20 rare marine animals in danger of extinction

Wondering what are some of the strangest marine animals? You are not the only one, it is clear that the ocean creates great curiosity and makes us wonder all kinds of things about its inhabitants, since we know that we actually know a really small percentage compared to the size of the body of water in the earth. Indeed, there are countless marine creatures that we do not know, but among the large number of species that we have already discovered, whether they are more or less known, there are those that are at great risk. As with the rest of the habitats on the planet, in the seas and oceans there are many species that already have few individuals and that, in addition, their population continues to decrease.

Vaquita marina

With the scientific name Phocoena sinus , the vaquita porpoise is in a critical state of danger of extinction. In fact, it is the animal on this list that is most in danger of disappearing in a short time. This cetacean lives only in the Gulf of California and there are very few specimens left. Specifically, in 2017, 30 sea vaquitas have been seen and during the expeditions that have been made to try to improve the status of this marine mammal, 17 more specimens have been identified.

It is also known as the white-headed dolphin and by its English name Hector’s dolphin . The Cephalorhynchus hectori species consists of two subspecies, Cephalorhynchus hectori hectori and Cephalorhynchus hectori maui , and both are in danger of extinction and their population continues to decrease, so currently, for the moment, it has a clear trend towards disappearance in a few years. It is found in the regions of New Zealand and is a rare type of dolphin, like the other two similar species that we mentioned in the list, due to its appearance without an elongated snout and with characteristic spots.

Irawadi river dolphin

Orcaella brevirostris is how this other odd-looking dolphin species is scientifically called, since it also does not have the expected snout in these animals. It is called the Irrawaddy River dolphin because it lives in the estuaries and coasts of this area of ​​Southeast Asia, that is, it is not freshwater but lives in the sea but always in the area of ​​the mouth of this river. It is in a state of vulnerability and its population decreases more every year.

Long-headed Eagle Ray

Scientific name Aetobatus flagellum and Longhead Eagle Ray in English , this animal is also in danger of becoming extinct and its population has a decreasing trend. This stripe is somewhat rare compared to the ones we usually see because it has the most elongated head shape. It is currently found in the areas of India, Indonesia and Pakistan.

Stingray shark

The Rhina ancylostoma species is not yet in danger but it is just in the previous step, that is, in a vulnerable state and with a decreasing trend in its population. It can be up to 3 meters long, has a spiny crest and inhabits from the Red Sea to Japan and some areas of Australia.

Umbrella octopus

It is related to the Dumbo octopus, but Cirroctopus hochbergi , from the Opisthoteuthidae family , is in danger. The umbrella octopus lives mainly in some areas of New Zealand. Its appearance is strange, but like its relative the Dumbo octopus, many consider it adorable.

Narrow sawfish

This fish, which is within the family of sawfish, is scientifically called Anoxypristis cuspidata and is perhaps better known by its English names, Narrow Sawfish or Knifetooth Sawfish . They can reach up to 4.7 meters in length and their appearance similar to that of a flat shark and the teeth placed like a saw give it a somewhat strange appearance. It inhabits the Pacific, the Indian Ocean and the Red Sea, on the coasts of Australia, Japan, New Guinea and the Persian Gulf.

Napoleon fish

Cheilinus undulates is its scientific name and in English it is known as Humphead Wrasse . The wrasse is in danger of extinction and its population in recent years continues to decline. It is one of the largest fish that exists, it lives in the Pacific Ocean and some areas of the Indian Ocean between coral reefs. Many fishermen catch it, the reefs are a habitat that has been badly damaged in recent years, in addition, their reproduction is slow, since they are hermaphrodites. It is the same fish in the image that heads this article.

Big-headed bream

In English it is known as Red Stumpnose Seabream and its Latin name is Chrysoblephus gibbiceps . This strange-looking fish has a prominent forehead in proportion to the rest of its body and, although there are white specimens, it has striking red stripes all over its body. They can grow to over half a meter, live off the coast of South Africa and are in danger of disappearing in the coming years.


Known by its scientific name Mola mola and as sunfish in English, the sunfish is one of the largest and rarest fish in the world. Its current state is vulnerable and also its population continues to decrease year after year. Its name is due to its shape and behavior, since it is usually placed on its side on the surface, something that is reminiscent of the reflection of the moon in the water.

Gliding cuckold

Called Eusphyra blochii in Latin and Winghead Shark in English , it is related to hammerhead sharks and other similar species. It is in danger of extinction and currently its population continues to decrease. Its appearance may seem strange because it looks like a thinner and smaller hammerhead shark, with a much more pronounced head shape. It lives in the surface waters of the Philippines, Australia, China, and the Persian Gulf.

Puffadder shyshark

It is known by its English name Puffadder shyshark but its Latin name is Haploblepharus kistnasamyi . It is a species of shark that lives in South Africa and is in a state of danger of extinction. In fact the growth trend of its current population is unknown, since there are few at liberty to study them well.

Dumb shark

The shark Centrophorus harrissoni , in English Harrisson’s Dogfish , is in danger of disappearing and its population currently follows this trend. The cause is not only the pollution of their habitat, but they are fished for their meat and liver oil. They can be a little over a meter long. The also called dumb quelvacho lives on the coasts of Australia and near New Zealand.

European eel

The Anguilla anguilla is in a critical state of danger of extinction, that is, it is about to disappear. Its habitat zone is in all marine and oceanic waters of Europe and North Africa.

Japanese eel

The Anguilla japonica is another species of eel that is in serious condition, since it is in danger of extinction and its number of individuals continues to decrease. It lives in the waters of Japan, Korea, Taiwan, China and Vietnam.

Striped seahorse

The Hippocampus erectus inhabits the waters of the Atlantic Ocean and the status of its population is vulnerable with a decreasing trend. The contamination of its habitat and its illegal fishing to form part of some private aquariums are the main causes of its worrying state.

Spiny seahorse

This species of seahorse, the Hippocampus histrix , is in a vulnerable situation and its population continues to decrease. This strange horse has thorns throughout its body and inhabits the Arabian Sea, the Red Sea, and the southern Indian Ocean.

Japanese sea cucumber

The Apostichopus japonicus is a species of sea cucumber with thorns on its body that is in danger and its population continues to decline. It lives in the waters of Japan, China, Korea and Russia.

Common sea cucumber

Also called Warty Sea Cucumber in English or warty sea cucumber in Spanish. The species Apostichopus parvimensis is in a state of vulnerability and the number of individuals continues to decrease, since it is fished for it is listed on the market for consumption. Its habitat is between the waters of Mexico and California.

Poisonous cone snail

Have you ever heard of a poisonous snail ? Well, there is a marine snail, called Conus ateralbus , which is. Its venom can be fatal to humans, producing paralysis and death in a short time. They have a horn or harpoon on the front that they can keep or take out at will and that is where they have the gland with the poison. It is in danger but the evolution of its population is stable, that is to say, at the moment it does not seem to continue to decline.

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