Our beautiful world is full of creatures small and big, tall and short. Marine animals are the largest animals in the world, for example, some species of whales and sharks. For example, Blue whale is 16th time greater than a normal human. Largest animals are classified by different characteristics such as reptiles, mammals, amphibians, and birds. For now, enjoy these twenty Largest Animals on the Planet.
Elephants are large mammals of the family Elephantidae. There are two species of Elephant, the African Elephant, and the Asian Elephant. African Elephants are the largest extent terrestrial animals and can reach a height of 4m and weight 7,000 kg. They many distinctive features. A long trunk or proboscis is used for many purposes, such as lifting water, breathing, and grasping objects. Their large ear flaps help them to control their body temperature. Pillar-like legs can easily carry their great weight. They can be found in different habitats such as forests, savannahs, marshes, and deserts. They mostly prefer to stay near water. They are keystone species and have a great impact on environments. Most of the animals keep their distance from elephants. However, lions, hyenas, tigers, and wild dogs only target young elephants. Females try to live in family groups. They can live up to 70 years in the wild. The total population of Elephant was 440,000 individuals in 2012 by the IUCN. Most of the population found in central and southern Africa. The population of Asian Elephants declined to 50% over the past 60-75 years due to hunting.
The Hippopotamus or Hippo is a large mammal in sub-Saharan Africa. It is commonly known as “River Horse.” It is the third-largest type of land mammal and the heaviest extant artiodactyl. They are recognizable by their wide-opening mouths and barrel-shaped torsos. Despite stocky shape and short legs, they can run 30 km/h over short distances. The Hippopotamus is aggressive and unpredictable animals and one of the most dangerous animals in Africa. However, they are threatened by habitat loss. The most common Hippopotamus is semiaquatic, inhabiting lakes, rivers, and mangrove swamps. A territorial bull presides over stretches of rivers. They live in groups of five to thirty females and young. They remain cool in the water or mud during the day. Reproduction and childbirth occur in water. Adult weight is around 1,500 kg and 1,300 kg for males and females respectively. Very large males can reach 2,000 kg. The male species appear to grow throughout their lives continuously. They have a lifespan of 40 to 50 years.
The King Cobra is an elapid found in forests from India throughout Southeast Asia. It is the world longest venomous snake, with a length up to 5.6 to 5.7 m. King Cobra chiefly preys on other snakes and some other vertebrates such as rodents and lizards. It is a dangerous snake and has a fearsome reputation. However, it avoids confrontation with humans when possible. It is a prominent symbol in the folk traditions and mythology of Pakistan, India, and parts of Southeast Asia. The average King Cobra have a length between 3 to 4 m and weighs about 6 kg. the longest known species was kept captive at the London Zoo and grew to 5.6 to 5.7 m. The heaviest species was caught at Royal Island Club, Singapore in 1951 with the weight of 12 kg and the measured length of 4.8 m. The skin is either tan, olive-green, or black, and it has pale yellow cross bands down the length of the body. It is present across the Indian Subcontinent, the southern areas of East Asia and Southeast Asia. King Cobra lives in dense highland forests; especially areas dotted with streams and lakes. Its population has dropped in some areas due to the destruction of forests and ongoing collection of the International animal trade.
Bluntnose Sixgill Shark or the cow shark is the largest hexanchid shark. It is one of the commonly studied deep-sea sharks. It can grow up to 4.9 meters in length. It is famous species due to it’s both primitive and current physical characteristics. It has a heavy and powerful body with a broad head with large eyes. Adult male species average between 3.1 and 3.3 meters and adult female species average between 3.5 and 4.2 m. They inhabit depths greater than 90 m and has been recorded as deep as 1,875 m. It can be seen at a depth of 30 m. They only came to the shallower depths to feed. They have the capacity attain high speed for catching their prey. Due to the large and diverse range, they a large range of prey items such as crustaceans, mollusks, hangfish and sea lampreys. Bluntnose Sixgill Shark has not been known to attack any humans.
