Did you know that twenty-nine species of marine animals live in the Gulf of Mexico? 

Many people know the Gulf Coast for its pristine beaches. Unfortunately, many visitors don’t realize that the true magic of the Gulf of Mexico is below the surface of the water. 

This is why, if you want to have the experience of a lifetime when visiting the Gulf of Mexico, you should make a point of getting to know some of the area’s important marine animals. To help you out, we’ve written a guide. Keep reading and we will tell you everything that you need to know. 

The Vampire Squid

Lots of people are afraid of vampire squids just because of their name. But the truth is that these squids will not suck your blood. In fact, they can’t even squirt ink. 

Instead, they create bioluminescent clouds of mucus that glows. They earned their name thanks to their eyes, which have a deep red color. 

These squids spend their lives in the cold depths of the ocean. They tend to float along with ocean currents from place to place. This is a way that they conserve their energy. 

The Whale Shark 

The whale shark is larger than you might think. Adults can grow to weigh more than twenty thousand pounds and have a length of up to forty meters. This means that they stand higher than two giraffes that are standing on top of one another.  

Even though they are large, they are not dangerous. In fact, whale sharks are one of the world’s friendliest shark species. 

The whale shark moves very slowly through the ocean and is a filter-feeding shark that spends most of its life on the bottom of the sea. 

Sea Turtles 

Most people who visit the Gulf of Mexico don’t realize that the Gulf of Mexico has five of the world’s seven species of sea turtles. These turtles enjoy visiting the gulf’s beaches to create nests. 

The same sea turtle will return to the same beach every single year to lay its eggs. Most sea turtle species spend the rest of their lives swimming through the waters in the Gulf of Mexico. If you see a sea turtle in the Florida ocean, it will probably be an exhilarating experience that you won’t be likely to forget. 

Green sea turtles are among the biggest species of turtle in existence. It’s also the only species that is an herbivore. 

If you see a Kemp’s Riddley sea turtle, consider yourself to be very lucky. Not only is it the smallest species of turtle, but it is also the world’s most endangered turtle. 

One of the most common turtle species in the Gulf of Mexico is the loggerhead turtle. They can weigh up to two thousand pounds and have shells that are soft and flexible. 

Bryde’s Whale

You can find these whales in oceans all around the world, but experts believe that only around thirty of them live in the Gulf of Mexico. This endangered whale lives mainly in the Florida waterways near the state’s panhandle. 

This is the only baleen whale in the Gulf of Mexico. To get food, they strain huge amounts of water through their baleen plates.

These plates trap food so that they can eat it. The most common foods that they consume are zooplankton, crustaceans, and tiny fish. 

One of the best ways to see a Bryde’s whale up close is by taking a cruising charter

Many Species of Dolphins 

There are lots of dolphins that spend their time in the Gulf of Mexico and they are one of the most incredible kinds of marine life to see up close. One of the most well-known species is the bottlenose dolphin. they have short and stout snouts and their bodies have a light grey color. 

You also might see a striped dolphin when you are visiting the Gulf of Mexico. They can grow to be around nine feet long and they have long snouts. 

The most exciting species of dolphin to see is the spinner dolphin. They often jump and spin above the surface of the water. 

Manatees Live in the Gulf of Mexico 

People often describe manatees as “cows of the sea.” They tend to spend their time along the shorelines where they eat plants. Even though they are known to eat around sixty species of plants, they mostly eat seagrass. 

It’s very possible that you’ll see a manatee while you’re out on a fishing charter in the Gulf of Mexico because they need to come to the surface every five minutes in order to breathe. 

Horseshoe Crabs 

Horseshoe crabs are among the oldest species on the planet. They have existed for more than four hundred million years. This means that they’ve been around for longer than dinosaurs have. 

They have segmented bodies and ten eyes. They move quickly and will hide in the sand if you try to approach them. 

Many Incredible Marine Animals Live in the Gulf of Mexico 

If you’ve been wondering what kinds of marine animals live in the Gulf of Mexico, it’s important to know that this part of the ocean is filled with hundreds of species. While you’re visiting the Gulf, it’s possible that you’ll see dolphins, whales, and turtles. 

Do you want to experience an incredible sunset cruise in Tampa Bay to get close to some of the Gulf of Mexico’s unique animals? Book your adventure with Carbon Cat Charters, and let us take you on a trip of a lifetime!