What is the biggest animal in the world
The world is full of large animals but a few them, and at least one of them literally, stands out from the herd. Here are the world’s biggest, most humungous animals listed according to specie.
The Largest of All
The largest animal among large animals in the known world is the Blue Whale. It spans a whooping 100 feet in length. Just to give you a quick mental picture of what that’s like: that’s 6 feet longer than a basketball court! If that’s not enough, wait until you get a load of its weight (pun intended). The Blue Whale weighs 200 tons (181 metric tons). That’s about the total weight of 2,667 average-sized (150 lb) humans! But no need to fear, Blue Whales are not too crazy about having humans for breakfast, lunch, dinner or snack any time soon. They have a big heart, after all—literally at that. A Blue Whale’s heart is about 1,300 lb (600kg) and it would rather go for the seemingly easier to digest (as they’re ever so teeny) krill. It is widely thought that a Blue Whale almost exclusively feeds on these tiny creatures. Considering how disproportionate this large predator is to its prey in terms of size, it’s not hard to believe that a Blue Whale may eat up to 40 million krill a day during feeding season! Its daily requirement, or at least as far as the male Blue Whale is concerned, is about 7,900 pounds a day. That being said, let’s move on to the largest animals in each class of the Animalia Kingdom.
Large can mean tall, heavy and long and in the class of Mammals, there’s a whole range of animals to choose from. In fact our biggest mammal is the biggest of all animals and that’s the Blue Whale mentioned earlier. It’s also the longest of mammals and nothing on land has come close to its size. So to give everyone a fair fighting chance, we’ll leave the Blue Whale out of the list and include only the tallest and heaviest animals on land. Please take note that this list makes note of the maximum weight or sizes each animal can reach.
Heaviest Mammal on Land
If we only take into account the land creatures, the African Bush Elephant would take away the Largest Animal Award. Sure it’s not as big as our beloved Blue Whale but it’s definitely impressive at 19.7 to 24.6 ft in length, 10.8 ft in height and 13,000 lb (6 tons) in weight. This is a size large enough to scare other animals that no predator, not even the king of the jungle, The Lion, is known to prey on the adult African Bush Elephant. Can’t say the same for the little ones (the newborns, especially). They’re a tad bit too vulnerable to attacks from lions. (Yes, The King gets its chance…but with the little ones. The coward.) Baby African Bush Elephants are also prone to being preyed on by crocodiles, leopards and hyenas.
Tallest Mammal on Land
This large animal is hands down the tallest animal in the world. The giraffe stands above the herd at 16 to 20 feet tall (5 to 6 meters) thanks to its excessively long neck. The neck alone accounts for half of this ungulate mammal’s height! Now if you have ever wondered if the giraffe’s neck has more vertebrae than other animals, wonder no more—it doesn’t. It has the same vertebrae as most mammals but it’s just disproportionately distributed, or in more layman’s term, just really “stretched out”. This unusually long neck is supported by a weight of 3,500 lb (1,600 kg) for males and 1,800 lb (830 kg) for females.
The Saltwater Crocodile is the biggest in the world of extant reptiles. If you know its diet, you’d say it should rightfully take the bragging rights. It feeds on any animal that dares to enter its premises (including unsuspecting humans), be it on water or dry land. It is certainly more than capable of playing the role of apex predator judging by its body alone which is broader than most crocodiles. An adult male can grow to more than 20 feet (6 meters) lengthwise. Ordinarily though, one would find it hovering between the 13 to 18 feet (4.1 to 5.5 meters) benchmark. Still, it’s the only known living crocodile that regularly exceeds the 16 feet mark. Now that’s consistency! The mature adult Saltwater Crocodile is packed with a body that can reach a weight of up to 2,200 lb (1,000 kg). So if you ever find yourself wandering in this reptile’s natural habitat, which runs from Northern Australia through Southeast Asia and up to the Eastern Coast of India, you know better than to stay and take a closer look.
