A person can consider himself the king of nature. But compared to the world’s largest animals, humans are nothing more than babies. Let’s take a look at the giants that still walk the Earth.
15. The giant flying fox ≈ 1.5 kg
is the largest bat-winged animal on Earth. These bats live in the Philippines. The fox’s body size is about 55 cm, weight is 1.5 kg, but the wingspan is very solid – up to 1.8 meters.
14. Belgian Flanders giant – up to 25 kg
Domesticated form of hare (rabbit). The main selection was carried out in the meat-skin direction, which left an imprint on its size. This is the largest breed of rabbits. Their average weight is 10-12 kg, the maximum recorded is 25 kg.
13. The Chinese giant salamander ≈ 70 kg
is the largest amphibian on Earth. The length of the salamander reaches 180 cm . These amazing creatures live in China, where their meat is revered as a delicacy, so few salamanders grow to their maximum size.
12. Capybara ≈ 105 kg
is the largest rodent on Earth. These cute animals live in South America. Adult capybaras grow up to 1.5 meters in length, and can gain up to 105 kg in weight. By the way, these rodents are happy to live next to a person.
11. Giant green anaconda ≈ 250 kg
This is a close relative of the python, the largest snake on Earth. It lives in the tropics of South America. The maximum recorded body length is more than 7.5 meters, and the weight is 250 kilograms. The Asian python surpasses the anaconda in length, which is 9.7 meters, but loses in weight.
10. Polar bear ≈ 500 kg
To find the largest bear in the world, you need to go to the Arctic. There, among the snow and ice, majestic polar bears live – the living embodiment of the formidable forces of nature. Inuit call polar bears “nanuk”, which means “respected”. At birth, a newborn polar bear cub weighs only 700 grams. And the milk he feeds on is fattier than the milk of other types of bears. Two months after birth, the bear cub weighs 10 kg. Until the age of one and a half, he is accompanied everywhere by a caring mother. And at the age of two, when many human children still hardly walk and dirty diapers, a young polar bear is already gaining its normal weight and is able to pick up a sea hare, a ringed seal or even a person if he is not careful enough. Even for the world’s largest bear, finding food can be a challenge. Less than two percent of polar bear hunts are successful, so half of their lives are spent looking for food.
9. Crested crocodile ≈ 590 kg
Most of the largest animals are not characterized by a peaceful nature. But even among them, crested crocodiles stand out for their aggressiveness and bloodthirstiness. The scariest animal in the world even got into the Guinness Book of Records for eating a thousand Japanese soldiers together with their relatives during World War II. But it is unlikely that the crested crocodiles can be counted among the allies, because they would have enjoyed Russian, American and any other soldiers with the same pleasure.
8. Giraffe ≈ 800 kg
Among the largest animals in the world, giraffes immediately stand out with their long neck. Thanks to her, they are the tallest terrestrial creatures on the planet. The neck is 1/3 of the length of the animal’s body and, at the same time, consists of only seven cervical vertebrae, as in most other mammals. About giraffes, we can safely say that they have a big heart. It weighs 12 kilograms, and creates pressure that would terrify any hypertensive person. What the body will not do so that the blood can reach the brain. Giraffes are also famous for their long tongue. Only they don’t need him for gossip, but to eat leaves from the tallest trees in the African savannah. In length, this organ reaches as much as 45 centimeters.
7. Behemoth ≈ up to 4.5 tons
In sub-Saharan Africa lives the third largest land animal in the world. But hippos don’t really like walking on the ground. They are semi-aquatic mammals, meaning they spend most of their day in rivers and lakes. This is how they keep their hairless body hydrated under the scorching African sun. If the hippo does not have the opportunity to dive into cool water, its skin cracks. Female hippos began to give birth underwater long before it became a fashionable trend in the human world. By the way, hippos are one of the few mammals whose cubs can suck mother’s milk while underwater. In most European languages, the hippopotamus is called a “hippopotamus”. This word came from Latin (and there, in turn, from Greek) and means “river horse” in translation. Of course, this massive creature cannot be compared with the most beautiful horses, but it is very fast and agile in the water.
6. Southern elephant seal ≈ 2.2 tons
Among the largest animals of our planet there are two elephants at once, and one of them is terrestrial, and the second is marine. This seal got its name for a leather bag on its nose, which swells up during anxiety or during mating fights, turning into a big ball.
5. White rhinoceros ≈ 2.3 tons
An old joke about a rhinoceros says that he has poor eyesight, but with such a large size, this is no longer his problem. And indeed, these giants do not particularly rely on their eyesight. And even hearing plays a secondary role. But the sense of smell in white rhinos is very well developed. So do not approach it from the windward side. By the way, unlike their small counterparts of black rhinos, whites usually run away when they see a person. But black rushes to the attack. Due to the uncontrolled extermination of white rhinos, the northern subspecies disappeared. This happened quite recently, in 2018, when the last male named Sudan died. So now we can only admire the photos of these largest animals in the world. But the southern population still exists. But the question is: for how long?
4. The African savanna elephant ≈ 7 tons
In front of you is a seven-ton answer to the question of what is the largest animal among terrestrial creatures. Due to its size and body weight, the elephant was included in the Guinness Book of Records as the largest land mammal. There are also heavyweights among the savanna elephants. So, in Angola in 1974, an elephant weighing 12.2 tons was shot. Like their smaller counterparts, African elephants can use their trunks (which have over 40,000 muscles) to lift anything weighing up to 180 kg. Unfortunately, the largest land animal cannot boast the largest population. 25,000 elephants die every year due to poaching.
3. Big whale shark ≈ 20 tons
It seems strange that the largest shark in the world is not the most terrible representative of the shark species. She doesn’t even hunt whales, contrary to her name. Unlike most of its predatory brethren, the great whale shark is content with plankton for breakfast, lunch and dinner. This sea giant does not swim very fast, and almost does not pay attention to people swimming nearby. Which allows divers, if desired, to ride on the back of a whale shark. In videos with the largest animals in the world, you can often see people swimming with whale sharks.
2. Sperm whale ≈ 40 tons
One of the best ways to recognize a sperm whale in the ocean is by its massive head. Sperm whales have the largest brain of all living creatures on Earth, it weighs up to 7.8 kg. However, the fact that their heads are filled with spermaceti makes the biology of these creatures so fascinating. It is the spermaceti sac that accounts for 90% of the weight of the sperm whale’s head. Scientists suggest that it is spermaceti that helps these huge toothed whales dive and emerge from the depths. There must be something that keeps all 40 tons of sperm whale afloat!
1. Blue whale ≈ 150 tons
The largest animal on Earth is a majestic, carnivorous sea creature that weighs a whopping 150 tons, and reaches a length of 33 meters. And this is still on average, since whalers have encountered 180-ton and even 190-ton whales. The heart of a blue whale is one and a half meters in size, weighs about 180 kilograms, and its aorta is wide enough for a baby to swim through it. However, despite their gigantic size, blue whales are not dangerous to humans. They do not attack swimmers, and feed on krill, small crustaceans, cephalopods and fish. But a man for a blue whale is the most dangerous opponent. Due to active whaling and heavy pollution of the seas, the largest animal in the world almost disappeared. In 1693, there were only 5 thousand individuals left. And although now the population of the blue whale has grown to 10 thousand individuals, it is still on the verge of extinction.