Illustration for article titled This Is How Big The Oceans Most Gigantic Creatures Can iReally/i Get

The gigantic sea creatures swimming in our oceans depths can reach incredible sizes. But new research suggests that we've been wrong for years about the actual sizes animals like the Great White Shark, the Giant Squid, and the walrus can reach. Let's set the record straight.


Lead author on the new paper, Craig McClain, assistant director of the National Evolutionary Synthesis Center, explained in a statement that the project was sparked by seeing the length of the giant squid listed as up to 60 feet. But his research yielded an actual measurement of closer to 40 feet maximum.

Why the discrepancy? Some of it, explained McClain may be due to the way the squid's muscles loosen as it decomposes, yielding a much longer measurement than may be found in nature. By the end of the project, over 25 different marine species (which you can see charted above) had been reassessed for their maximum sizes by scientists doing everything from examining museum specimens to combing through whale capture data.


You can read the full paper over at PeerJ right here.

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