Top 10 Strongest Animals in the Ocean
10. Killer Whales
Killer whales, also known as orcas, will prey on almost any animal they find either in the sea or even in the air over the water. Killer whales are the largest species of the dolphin family, and they can weigh up to six tons and grow to almost 32 feet long. Their size makes them the largest warm-blooded animal predator currently in existence. Killer whales have unique teeth which can grow up to four inches long. Killer whales can live in many sea environments including oceans, seas and coastal areas. They travel long distances, and they can live almost anywhere, from near the equator to the most chilly northern waters. These beautiful creatures also live in groups called pods. The pods have a social hierarchy, but despite this, the killer whales also form bonds between one another. Killer whales are considered to be at the top of their food chain because they have no predators except for humans. A killer whale’s teeth are very large, they are a unique shape and their teeth often number between 40-56 in total. A killer whale does not chew its food. Instead, because of the unique makeup of the teeth, an orca uses its teeth to tear it into small pieces before swallowing.
Despite their name, killer whales do not attack humans. Killer whales will eat seals, porpoises, sea lions and even small whales and sharks. In one instance, a killer whale was caught holding a shark upside-down and forcing it to suffocate. Because they are top predators, killer whales may have long life spans. Provided they survive the first six months of their life, a female may live 46 to 50 years and a male may live up to 38 years old.
9. Great White Sharks
Great White Sharks are one of the most famous creatures in the sea thanks to Hollywood movies, such as “Jaws.” Unlike whales, sharks are fish, not mammals. They are also definitely carnivorous. Great white sharks can grow up 15 or 20 feet in length and weigh 5,000 pounds or more, making them the largest predatory fish in the sea. Despite their size, they can swim up to 15 miles per hour and even breach (throw themselves out of the water). Great White Sharks have one of the strongest bites of all fish, and their teeth cut through flesh like a knife through warm butter. Their bite force is said to be one ton per square inch. It is their teeth that make their bites so powerful and devastating, as they have up to 300 serrated triangle shaped teeth in several rows.
Great white sharks are warm blooded, which allows them to live in different water temperatures like the coastal regions of Australia, South Africa, California and the northern United States. Their warm blood and their power allows them to swim throughout the water, and it is not unusual to find them both on the surface and at depths up to 820 feet. Great white sharks live in small groups called a school, but they do not hunt together. These sharks know how powerful they are, as they slap each other to avoid serious fights because one bite from another shark can do serious permanent damage that they would rather avoid. The power and the adaptability of a great white shark can allow it to live up to 70 years, which is longer than the average lifespans of some humans.
Great white sharks are often branded as killers of humans, but they perpetrate only around 10 attacks a year and not all attacks are fatal. In some cases, the shark gives a warning bite before letting go of the human.
8. Giant Pacific Octopus
The giant pacific octopus is a carnivorous octopus that can grow from 10 to 16 feet long and weigh up to 100 pounds. It is the biggest octopus of the species with the biggest giant pacific octopus ever recorded measuring at 30 feet across and weighing over 600 pounds. A giant pacific octopus usually feasts on shrimp, clams, and lobsters, but they are strong enough to hunt and eat sharks, too They use their mouths to puncture and tear flesh before swallowing their food.
An octopus’s tentacles and teeth are strong, but what is really fascinating is the strength of its suckers. An octopus’s suckers can move independently of the tentacles and even “taste” the water around them. Even though the tissue that an octopus’s suckers are made of resembles the same softness of jellyfish jelly, they are able to latch on to many different surfaces and not let go, even on uneven underwater surfaces. Scientists have tried to mimic an octopus’s suckers, but so far they have never been able to replicate the ones found in nature. Yet, the octopus’s suckers are the prototype for what may be a whole new generation of attachment devices.
Octopuses are very intelligent creatures. In labs, they have been taught how to mimic another octopus and even how to solve mazes. In the wild, they are known for tormenting their neighbors in the sea. They can be found juggling crabs and throwing things at other sea creatures. Octopuses have even been taught how to open a jar, and thankfully, the scientists that taught them will probably struggle with a pickle jar again.
7. Tiger Shark
Tiger sharks are carnivorous fish that get their name from the stripes found on their bodies when they are young. Tiger sharks can grow up to 14 feet in length, and the largest tiger shark every recorded weighed 1,400 pounds. They have very sharp teeth and very powerful jaws. Their bite is so powerful that they can crack the shells of turtles, which is a very difficult feat. Tiger sharks, along with great white sharks and bull sharks, are know for attacking humans. However, because tiger sharks aren’t very picky about what they eat, they often kill humans while a great white shark would usually just bite and swim away. A tiger shark’s stomach contents has revealed stingrays, seals, birds and even old tires – talk about an unrefined palate!
There used to be a myth that these indiscriminate predators could be the cure for cancer. This idea rested on the fact that sharks don’t get cancer. In the 1970s, researchers found that cartilage prevented the growth of new vessels in tissue, and these new vessels are one of the key components of cancerous tumors. Because sharks have skeletons made entirely from cartilage, the researchers reasoned that a shark’s skeleton would be the best hope for new therapies. This therapy was never proven nor has it been clinically tested in America. But even still, LaneLabs still sells cartilage pills today and the market for shark cartilage was estimated to reach $30 million in 1995. Unfortunately, this has decreased the number of sharks in North America by up to 80 percent, and as it turns out, sharks actually do get cancer.
6. Giant Squid
Giant squids are some of the most mysterious creatures of the sea as well as being the biggest invertebrate on earth. Measuring around 33 feet, the largest giant squid ever found truly was a giant weighing nearly 2,000 pounds and measuring 59 feet in length. Giant squids are elusive in their natural habitats and difficult to study. Most of what we know about them is from deceased squids that have washed up on beaches. It was not until 2004 that the first images of a live giant squid were taken. Giant squids have been found on beaches all over the world but it is still hard to say how far they swim or what their exact habitats are. These humongous squids also have massive eyes because they live so deep in the ocean that they do not see any light. Little is known about the giant squid but it is possible that when given the chance, they will kill and eat small whales, implying that those massive tentacles must be very strong.
The sperm whale is one the greatest predators of the giant squid but with their giant eyes, giant squids have an early warning of the approach of their massive predators.