Below you can find a complete list of South Atlantic Ocean animals. We currently track 90 animals in South Atlantic and are adding more every day!
The world’s deep oceans have been compared to a desert – vast expanses with comparatively little visible life. Yet, the world’s oceans, including the South Atlantic Ocean, are teaming with wild animals – docile, dangerous, and unique.
The area contains a variety of habitats ranging from warm tropical beaches to cold seafloor mountains and valleys that exist in total darkness.
Read on to learn about the rarest and unique wildlife to be found in the crashing waves and depths of the South Atlantic!
South Atlantic Animals Summary
What familiar and unusual animal species live in the South Atlantic? As with all of the world’s oceans, this saltwater environment is home to microscopic plankton, many species of fish, marine mammals such as whales, dolphins, and seals, sea turtles, birds, crustaceans, jellyfish, marine invertebrates, and more.
The variety does not end there, however. Colorful tropical fish and small sharks stalk coastal coral reefs. Huge whales, manta rays, and basking sharks open their mouths to feast on the smallest of creatures, plankton, and krill. Seagulls and their relatives fill the skies, while flightless penguins hunt from warm and cold shores.
The Official National Animal of the South Atlantic
The United Nations’ Law of the Sea Convention in 1982 limited “territorial waters” – those belonging to and controlled by a specific country – to twelve nautical miles from the coast. Therefore, the bulk of the South Atlantic does not belong to any country, so it does not have a national animal.
Where To Find The Top Wild Animals in the South Atlantic
On the seafloor, at the bottom of the South Atlantic, are shallow areas known as continental shelves. These areas are home to many types of fish. People even fish there. They catch varieties such as sardines, round and Brazillian sardinella, groupers, snappers, horse mackerel, hake, pilchard, anchovy, Argentine shortfin squid,
Near the coast, fishermen hunt other prey, including northern brown shrimp, perlemoen abalone, and American cupped oyster.
Ah, but perhaps you are not interested in deep-sea fishing but in wildlife watching. Perhaps the easiest way to view South Atlantic wildlife is to visit a beach along the coast of South America or Africa.
Sometimes, unusual and exotic animals even come ashore. For example, if you want to experience the magical moment when sea turtles drag themselves ashore to lay eggs or when the babies hatch en masse and make a run for the sea, head to the beaches of Brazil, Uruguay, Argentina, Guyana, French Guiana, or Suriname. You have to visit at just the right time to see green, leatherback, or olive ridley sea turtles.
You can also simply put on a pair of goggles and a snorkel and go swimming. Colorful fish, crabs, and other animals will be visible anywhere that the water is clear.
Are you interested in getting up-close and personal with the toothy grin of a great white shark? Travel to South Africa, where experienced guides will take you under the water in a protective shark cage.
The Most Dangerous Animals in the South Atlantic Today
When we talk about dangerous ocean animals, sharks often come readily to mind. Worldwide, the great white shark is responsible for the most shark attacks on people, and this is true of the South Atlantic as well. Brazil and South Africa are among the top ten countries for unprovoked shark attacks.
There are, however, other dangerous animals – ones that are very hard to see. For example, the Irukandji jellyfish, native to the waters of Australia, has been known to sting people swimming in the Atlantic Ocean. It is very small, its bell or “head” is less than an inch. Its stinging tentacles can be equally small or can be more than three feet in length. Their venom is very potent and deadly. According to one researcher, the sting is “100 times as potent as that of a cobra” bite.
Endangered Animals in the South Atlantic
The South Atlantic is home to a number of exotic and endangered species. The West Indian and West African manatees or sea cows are slow-moving herbivores that can be easily injured by speedboats. They are protected species and in danger of extinction.
There are also seal, sea lion, sea turtle, and whale species on the endangered species list. These, as well as dolphins and sea birds, may become entangled in fishing nets or strangled by human trash.
South Atlantic Ocean Animals
South Atlantic Ocean Animals List
- African Penguin
- Albacore Tuna
- Basking Shark
- Blue Whale
- Bluefin Tuna
- Bonito Fish
- Bottlenose Dolphin
- Bull Shark
- Butterfly Fish
- Colossal Squid
- Drum Fish
- Dusky Dolphin
- Elephant Seal
- False Killer Whale
- Fin Whale
- Great White Shark
- Grey Seal
- Hammerhead Shark
- Hermit Crab
- Horseshoe Crab
- Humboldt Penguin
- Humpback Whale
- Immortal Jellyfish
- Killer Whale
- King Crab
- Magellanic Penguin
- Manta Ray
- Minke Whale
- Moray Eel
- Nurse Shark
- Rockhopper Penguin
- Sea Lion
- Sea Slug
- Sea Squirt
- Sea Turtle
- Sea Urchin
- Skipjack Tuna
- Sperm Whale
- Spiny Dogfish
- Tiger Shark
- Wandering Albatross
- Whale Shark
- Yellowfin Tuna
Animals in South Atlantic FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
Where in the world is the South Atlantic located?
The Atlantic Ocean is the second-largest of the world’s oceans. It fills the void between the Americas, Europe, and Africa. The South Atlantic Ocean, specifically, is the ocean between Africa and South America.
What animals live in the South Atlantic?
There are many, many species of fish. They range from tiny, colorful reef fish to massive sharks, such as the basking shark and the great white shark.
Whales, dolphins, seals, and sea lions also call the South Atlantic home. These are all types of marine mammals.
There are also many sea birds. These include gulls, albatross, petrels, and their relatives as well as penguins. Did you know that some penguins live on warm African beaches?
We can’t forget sea turtles and invertebrates like shrimp, crabs, jellyfish, clams, and sea snails.
What is the rarest animal in the South Atlantic?
What is the rarest and most unusual animal of the South Atlantic? The spectacle porpoise is one of the most little-known whales in the world.
What is the most unique animal of the South Atlantic?
The most strange and exotic animals of the South Atlantic are tiny organisms that live around the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, such as the bathypelagic ctenophore or comb jelly.