RE: NANFA-- longest animal

Jay DeLong (
Thu, 6 Jul 2000 18:34:24 -0700

Blue whales (110+ feet) and giant squids are big ones for sure, but...

According to, the longest anumal in the world is a
Praya, a siphonophore like the Apolemia , claims the record as the longest
animal on Earth. Led by two swimming bells, its 130-foot body, slim as a fat
pen, moves like a roller coaster through the water:

Same goes for The California Academy of Sciences:
"Siphonophores are made up of a large number of 'persons,' some of which it
is yet impossible to be sure what they are," wrote Sir Alister Hardy in The
Open Sea. "Nowhere else in the animal kingdom do we get this extraordinary
integration and coordination. The whole colony appears to act as one, as if
it was endowed with some new and higher individuality greater than that of
the components." These string-of-pearls creatures may reach lengths of 40
meters, besting the blue whale in its claim as Earth's longest animal:

Ditto for the Monterey Aquarium:
And the largest siphonophore that we have in Monterey Bay is probably Praya.
Praya is a siphonophore that we pick up on sonar. We can see it, it probably
reaches 30 to 50 meters in length, making it the longest animal in the
world. That's longer than the blue whale. It is not the largest animal by
any means being somewhat narrow in width.

The Tennessee Aquarium says it's the lion's mane jellyfish:
With its tentacles fully stretched, the Arctic lion's mane jelly is probably
the longest animal on Earth-longer than a 100-foot blue whale! The bell of
this jelly can be up to six feet across.

But then there's this ribbon worm Mr. Brock mentioned:
The longest animal ever recorded is the ribbon worm (also known as Lineus
longissimus), this creature has been measured at 180 feet when it was washed
ashore in Scotland in the late 1800's (a smorgasbord for the birds!):

For some reason, these reputable organizations don't refer to the 180 foot
ribbon worm. I saw mention of it on some trivia sites and such, but nowhere
else. Perhaps these organizations doubt the accuracy of the measurement.

Jay DeLong
Olympia, WA

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