The Tiger Shark is a species of requiem shark and the only extant member of the genus Galeocerdo. It is a large macropredator, can attain a length of more than 5 meters. They are mostly found in many temperate and tropical waters, and common around central Pacific islands. It is also known as the “Sea Tiger.” It is a solitary, nocturnal hunter and is famous for having the widest food spectrum of all sharks, consuming a type of prey ranging from fish, crustaceans, seals, turtles, squid, birds, and sea snakes to dolphins and other small sharks. Tiger Shark has a reputation as a “garbage eater.” Killer whales have been popular on occasion to prey on them. It is a near threatened species due to fishing and finning by humans. The average length of Tiger Shark ranges between 3.25 to 4.25 m and weighs around 385 to 635 kg. Females are larger than males.
The Nile Crocodile is an African crocodile and considered the second largest extant reptile in the world. It is quite widespread throughout Sub-Sahara Africa. It lives in different types of aquatic environments such as rivers, lakes, and marshlands. They have the capability to live in saline environments. The adult male Nile crocodile is between 3.5 and 5 meters in length and weighs 225 to 750 kg. Specimens exceeding 6.1 m in length and weighing up to 1,090 kilograms have been recorded. Female species are about 30% smaller than males. The Nile Crocodile is aggressive species of crocodile and can take almost any animal within its range. Mostly their diet consists of different species of reptiles, fish, birds, and mammals. This ambush predator can wait for hours, days and weeks for the suitable moment to attack. They wait for the opportunity for a prey to come well within attack range. They have an extremely powerful bit and can apply high levels of force for an extended period.
The Giraffe is a genus of African even-toed ungulate mammals. Giraffe is the tallest living animals and the largest ruminants. Its chief distinguishing characteristics are its long neck and legs, its distinctive coat patterns and horn-like ossicones. It population extends from Niger in the west to Somalia in the east, and from Chad in the north to South Africa in the south. They usually inhabit woodlands and savannahs. Their food source is fruits, leaves, and flowers of woody plants, especially Acacia species. They may be preyed on by leopards, lions, African wild dogs and spotted hyenas. They live in herds of related females and their offspring. Males create social hierarchies through “necking.” The Giraffe intrigued different cultures, both ancient and modern, for its peculiar appearance. Giraffe has been featured in books, paintings, and cartoons. Fully grown Giraffes stand 4.3 to 5.7 m tall. Male species are taller than female species. The tallest record male was 4.88 meters, and the tallest female was 5.17 meters.
The Great White Shark, also known as the white pointer, great white, white death, or white shark, is a species of large lamniform shark, found in the coastal surface waters of all the primary oceans. It is notable for its size, with mature species growing up to 6.1 m in length and 1950 kg in weight. Males are smaller than females measuring 3.35 to 3.96 m average. They can live as long as 70 years or more, making it the longest-lived cartilaginous fish. Male species take 26 years to reach sexual maturity. However, the female takes 33 years to produce offspring. They can accelerate to over 56 km/h for short bursts. Great White Shark is one of the major predators of marine mammals. It preys upon a large variety of other marine animals such as seabirds and fish. It is ranked first in having the most recorded shark bite incidents on humans. The IUCN listed it as a vulnerable species.
The Southern Elephant Seal is one of the two species of elephant seals. It is the member of the order Carnivora living today. It got its name due to great size and the large proboscis of the adult males. It is distinguished from the northern elephant seal by its greater body mass and a shorter proboscis. They also appear taller when fighting, due to their ability to bend their backs more strongly than the northern species. The males have weighed about three times as much as the females. The weight of the female species is between 400 to 900 kg and measures 2.6 to 3 m long. The Bulls weigh 2,200 to 4,000 kg and measure from 4.2 to 5.8 m long. Their population was estimated between 664,000 and 740,000 animals in 2005. The largest subpopulation of Southern Elephant Seal is in the South Atlantic, having more than 400,000 individuals. They can stay on land for the longest period. They dive for more than 20 minutes to hunt their prey such as fish and squid.
The Saltwater Crocodile, also known as the estuarine crocodile, marine crocodile, Indo-Pacific crocodile, sea crocodile, or informally as saltie, is the largest riparian predator, and the largest of all living reptiles in the world. Male species can reach sizes up to at least 6.30 m and up to 7.0 m in length. An adult male crocodile reaches and exceeds a size of six meters weighing 1,000 to 1,200 kg. Females are smaller and do not surpass 3 m. They can live in marine environments. Usually, they reside in brackish and saline mangrove swamps, deltas, estuaries, lagoons and lower stretches of rivers. Saltwater Crocodiles have the broadest distribution of any modern crocodile, ranging from eastern part of India to most of northern Australia, and Southeast Asia. It is a formidable and opportunistic hypercarnivorous apex predator. Saltwater Crocodile is capable of prevailing over any animal that enters its territory including sharks, freshwater and marine fish, mammals, birds, reptiles, and even humans. Due to their size and aggression, they are the most dangerous extant crocodilian to humans.
