Our world is full of creatures big and small, short and tall. Below the Sifter looks at 10 of the largest animals in the world, classified by various categories such as mammals, reptiles, birds, amphibians etc. There’s an incredibly detailed list of some of the world’s largest organisms (including plants, fungi, bacteria, etc.) on Wikipedia, check it out if you enjoy lists as much as we do 🙂 For now, enjoy these fifteen fascinating animals.
The Largest Animal Ever: The Blue Whale
The blue whale (Balaenoptera musculus) is a marine mammal belonging to the suborder of baleen whales. At 30 metres (98 ft) in length and 180 metric tons (200 short tons) or more in weight, it is the largest known animal to have ever existed. The Blue Whale’s tongue weighs around 2.7 metric tons (5,952 pounds), about the size of an average Asian Elephant and its heart weighs about 600 kg (1,300 lb) and is the largest known in any animal. Not only is the heart similar size to a mini-cooper car but also comparable in weight.
The Blue Whale is thought to feed almost exclusively on small, shrimp-like creatures called Krill. During the summer feeding season the Blue Whale gorges itself, consuming an astounding 3.6 metric tons (7,900 pounds) or more each day. This means it may eat up to 40 million krill a day with a daily calorie requirement of an adult Blue Whale in the region of 1.5 million
The Heaviest Land Animal in the World: The African Bush Elephant
The African Bush Elephant is the largest living terrestrial (land) animal, with males reaching 6 to 7.5 metres (19.7 to 24.6 ft) in length, 3.3 metres (10.8 ft) in height at the shoulder, and weighing 6 t (13,000 lb). Females are much smaller, reaching 5.4 to 6.9 metres (17.7 to 22.6 ft) in length, 2.7 metres (8.9 ft) in height at the shoulder, and weighing 3 t (6,600 lb). The adult African bush elephant generally has no natural predators due to its great size, but the calves (especially the newborn) are vulnerable to lion and crocodile attacks, and (rarely) to leopard and hyena