Notice the "land" in the title. If I included all the whales, this list would be pretty boring. Enjoy
1. African Elephant
African Elephants are popularly known as the heaviest land animals, and weigh an average of 18,000 pounds. They keep the African forest and savanna ecosystem thriving by eating enormous amounts of vegetation every day. The African elephant has virtually no individual predators, similar to the blue whale in the sea. They usually live to be around 70 years. Many African countries have passed laws banning the export of ivory to protect this endangered species, but illegal poaching continues.
2. Asian Elephant
The Asian Elephant is, namely, the Asian counterpart to the African Elephant. It weighs around 8,500 pounds. Asian Elephants play ecological roles much like their African counterparts, although their habitat tends to be more forested and wet. They are now almost exclusively restricted to southeast Asia. They, along with the African Elephant, are regarded as “keystone” species because of their extremely vital contribution to their respective ecosystems. Asian Elephant numbers are decreasing mainly as a result of habitat loss, fragmentation and degradation.
3. White Rhinoceros
The white rhinoceros is divided into two subspecies, the Northern and Southern White Rhinoceros. The northern subspecies is rarer by far, as almost all the remaining specimens are in captivity. The white rhino grows to about 7000 pounds. The Southern White Rhino is found through southern Africa, but there are few specimens of Northern White Rhino left in the wild (all released from captivity).
The hippo grows to about 5500 pounds. It is so monstrously big that “hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia” means the “fear of long words.” (sort of ironic if you ask me…) Hippos live much like lions and apes, as there is a male leader of a pack who fights others to gain his lofty position as the “dominant male.” The hippopotamus mainly lives in the river to keep cool under the hot environment of the African ecosystem.
The gaur, also known as the Indian Bison, grows to about 2000-3000 pounds. As with the hippopotamus, gaurs live in herds with a dominant male leading. Although they are called Indian Bison, they are spread mainly throughout southeastern Asia (as in Vietnam, Thailand, etc.). The gaur has been domesticated much like the oxen for use as meat and as a source of labor.
The Arctic walrus weighs around 2,400 pounds. This is thanks mostly to their blubber which keeps them warm in the cold Arctic environment. They are both social and aggressive when the situation calls for it. Walruses live an average of 40 years in the wild. Their tusks and whiskers are crucial to their status as north Arctic hunters in the sea. As they are endangered, only Native Americans are permitted to hunt walruses legally.
The giraffe, a universally recognized creature, grows to around 2000 pounds. They hold the title for world’s tallest animal, thanks to their easily distinguishable necks that allow them to reach tree leaves high up above the reach of other animals. Its legs alone are about 6 feet tall, dwarfing most people. Their spotted coats are like biological fingerprints; each coat is unique to each giraffe.
8. Black Rhinoceros
The black rhino also weighs around 2000 pounds. Like its white cousin (actually it was only named the white rhino because of a translation error; in fact, both species are gray. The only difference is in lip shape which apparently enough to differentiate the species), the black rhino is endangered. They live alone, solitary, without need of herds. Black rhinos actually grow 2 horns, 1 in the front which is larger and more noticeable than the one behind it.
9. Saltwater Crocodile
The saltwater crocodile is the largest, heaviest, and most dangerous species of crocodile. It grows to around 1700 pounds. It is widely regarded as a man-eater, and this is one species (much more so than sharks) deserving of this title. They will eat anything they can get their jaws on, including humans. Saltwater crocodiles have a vast range, from far out in ocean to reefs, waiting patiently for their prey to come too close.
10. Wild Asian Water Buffalo
The Wild Asian Water Buffalo is an endangered species in southern Asia that grows to approximately 1500 pounds. It is the largest and heaviest member of the Bovini tribe, which consists of such animals as yak, American bison, etc. etc. Their population diminishes as they are interbred with domesticated water buffalo.