Aquarium medalists

Lots of human swimmers have been winning prizes in South America recently—and we’ve got plenty of record-setting marine animals right here at the Seattle Aquarium, too! Here are just a few of the amazing feats they achieve:

Pacific spiny dogfish

Longest vertebrate gestation

Pacific spiny dogfish are ovoviviparous, which means they carry and hatch their young inside their bodies—and these animals do that for up to two years before the youngsters emerge! If we took this competition to the open ocean, the dogfish would only be beaten by a few fellow species of shark, including the basking shark and frilled shark.

northern fur seals

Longest migration

Northern fur seals are the winners here, with a migration of up to 6,000 miles round-trip. That’s like swimming roughly from Seattle to Miami and back. Extending this competition to species outside of the Aquarium would yield a very different result: gray whales migrate up to 12,000 miles annually.

northern sea otter

Densest fur

The prize goes to the northern sea otter, with nearly 1,000,000 hairs per square inch. In second place is a species named for this very characteristic, the northern fur seal. Their coats come in at about 300,000 hairs per square inch. Congratulations to the fur seal for medaling in two events!

Sticking the landing

Leafy hornmouth snails take home the prize for having a shell specifically shaped to help them land upright (48 percent of the time) or at least on the side from which it is easiest to right themselves (37 percent of the time).

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