KIDSGAZETTE

The world's largest creatures live in the ocean

In the waters near Isla Holbox, Mexico, snorkelers swim alongside whale sharks, which are considered the largest fish on
In the waters near Isla Holbox, Mexico, snorkelers swim alongside whale sharks, which are considered the largest fish on earth. (Christopher Reynolds/Los Angeles Times/TNS)
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Have you heard of — or seen — these giant sea creatures?

Whale shark

At 40 feet long, whale sharks are the largest fish in the sea, according to National Geographic. They swim around with their mouths hanging open to catch plankton and small fish. Even though they are huge, they are generally very gentle and don’t bother humans.

Giant clams

The biggest species of giant clam can be as big as four feet long and more than 600 pounds, according to the Seattle Aquarium. They also live a long time — usually more than 100 years! Giant clams pick one place to grow and never move for their whole lives. All clams also start off as male, but turn into females as they grow.

Giant-spined sea stars

Also known as pisaster giganteus, these huge sea stars can be as big as two feet in diameter. They live off the west coast. According to National Geographic, if a starfish loses a limb, it can regrow it — some can even regrow their entire bodies.

Blue whale

Blue whales are the largest creatures the Earth has ever known, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. They can weigh up to 330,000 pounds and grow 110 feet long. They usually live to be 80 or 90 years old, and scientists can tell how old a blue whale is by checking how many layers of waxlike earplugs they have!

Japanese spider crab

If you’ve been to the beach, maybe you’ve seen spider crabs scuttling around in the sand. Japanese spider crabs are much bigger — they have a leg span of 13 feet and weigh 40 pounds, according to the Smithsonian Ocean museum. With a hard exoskeleton they sometimes decorate with kelp or sponges, these giant spider crabs can disappear against the ocean floor.

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