Marine Animals of the Gulf of Mexico

pilot whale rescued Gale

A comprehensive knowledge base of many of the Gulf of Mexico species is limited due to a variety of factors including expansive home ranges, complex environments, and species/individual differences. Much of what we know can be credited to information gathered during stranding response.


The Order Cetacea is comprised of whales, dolphins, and porpoises which includes 78 different species. This group is broken up into two sub-orders, the toothed whales (Odontoceti) and the baleen whales (Mysticeti). There have been 20 toothed whale species and 1 baleen whale species identified as resident species of the Gulf of Mexico.



The Florida Manatee is a sub species of the West Indian Manatee and is the only species of manatee found in the Gulf of Mexico. These manatees were listed as endangered but have since been down-listed to threatened in 2016.


Sea Turtles

Sea Turtles are all on the endangered species list due to the human and environmental threats like poaching and climate change in addition to natural threats. There are 7 species of sea turtles, 5 of which are found in the Gulf of Mexico: Green, Hawksbill, Kemps Ridley, Leatherback, and Loggerhead species.

sea turtle

80 Total Responses UF Marine Animal Rescue has responded to 80 animal calls since 2016!

33 Manatee Calls

15 Cetacean Calls

31 Turtle Calls

1 Otter

And counting…. Please call 352-477-0344 for strandings in Levy, Dixie, and Tylor Counties.

To learn more about these species, please visit NOAA’s protected species website for more information.

University of Florida


As part of both the Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences and UF Health, Veterinary Medicine is dedicated to advancing animal, human and environmental health through teaching, research, extension and patient care.



Animal Hospitals

Need animal care? Visit the UF Small Animal and Large Animal Hospitals. From dogs, cats, birds and exotics to horses, cattle, llamas, pigs and many other large farm or food animals, our experienced veterinarian staff is ready to assist.

Animal Airwaves

Syndicated Podcast

Animal Airwaves

Animal Airwaves is a daily radio series that features one-minute segments relating to animal health, ranging from insights into animal behavior to veterinary patient care breakthroughs and trends.

Animal Airwaves