Which animal is the largest in the world? Below are the undisputed record holders of the natural world.
Although the era of ancient giants is gone forever, the modern world is also inhabited by real behemoths, whose sheer size places them at the top of the fauna kingdom. The largest animals in the world can amaze you and provide a lot of fun. They are characterized by different shapes and sizes, but they have one thing in common: in their ranks, subordinates and families, they are absolute record holders, clearly superior to other species.
Our list starts with the largest marine mammal and animal in Earth’s history. We are talking about the blue whale – the behemoth that lives in the depths of the ocean. In this case, the word “colossus” was not used excessively. Adult females (which are slightly larger than males) can grow up to 3,300 cm in length! The weight of this colossus is in the range of 135,000-150,000 kg!
It is hard to believe that such a giant still lives on our planet. Huge whales inhabit all the world’s oceans. The most common populations are found in the Southern Hemisphere. Whales belong to the group of migratory animals. During the breeding season, they prefer warmer waters. They forage in cooler waters, where krill, ie plankton crustaceans, are abundant. How much food does this behemoth need? The average whale absorbs about 4,000 kg of plankton per day!
Another giant in our list is the whale shark – the largest fish in the world. It is another cosmopolitan species that can be found in almost all waters in the tropical and subtropical climate zone (the Mediterranean is the exception). In terms of size, this giant is not inferior to the king of the oceans described above. The whale shark is up to 1500 cm long, but unconfirmed reports indicate that this species can reach more than 2000 cm. An adult individual weighs 10,000-20,000 kg. Unofficially, it is said of persons weighing more than 30,000 kg.
It may seem that such a large shark must be the most perfect predator living on our planet. There can be nothing more wrong. It is a gentle giant that feeds on plankton. He shows no aggressive behavior and the best proof of this is the fact that diving with whale sharks is one of Australia’s biggest attractions.
We head to the reptile kingdom, where the rosary crocodile predominates. If any modern animal can give us a picture of what the world of prehistoric reptiles might be like, it is this species. The newly hatched young are 25-30 cm. After 12 months, the crocodile is 100 cm. Adult males are between 430 and 520 cm, and the females between 230 and 350 cm. An adult male can weigh between 400 and 1000 kg. Females are clearly lighter – they can reach up to 150 kg. It should be emphasized that we are talking about average values. The largest specimens reach 700 cm, but it must be emphasized that there are not too many of them.
Most fell victim to the only enemy of this behemoth – man. The saltwater crocodile is one of the least demanding predators and its diet mainly depends on the area where it lives. An animal at the top of the food chain can hunt any prey. Unfortunately, it happens that its jaws (the strongest of all land predators) also grab a human.
Let’s stay for a while in the reptile realm, and more specifically – in the world of snakes. There are many reports on the Internet about giant anacondas, which should be more than 15 meters in length, but such animals do not exist. Not only that, the anaconda has no honorable title at all. The longest snakes in the world are Reticulated Pythons†
The muscular body of this colossus measures more than 600 cm. However, it is worth noting that a person who has reached 770 cm by the age of 9 lives in captivity. Given that these animals grow throughout their lives, the reptile has a chance to reach 1000 cm or more. Reticulated pythons feed on mammals, less often birds. They are mostly prey to rodents, but the giant constrictor also preys on game the size of a domestic pig. Contrary to popular belief, this animal poses no threat to humans. Attacks are extremely rare.
Another animal on our list is queen of amphibians. Chinese giant salamander† It used to be widespread in southwestern Asia. Today, the numbers of this amphibian are declining and there are still scattered populations in the tributaries of the Yellow River, Pearl River, and Yangtze. † The animal feeds mainly on invertebrates – insects, crustaceans and mollusks. He also does not disdain small mammals, reptiles, fish and other amphibians.
We move to the land where it reigns supreme African elephant. The largest modern land mammal occurs in central and southern Africa. It is a herd animal that travels across the black continent in native places in search of food and water. The biggest, what is actually what?
An adult male African elephant has an average height of 330 cm. The largest individuals are 395 cm. Scale? 5500-6400kg. The largest documented specimen was 396 cm long and weighed 11,000 kg! Females are noticeably smaller – they grow to about 270 cm and weigh 3,700 kg. Elephants eat more than 200 kg of plant material every day. They mainly get their food from trees. If necessary, they knock over the trunk with powerful blows to make it easier to reach the green parts.
We stay in Africa. In Africa (in the northern part of the continent), we can meet not only giant mammals, but also the largest of all land birds. The female red ostrich grows up to 180 cm and can weigh up to 90 kg. Loads of? That’s not all, because the real record holders are men. Adult specimens measure approx. 274 cm and weigh approx. 130 kg! Although they cannot fly, they still move extremely efficiently. Powerful legs allow them to run at a speed of about 100 km / h. It should be emphasized that it is also an extremely effective weapon. A strong kick can effectively discourage a predator from attacking.
Listing the largest birds, it is impossible not to mention the species that reign in the sky. In this case, identifying the largest individuals is extremely difficult due to the individual characteristics of the representatives of each species. So let’s take the wingspan as the criterion. In this aspect it has the palm of priority wandering albatross – the largest of all seabirds† An excellent flyer that can cover a distance of more than 1000 km in one day, with a wingspan of up to 370 cm!
The largest dogs in the world are Great Danes. The average size of the male is between 80 and 90 cm and can weigh up to 90 kg. The record holder measures 1035 m at the withers and when standing on his hind legs, his mouth is 2.24 m high!
We can also find some giants in the world of fluffy spiders. The biggest house cats they represent the savanna race, the result of crossing a domestic cat with a wild African cat. Depending on the generation, an adult male can weigh 12 to 20 kg!