Are there any sea creatures in Avatar?

Being that James Cameron's ideas and influences were heavily influenced by earth sea creatures: James Cameron’s Love for Scuba Diving Shows in Avatar

“I just swept in every design influence in my life. I've always had this deep respect for nature and a lot of my youth was out in the woods hiking around. I was a total science geek. I spent over 2,500 hours underwater and I've seen things that are absolutely astonishing on the bottom of the ocean. It really is like an alien planet. I've always felt like that's something I've been able to do was live out a science-fiction fantasy adventure for real in my diving work. So yeah, there's a lot of stuff there. There's even a lot of stuff in the shallow ocean that's influenced things. The Banshee wings are based on the colourations of tropical fish, for example. We were a little concerned that these large creatures wouldn't scale with these incredibly vivid colour patterns, but we managed to make that work.” – James Cameron

And we are shown Jake falling in to what looks like a river, an ocean looking like scene when gathering the tribes and we are even shown Jake and Netiri swimming. There seems to be a lack of water dwelling creatures.

Seeming James Cameron's love of the ocean, there seems to be a very visible lacking presence of water dwelling creatures.

Was there anything in or out of universe that shows James Cameron having water dwelling creatures?

Answers can be plain and simple, either he did or didn't or even we are never shown will be accepted.


4 Answers 4


According to Cameron, the oceans of Pandora are just as rich and diverse as the land masses.

“We created a broad canvas for the environment of film. That’s not just on Pandora, but throughout the Alpha Centauri AB system. And we expand out across that system and incorporate more into the story – not necessarily in the second film, but more toward a third film. I’ve already announced this, so I might as well say it: Part of my focus in the second film is in creating a different environment – a different setting within Pandora. And I’m going to be focusing on the ocean on Pandora, which will be equally rich and diverse and crazy and imaginative, but it just won’t be a rain forest. I’m not saying we won’t see what we’ve already seen; we’ll see more of that as well.”

Cameron Talks ‘Avatar 2’ & Extended ‘Avatar’ Release

Tangentially, the "Pandorapedia" mentions that Tetrapterons come in differing varieties; aquatic and arboreal and that those that live by the oceans enjoy a

"feeding ecology"




The World of Avatar: A Visual Exploration book also mentions several sea creatures;

The nalutsa has a blocky, black, ridged skin on top, and smooth tan skin underneath.  Its gaping mouth is as large as the body behind it.  It has a pointed ridge above the eye, a triangular nose, and six fins.
The accompanying text reads: "Nalutsa: Like orca whales on Earth, this six-gilled, 131-ft (40-m)-long ocean behemoth can be seen leaping out of offshore waters as it hunts its prey.  Its cousin, the akula, is even larger."

The turtapede is mostly black with lighter, blue-tinted vein-like patterns on its skin.  The armor plates on its back are iridescent blue with a pattern of black lines.  The accompanying text reads: "Turtapede: The turtapede can be found lazily swimming through freshwater lakes and rivers, but has also adapted to saltwater oceans.  Turtapedes have armored bodies and multiple fins.  The dorsal fin increases in size with age, with the armored plates surrounding it falling off and regrowing to fit the increasing appendage.  A fully grown turtapede is approximately 16 to 20 ft (5 to 6 m) from snout to tail and 13 ft (4 m) tall."

  • 1
    "equally rich" - So not very rich then?
    – Rogue Jedi
    Commented Oct 2, 2017 at 10:53

With the opening of the new "Pandora - the World of Avatar" land at Disney's Animal Kingdom at Walt Disney World (developed in partnership with James Cameron), we have a definitive answer to this question.

(marking as a spoiler for any who wish to visit the new land free of pre-gained knowledge)

In the "Flight of Passage" attraction, as you soar on the back of a Banshee in your avatar body, you come inches away from a gigantic sea creature breaching up from the ocean. So, yes, there is most definitely sea life on Pandora.


Although we will wait for the second film to know more about the aquatic creatures of Pandora.

If there are aquatic creatures, in fact part of the Tretapteron mentioned in another comment.

One knows of two aquatic creatures.

One is the "Anemonoid", these are already seen in some scene of the first film. Anemonoid

The other known creature is the "Dinicthoid" according to its definition is:

"Its head features two large, protruding red eyes that can see for long distances under water in dim light. It also features a disconcertingly humanoid false face, (used to befuddle or Frighten would-be predators), that is created by folds at the top of the skull. "

If you want more information: Dinicthoid

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    Both of those creatures are found in the lake that Jake swims in. They don't appear to be oceanic.
    – Valorum
    Commented Mar 29, 2017 at 12:35
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    The anemonoid don't appear to be a river creature.... We don't know the source of the water of this lake maybe can be a sea water
    – Gawey
    Commented Mar 29, 2017 at 12:37
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    It's theoretically possible that they're sea-based as well as lake-based. The question was looking for a definite answer though.
    – Valorum
    Commented Mar 29, 2017 at 13:06
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    And how you know the existence of a "sea" in pandora and not a lot of big lakes? Or if this water is mangrove swamp? All of this are teoricals answers... Like the first answer too
    – Gawey
    Commented Mar 29, 2017 at 13:11
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    @Gawey, When I say "an ocean looking like scene" , I am pretty sure I am not definitely stating it WAS the ocean. I said it looked like the Ocean. BTW I am the one who up voted you for your answer.
    – KyloRen
    Commented Mar 29, 2017 at 13:17

There are three known ocean creatures. The "ilu" which is a plesiosaur-like creature, the much bigger "nalutsa", and lastly the "akula", the "cousin" of the nalutsa which is more fierce and elusive.

  • 2
    Hi there. What's the source of this? Could you please edit it in? (I don't remember it being said in the movie, so I'm thinking you got it from an interview/Pandorapedia/an artbook or similar)
    – Jenayah
    Commented Feb 25, 2019 at 3:56

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