The Beluga or European Sturgeon is a species of anadromous fish in the sturgeon family. They are inhabitants of the Caspian and the Black Sea basins and in the Adriatic Sea. It is a huge and late-maturing fish that can live for 118 years. Poaching and overfishing have reduced their population. They are large predators which feed mostly on fish, seal pups, and waterfowl. Their length may exceed 5 m. their great sizes mark them as the largest freshwater fish in the world. Beluga Sturgeon with great sizes are very old and have become rare in recent decades due to heavy fishing. Today, caught Belugas are 142 to 328 cm long and weigh 19 to 264 kg. The females are 20 % larger than the male. IUCN included Beluga Sturgeon in the Red List as critically endangered species. Beluga Sturgeon Caviar is considered a delicacy worldwide. The caviar has long been scarce and expensive. Due to endangered status, its caviar becomes more expensive in the worldwide market.
The Gharial, or the fish-eating crocodile and the gavial, is a crocodilian of the family Gavialidae. Gharial is native to the northern part of the Indian Subcontinent. The wild Gharial population is at fewer than 235 individuals, which are threatened by depletion of fish resources, loss of riverine habitat, and entanglement in fishing nets. The ICUN has included Gharial as Critically Endangered on the Red List. They are one of three crocodilians native to India. Once they inhabited all the primary river systems of the Indian Subcontinent, from the Irrawaddy River to the Indus River. Now distribution is limited to only 2% of their former range. Gharials usually mate in the cold season. The average size of mature specimens is 3.5 to 4.5 m. The largest recorded length is 6.25 m, and the recorded weight is 977 kg. Average body weight ranges from 159 to 250 kg. Today, Gharials are extinct in the Brahmaputra River, the Indus River, and the Irrawaddy River.
The Green Anaconda, also famous as the water boa and common anaconda, is a non-venomous boa species found in South America. It is one of the longest and heaviest known extant snake species. Green Anaconda length can reach up to 5.21 m. Typical mature specimens can range up to 5 m. the females are much larger in adulthood than the male. Their weight ranges from 30 to 70 kg in an average range adult. A cash reward of $50,000 is offered for anyone who can catch an anaconda 30 feet or longer. The longest verified specimen was a female measuring 17.09 ft long and weighing 97.5 kg. They mostly spend most of their life in or around water. They eat a large variety of prey, anything they can manage to overpower such as birds, fish, reptiles, and a variety of mammals. Large anacondas may consume large prey such as deer, tapirs, caimans, and capybaras.
The Killer Whale or Orca is a toothed whale from the oceanic dolphin family. They have a diverse diet. Some feed on fish, but other hunt marine mammals such as dolphins and seals. They attack adult whales and baleen whale calves. They are apex predators, and no animal preys on them. They are cosmopolitan species and found in each of the world’s oceans, from Arctic and Antarctic regions to tropical seas. Their populations are composed of matrilineal family groups, the most stable of any animal species. They sophisticated hunting techniques, and vocal behaviors have been described as manifestations of animal culture. Wild orcas are not considered a threat to humans. There are two or three types of Killer Whale. The orca population of Washington state and British Columbia waters were places on the U.S Endangered Species list. They are the largest extant members of the family dolphin. Typically, males range from 6 to 8 meters long and weight more than 6 tons. Females are smaller, ranging from 5 to 7 meters and weighing 3 to 4 tons.