You know how some people are so into salamanders that they turn them into pets? Well, good luck to them trying to capture, much less keep this salamander around: The Chinese Giant Salamander is about the size of a full-grown man! It’s the largest amphibian in the world with the longest size recorded at 6 feet (100m). While it isn’t likely for this giant amphibian to ever reach that enormous size again at this day and age (it’s reached endangered status now thanks to the exotic diet of the Chinese—the Salamanders are mostly found in the rocky mountain streams and lake in China, their belief in the medicinal powers of the said salamanders, pollution and loss of habitat), it’s still good to know that they can actually grow to that size. The info might come in handy to scare off salamander collectors.
The largest fish happens to have a menacing name: Whale Shark. But it’s really docile like most fishes and it sometimes even lets lovely people hitch a ride on its tail or fin. The formidable Whale Shark specie is surmised to have first appeared about 60 million years ago. With such massive amount of time given to evolve, it’s no wonder that the largest recorded and confirmed length of the Whale Shark is 41.5 feet (12.65 meters), weighing at more than 47,000 lb (21.5 metric tons). Why, some even claim to have seen Whale Sharks that are bigger than that! They feed on planktons and small fishes so there’s really nothing to worry about our mortality when around these creatures. In fact, given their vulnerable state (in terms of number, docile personality and the unpredictable appetite of some humans), they ought to be more worried about their mortality when around us!
The largest bird happens to be the dumbest one—or at least that’s how the folklore goes. Ostriches are rumored to respond to threat or fear by burying their head in the sand. Thankfully, this story is just that, a story and not a fact. In fact, these mighty birds are so smart they’d lie down (which from afar make them look like they’re buried in the sand which is probably how the rumors started) first to blend with the color of sand and fool predators so they can spare their energy for running and use it for, say, hatching eggs instead. If this tactic doesn’t work, they’re off running like, well, a wild bird in the running—and they’re certainly more than capable of doing that! A full-grown Ostrich has legs that can cover 10 to 16 feet in one stride and these long gabs help it run 30 miles per hour without stopping. Seriously fast. If that isn’t enough, an Ostrich can always kick its predator with the said legs. A single kick is so powerful (and equipped with large claws on each hoof), it can kill a full-grown lion (provided it doesn’t get to them first, of course) or a human. It’s a wonder though why it has to resort to such brutality when it can always just look at any predator with its large eyes and scare it off. Ostrich eyes are the largest of any land animal, measuring to about 2 inches. Ostriches living in the wild can grow up to 9 feet tall and 220 to 350 pounds and they can live for up to 30 to 40 years.
The largest eyes found in any creature in the animal kingdom are 5 times larger than that of the Ostrich’s, look eerily similar to human eyes (probably because they have the same structure as the human eyes!) and they belong to the largest invertebrate in the world: the Colossal Squid. The biggest eyes documented are at 11 inches (27 cm). Colossal Squids are kind of rare and were only recently confirmed to exist. Legends of giant squids have been circulating in stories of old but it wasn’t until the 1980s when an actual catch transpired so only a few specimens have actually been measured. Colossal Squids are believed to be able to grow to a maximum length of 14 meters but the largest recorded size is only around 10 meters (33 feet) long with a weight of 1,091 lb (495 kilograms)—which is still ridiculously large all the same.
As we've probably used every adjective pertaining to large in this list, it’s only fitting we end it with an animal whose that’s so big in its class, it’s named after a mammoth of a biblical figure. The Goliath Bbeetle is 4 inches long and weighs 115 g. On the get-go, its length isn’t so menacing. But just imagine what it’d be like sitting next to its overpowering mass if you’re a 2 inch butterfly with delicate wings? Goliath Bbeetles are among the largest insects in the world and are definitely the heaviest to date. They’re native to Africa and feed on any food high in sugar or glucose like very ripe fruit—a diet definitely telling of its weight.