sperm whale
manatee
whale shark
manta ray
The giants of the ocean

WEST INDIAN MANATEE

Trichechus manatus

This three and a half to four meter long creature is the West Indian Manatee - also known as the Florida Manatee. It is the largest species of Sea Cow and the planet's only plant-eating sea mammal. From November to March it wanders the warm coastal waters, where the water temperature exceeds 20 degrees celsius. In this period, in Florida, hundreds of manatees fill the Chrystal river area, where they spend the colder months in intricate lagoons that are fed by warm water springs. In lower temperature waters the manatees suffer cold shock, their digestive systems stop working, and they die. Their weight can reach between 350 and 600 Kilograms, but specimens have been documented weighing more than one tone. Their weight is only dwarfed by their appetites. They must eat for 7 to 8 hours per day to ensure they consume the equivalent of 10-15% of their body weight. That is comparable to an average sized man needing to eat 12 kilograms of cabbage per day.
The giants of the ocean

GIANT MANTA RAY

Manta birostris

The giant manta ray which is also called the Giant Devil Ray. Its immense body throws a shadow like that of an impending thundercloud on its environment. Like a shark, it must swim continuously in order to breath. The spotted pattern on its belly is unique, like a human fingerprint, and allows researchers to document and later identify specific individuals. The main habitats of the devil rays are the temperate, subtropical and tropical waters. This diamond-shaped giant has a wingspan of more than 6 meters, and can exceed 1.5 tons in weight. On the both sides of the manta ray's head are the flap-like head fins wich direct the nutrient rich water into its mouth. Its streamlined body, like an underwater airplane, glides gracefully in the liquid void in search of food. Its giant mouth filters the plankton-rich water, consuming 20-30 kilograms of the organisms daily.
The giants of the ocean

WHALE SHARK

Rhincodon typus

This 15 ton friendly giant is the whale shark. With a length of 12-14 meters, it justifiably holds the title for being the worlds largest fish. Its gigantic body equals the weight of nine passenger cars. Like the mantas, it feeds on the oceans' smallest organisms, plankton and tiny fish. It is capable of squeezing 5-6 thousand of liters of seawater through its grand 1.5 meter wide mouth every hour. That is enough to ensure a human 5 years worth of drinking water. Its filtration system so unique, that it is not only able to separate larger sized pieces of food, but can also do something similar to a cough to get rid of contaminating particles that might clog the filtering system. It does not need to swim in order to feed, since it can create a huge vacuum to draw in water and the nutrients it contains. It can be found in all warm water oceans, but it is most frequently seen in places like the Ningaloo reef in Western Australia or the Holbox island in Mexico.
The giants of the ocean

SPERM WHALE

Physeter macrocephalus

A legendary giant, a living submarine, which is known to the world as the worthy holder of several records. It is the great sperm whale, from the family of toothed whales. Reaching 20 meters in length, it is the world's largest predator. The average weight for males is 45 tons while the females can reach up to 20 tons. It has the animal kingdoms largest head at 6 meters with a brain of nearly 9 kilograms. Its enormous head makes up one third of its total body length and hides the worlds largest teeth which can excede 20 centimeters and weigh over 1 kilogram. The great sperm whale can be found all the oceans of the world, however, its migratory habits differ from other species of whales. The sperm whale is the worlds deepest diving air-breathing animal. Adult specimens can swim to a depth of 3,000 meters where they hunt for their favorite food, the giant squid. At this depth 300 kilograms of immense pressure exerts itself over every point of the whale's body.
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