Nature is full of surprises. And human imaginations while describing the unknowns, knows no bound. Therefore, whenever the marine animals turn subjects, the truth tends to stay far. All we know that oceans are for giants like blue whales and great white sharks; giant squids and giant clams; elephant seals and Japanese spider crabs.
To make the situation more realistic, scientists from US and Canada have been putting huge amount of effort all this while and the recent report they have come up with, shows some fascinating results.
The report got published Tuesday in the journal PeerJ. In this study, a team of scientists and undergraduate students analyzed the body size for 25 marine species, including whales, sharks, squids, and other ocean giants. The work started with the aim to correct the misconceptions about the size of some sea animals.
“Several years ago I noticed that people kept staying that giant squids reached 60 feet in length, which is amazingly long,” says Craig McClain, the assistant director of the National Evolutionary Synthesis Center in Durham, N.C., and the primary author of the paper. “When I started looking at the data, I found that that estimate was quite unrealistic.”
Researchers first made a list of animals with doubtful sizes following which they started collecting data.
Their work included finding data through literature searches via Google Scholar and Web of Science, fisheries data and governmental reports, stranding data, museum records and specimens, online auctions and sales and also through personal communications with scientists from the relevant fields, reported the authors.
The findings suggest instead of 60 feet, the largest known giant squid was about 40 feet, the lion’s mane jellyfish (120 feet), whale shark (61.68 feet), the oarfish (26.25 feet), the Japanese spider crab (12.14 feet), and the giant clam (4.5 feet).
Top 5 longest animals
- Mane Jellyfish (120 feet)
- Blue Whale (108.27 feet)
- Sperm Whale (78.74 feet)
- Whale Shark (61.68 feet)
- Basking Shark (40.25 feet)