfrog

Has loud cow-like calls!

Butterfly

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.

Catfish

There are nearly 3,000 different species!

Chimaera

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!

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.

Clownfish

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

Codfish

They eat other fish

Colossal Squid

Can survive eating a single fish for months

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.

Coral

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

Crab

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!

Cuttlefish

Found throughout the world's oceans!

Dolphin

Can reach speeds of up to 25 mph!

Dragon Eel

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

Dragonfly

It's larvae are carnivorous!

Drum Fish

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

Duck

Rows of tiny plates line their teeth!

Dugong

Closely related to the Manatee!

Dusky Dolphin

Communicates using whistles, squeaks and clicks!

Eel

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

Elephant Seal

The largest species of seal in the world!

Emperor Penguin

The world's largest species of penguin!

Escolar

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!

Fangtooth

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

Fin Whale

Found throughout ocean waters worldwide!

Fish

Respire through the gills on their heads!

Flounder

A flat fish found in the Atlantic and Pacific!

Fluke Fish (summer flounder)

The chameleon of the seas!

Fly

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

Frigatebird

Found inhabiting tropical islands and coasts!

Frogfish

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!

Goby Fish

Some Goby species are toxic.

Goose

There are 29 different species!

Goshawk

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

Grouper

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

Haddock

The haddock is very popular in both recreational and commercial fishing

Hagfish

Can use slime to suffocate marine predators or escape capture

Halibut

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 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!

Herring

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!

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!

Ichthyosaurus

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!

Insects

There are an estimated 30 million species!

Jellyfish

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!

Kingfisher

Inhabits wetlands and woodlands worldwide!

Krill

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

Lamprey

Not related to the eel

Leopard Seal

The world's most aggressive seal species!

Leopard Shark

Leopard Sharks have teeth with three points.

Lionfish

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!

Livyatan

The Livyatan had 1 to 1.2 foot long, interlocking teeth

Lobster

Have been known to reach 100 years old!

Lumpfish

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

Manatee

Also known as the Sea Cow!

Manta Ray

Can grow up to 9m wide!

Megamouth Shark

Swims with its mouth open to capture prey

Milkfish

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

Minke Whale

There are two recognised species!

Mojarra

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!

Mosasaurus

The Mosasaurus was much longer than the fearsome Tyrannosaur rex.

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

Nudibranch

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

Nurse Shark

Commonly found in Central American waters!

Octopus

There are around 300 different species!

Olive Sea Snake

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

Opah

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

Oyster

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!

Parrotfish

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

Penguin

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

Peppermint Angelfish

The peppermint angelfish was only first described in 1992.

Pipefish

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

Polar Bear

Could be extinct within the next 30 years!

Porbeagle Shark

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

Porpoise

Surprisingly, not a dolphin!

Prawn

Closely related to crabs and lobsters!

Pufferfish

The second most poisonous creature in the world!

Puffin

Can remain in the water for up to 2 minutes!

Pygmy Shark

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

Reef Shark

Grey reef sharks can give birth without males

Reindeer

Also known as the Caribou

Rock Crab

Males will fight each other to get to females.

Rockfish

These fish can grow up to three feet long!

Rockhopper Penguin

There are 3 different species!

Royal Penguin

Can reach speeds of 20mph!

Salmon

Returns upstream every year to spawn

Salmon Shark

Salmon sharks are related to Great Whites.

Sand Tiger Shark

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

Sardines

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

Sawfish

Sawfish teeth keep growing as the fish gets older

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 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!

Seagull

Some gulls are capable of using tools

Seahorse

Males give birth to up to 1,000 offspring!

Seal

There are 30 different species worldwide!

Sei Whale

This whale is one of the fastest of the cetaceans

Shark

No shark species has any bones in their bodies

Shortfin Mako Shark

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

Shrimp

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.

Snail

There are nearly 1,000 different species!

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

Sperm Whale

Each tooth weighs 1kg!

Spinner Shark

Can have up to 20 babies

Spiny Dogfish

Found in ocean waters worldwide!

Sponge

There are more than 9,000 known species!

Squid

Some species are known to have 10 arms!

Squirrelfish

Uses vibrations to communicate with other fish

Starfish

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!

Stingray

It's stinger is razor-sharp or serrated!

Stone Crab

Females can lay up to a million eggs in one sitting

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.

Sturgeon

Large species can swallow whole salmon

Surgeonfish

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

Tang

Found around shallow coral reefs!

Tarpon

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

Telescope Fish

Swallows food, much of it larger than them, whole

Thresher Shark

Thresher Sharks have a distinctive, thresher-like tail.

Tiger Salamander

Found across the North American wetlands!

Toadfish

Can be heard out of water

Tropicbird

Nests on tropical islands and cliffs!

Tuna

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

Turtles

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.

Vaquita

Smallest cetacean in the ocean

Viper Shark (dogfish)

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

Viperfish

Viperfish have a bioluminescent spine on their dorsal fin.

Wahoo Fish

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

Walrus

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 Shark

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

Whiting

"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.

Wolffish

The wolffish has impressive canines with a powerful bite force!

Woolly Mammoth

Tusks grew to 16ft long!

Wrasse

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

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

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.