largest animal that ever lived

The Signs As Sharks

Aries- Bull Shark 

-highly aggressive,

-most dangerous shark in the world

Taurus- Tiger Shark 

-large sharks, extremely dangerous to people when provoked

-eats anything 

Gemini- Mako Shark

-extremely aggressive

-fastest species of shark 

Cancer- Nurse Shark

-normally docile and calm

-becomes extremely aggressive when assumed to be harmless

Leo- Great White Shark 

-Most well known shark, what most people immediately think of when they think “shark”

-big and imposing 

-thought to be extremely dangerous but is actually rarely aggressive past curiosity 

Virgo- Thresher Shark

-Uses precision of tail to stun or kill prey

-beautiful rainbow shaped tail

Libra- Leopard Shark

-extremely social, lives in schools

-easily identified by beautiful markings

Scorpio- Goblin Shark

-fearsome looking 

-extremely precise and skillful 

Sagittarius- Hammerhead Shark

-one of the most effective hunters

-senses movement of stingrays

-embarks on huge summertime migrations 

Capricorn- Frilled Shark

-traditional fossil shark (very little change over the years of evolution)

-rarely seen and does poorly in captivity 

Aquarius- Megalodon 

-extinct, but when they existed they were the largest marine animal to ever live

-fantastic and massive hunters

-still perplexes scientists 

Pisces- Whale Shark 

-large but gentle and slow moving

-playful and non-aggressive with divers

-gives rides

7

Sperm whales - Physeteroidea

Picking up this series again, this time a short one - as there are only three extant species of sperm whales.

First off, the sperm whale itself, Physeter macrocephalus (genus name means blowhole, and species name fittingly means “big-headed”). They are also known as cachalot (in Swedish, their only name is “kaskelot”), thought to be derived from “big teeth” in old French.

It is the largest toothed animal alive today, and arguably the largest toothed predator to ever live, surpassing the largest marine reptiles, Basilosaurus, and even Megalodon.

With a mass of up to 57 tons, it is four times the size of the second largest toothed whale alive today. Males can reach just over twenty meters (67 feet), while unverified claims of bulls reaching around 25 meters, exist. Females are significantly smaller, topping out at about 12 meters.

They have the largest brain of any living animal, possibly the largest ever, at nearly 8 kg. As newborns, the whale is four meters long and weighs a ton, roughly the size of an adult beluga.

They are one of the deepest diving mammals, being able to dive to a depth of over 2 kilometers (over 7300 feet), and hold their breath for over an hour.

To fully understand the badassery of this whale, you have to know about their prey - giant and colossal squid. Sperm whales are often seen with white, linear scars along their face. One theory is that this is from battles between males, but they are centered around the mouth and don’t resemble rakes in other toothed whales. The other idea is that these are scars from battling their prey.

Giant squids reach 13 meters in length and 275 kg in weight, their suckers are lined with tiny, sharp teeth, which have left scars on the skin of sperm whales. They are cute however compared to the colossal squid, 14 meters (only slightly longer because of their relatively short tentacles) and up to 750 kg in weight. Their suckers are equipped with three-pointed and swivelling hooks.

That’s what the sperm whale eats for dinner.

Despite all this however, they are not at the top of the food chain. Killer whales will attack and eat their calves, that they nurture for sometimes over a decade.

The other two sperm whales are members of the genus Kogia - Kogia breviceps or Pygmy sperm whale, and Kogia simus or Dwarf sperm whale.

They are extremely rare, and like beaked whales and their larger cousin, they are deep divers and thus are almost never photographed alive.

The pygmy is the slightly larger of the two, at 3.5 meters and 400 kg, equivalent of a bottlenose dolphin.
The dwarf meanwhile is one of the smallest cetaceans in the world, at only 2.7 meters and 250 kg at most, it is only 0.4% the size of the largest sperm whale.

The pictures above show two adult male sperm whales with divers, a sperm whale calf (let’s face it - those chubby cheeks are really cute), a pygmy calf, two pygmy adults, and a dwarf that had been rescued.

What constantly fascinates me about the dwarf and the pygmy are their tiny mouths. Picture this - your body is the rough shape of a sausage, no arms, no legs. On the underside of your head, you have a tiny little hole with sharp teeth. That is your only means of catching your prey, wriggly little squid, in the pitch black waters of the deep ocean.

The ocean is amazingly terrifying. Its so huge it covers over 70% of the planets surface, has boiling vents that erupt on the bottom, and the largest animal that has ever existed (the blue whale) lives in there and we can’t even FIND IT.

How do you lose a 200 ton, 82 foot long animal?

In the ocean. The ocean can hide a 200 ton animal.

Like a needle in a giant wet haystack. It just swallows them whole and you never see them. 

Its terrifyingly awesome.