The Longcomb sawfish or green sawfish is a sawfish, found in tropical waters of the Indo-west Pacific Oceans, from East Africa and the Red Sea to north to southern China, Papua New Guinea, and South to New South Wales, Australia. They have lengths up to 7.3 meters approximately. They have shark-like bodies and a blade-like snout known as a rostrum that has saw-like teeth on either side. Longcomb Sawfish is the largest sawfish in the genus Pristis with a rostrum measuring 1.66 meters. Teeth of Longcomb Sawfish have greyish-yellow color, and the central part of the rostrum has a darker shade. It is native to the western Ind-Pacific. They feed on fish, crustaceans, and squid. The species is listed as “Critically Endangered” by the IUCN in its Red List of Threatened Species. Their population reduced to 20% over three generations. Longcomb Sawfish is retained as bycatch for its fins, meat, and rostrum.
Giant Beaked Whales are three species of beaked whales in cold Southern Hemisphere waters and Baird’s beaked whale in the cold temperature waters of the North Pacific. They are the largest beaked whales, with the highest length of 10 to 12 meters. They are also referred to as “four-toothed whales,” but commonly known as Berardius. Estimated lengths of Giant Beaked Whales have been up to 12 meters, but all dead specimens had a length around 9.3 to 9.75 m. The weight is up to 14,000 kg. The total population of species is unknown, but estimates for Baird’s are of the order of 30,000 individuals. They move in close-knit groups of about three to ten. Female whales are larger than males and the preferred targets for whalers. They are mostly found in the Sea of Japan, the North Pacific Ocean and the southern part of the Sea of Okhotsk.
The Colossal Squid or Giant Cranch squid is the largest squid species regarding mass. It is the only member of the genus Mesonychoteuthis. Colossal Squid is the largest known invertebrate. The maximum size of Colossal Squid ranges from twelve to fourteen meters and weighing up to 750 kg. They have longer mantles than the giant squid, and their limbs are equipped with sharp hooks. They also have the largest eyes documented in the animals. They are primarily found in the entire circumarctic Southern Ocean. The largest known Colossal Squid was captured on Feb 22, 2007, with the weight of 495 kg and the total length of 4.5 m. They feed on prey like other squids in the deep ocean and large fish such as the Patagonian toothfish using bioluminescence.
The North Pacific Right Whale is very large and robust baleen whale species. Now it is extremely rare and endangered. The Northeast Pacific subpopulation may have no more than 40 animals. The populations in the North Pacific were more than 20,000 animals before 1835. The IUCN categorizes North Pacific Right Whale as “Endangered” and “Critically Endangered” by the Northeast Pacific subpopulation. It is the most endangered whale on Planet. They are very large and can reach between 15 to 18.3 meters in length as adults. And their body mass ranges from 50,000 to 80,000 kg. They are larger than the North Atlantic right whale. A 19.8 m whale captured during the illegal Soviet operations, which is a record. Like other whales in oceans, they primarily feed on copepods, especially Calanus marshallae. They feed by skimming water continuously while swimming. Millions of the tiny copepods required to furnish the energy to North Pacific Right Whale.
The sperm whale or cachalot is the largest toothed predator and the largest of the toothed whales. Sperm Whale is only living member of genus Physeter. Mature males have an average length of 16 meters, but some may reach 20.5 meters. Sperm Whale is the second deepest diving mammal after the Cuvier’s beaked whale. The whale has the largest brain of any animal in the world, five-time heavier than a human’s. It can live for more than 60 years. These whales can be found anywhere in the open oceans. Mature males live solitary lives, but females and young males live together in groups. The females help to save and nurse their young. They were major targets of whalers, from the eighteenth century to the late 20th century. The head of the whale called Spermaceti was used in oil lamps, lubricants, and candles. They usually dive between 300 to 800 meters and sometimes one to two kilometers, in search of food. They feed on different species such as the colossal squid, the giant squid, octopuses and fish like demersal rays.
The Blue Whale is a marine mammal belonging to the baleen whales. It has the record weight of 172 tons and length up to thirty meters. It is the largest animal on the Planet. There are three subspecies of Blue Whale, and these species are found in North Atlantic, Southern Ocean, North Pacific, South Pacific Ocean and the Indian Ocean. The diet of Blue Whale comprises small crustaceans, known as krills. They were present in all oceans on Earth before the 20th century. They were hunted almost to extinction for over a century by whalers. In 1966, the International community made rules to protect them. According to 2002 reports, there were 5000 to 12000 blue whales in world oceans. Before whaling, the largest population of Blue Whale was in the Antarctic, ranging 202,000 to 311,000.