6 of the Largest Animals on Earth
Updated: May 4
Humans may walk around the planet like we own the joint, but we certainly aren’t the biggest animals in size. Here’s a list of 6 of the largest animals on Earth to consider the next time you are feeling overly confident.
This whale is the largest mammal and the largest living animal on earth. Technically, too large to be weighed on any scale so each of the weights are proximations. The blue whale has been measured in sections, averaging 110 tons in weight and 79' in length. The largest blue whale on record was 190 tons.
Introducing the largest known invertebrate. Cephalopods (or “inkfish” as fishermen commonly refer to them)– like the squid, the octopus, and the nautilus–are considered the most intelligent of invertebrates. The colossal squid can be as long as 45' and weigh as much as 1,650 lbs. The first specimens were discovered and described in 1925. In 1981, an adult specimen was discovered, and in 2003 a second specimen was collected. Captured in 2007, the largest live colossal squid weighed 495 kilograms (1,091 lb), and is now on display with a second specimen at the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa.
AFRICAN BUSH ELEPHANT
An ABE is the largest and heaviest land mammal on earth. The title once belonged to the “African Elephant,” but the African bush elephant was recently classified separately from what has been distinguished as the smaller ‘African forest elephant.’ African bush elephants can be up to 13' tall at the shoulder, 19' 7" in length, and average 4.9 tons in weight. The heaviest male on record was 12.3 tons.
This bird is known to have the longest wingspan of any living bird. Their wingspan averages 10' 2" with the longest on record measuring 12' 2". Their incredible wingspans allow them to glide for long distances without flapping their wings, so these birds spend most of their lives in flight, generally landing only to feed and breed.
This crocodile is the heaviest of the living reptiles. The saltwater crocodile’s average weight is 990 lbs and their average length is 14'8". The largest on record was 4,400 lbs and 23' long. The “saltie” is a hypercarnivores apex predator, able to take down almost any other animal–including other apex predators. One of the most dangerous animals on earth, the saltwater crocodile prevails by ambushing its prey, drowning it, and then swallowing it whole.
The notorious Komodo Dragon is the largest lizard on earth. With a maximum length of 10' and weighing up to 150 lbs, these gigantic lizards dominate their ecosystems with serrated teeth and a venomous bite. Some of them get so big that their diet primarily consists of deer. They’ve also been known to attack humans.