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Facts About Affectionate Sea Creatures Brought to you by NOAA

Happy belated Valentine’s Day to all of you humans and marine creatures. Here are five fun facts from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. 


1. Have a (huge!) heart

Who has the biggest heart on the planet? Whale, whale, whale — it’s no surprise that it belongs to the most enormous creature on the planet. The blue whale is the winner, with a heart weighing over 1,000 pounds. That’s almost as big as a dairy cow. 


2. Quantity versus quality 

The blue whale wins the biggest heart, but the octopus wins the most. Two of the octopuses’ hearts pump blood to the gills, collecting oxygen so the octopus can breathe. In contrast, the third heart circulates the oxygenated blood throughout the rest of the body.


3. Long-distance love    

Do you think traveling a half hour to meet your date is tough? If so, be thankful you aren’t a leatherback turtle. These sea turtles undertake the longest migrations between breeding and feeding areas of any sea turtle, with some averaging 3,700 miles each way. So that’s a genuine long-distance relationship.


4. Sticking together

Which fish is prone to intense romantic attachment? The anglerfish, for one. Male anglerfish are much smaller than females; their life’s goal is to find females to latch onto physically. So when a male finds a female, he bites the female and fuses his body with hers. You know what they say— love hurts. The male then provides the female with sperm to fertilize her eggs, and the female gives him nutrients.


5. Love songs 

Dating can be tricky — even in the ocean. Humpback whales produce complex songs to attract a mate. Need inspiration for your next romantic ballad? Listen to this humpback whale love song recorded by researchers from Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary.

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