The Largest Living Animals

These are the largest living animals today as defined by volume, mass, height or length.

Blue Whale: Largest Animal

Blue Whale by ideonexus.
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The blue whale is the largest animal to have ever existed. This marine mammal can be over 32.9 m (108 ft) in length and more than 172 metric tons (190 short tons) in weight. The heart can be as huge as a Volkswagen bug. These giants used to abound in all the world’s oceans but for more than 40 years they were hunted to extinction by whalers until protected by the international community since 1966. Today, the blue whale is facing a very high risk of extinction.

Colossal Squid: Largest Mollusk

Colossal Squid

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With a length that can be over 14 m (46 ft), the Colossal Squid (also called Antarctic and Giant Cranch Squid) is both the largest mollusk and largest of all invertebrates. Unlike the giant squid whose arms and tentacles only have suckers lined with small teeth, the Colossal Squid’s arms and tentacles are also equipped with sharp hooks. This Southern Ocean inhabitant is also the proud owner of the largest eyes in the animal kingdom.

African Bush Elephant: Largest Terrestrial Animal

File:Elephant near ndutu.jpg
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The African Bush Elephant, also called Savannah Elephant is the largest and heaviest land-dwelling animal. Its length can reach up to 7.3 m (24 ft), stand at 3.5 (11.5 ft), and can weigh up to 9,000 kg (19,843 lb). The largest on record was shot in Angola in 1955—a bull weighing 12,274 kg (27,060 lb), standing 4.2 m (13.8 ft) high. The Bush Elephant normally moves at a rate of 6 km/h (4mph), but can reach up to 40 km/h (25 mph) when frightened or upset.

Eastern Lowland Gorilla: Largest Primate

Silverback Lowland Gorilla by macinate.
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The Eastern Lowland Gorilla found in the forests of the Democratic Republic of Congo is the largest primate in the world. Its maximum size can be more than 225 kg (500 lb) and 1.83 m (6 ft) in the wild, with much heavier weight records in captivity. Some males can even weigh up to 338 kg. The heaviest on record is named Phil which lived in the St. Louis Zoo in 1941-1958 with a weight of 388 kg. The Eastern Lowland Gorilla is listed by the IUCN as an endangered species.

Saltwater Crocodile: Largest Reptile

File:SaltwaterCrocodile('Maximo').jpg
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The largest reptile is the saltwater or estuarine crocodile found throughout the waters of Southeast Asia and Northern Australia. An adult can weigh up to 1,360 kg (3,000 lbs) and length can be over 6 m (19 ft). This species have a tendency to travel long distances at sea sometimes reported to be sighted at sites thousands of miles from their native territory including New Caledonia and Fiji.

Ostrich: Largest Bird

North African Ostrich /  Masai Ostrich (Struthio camelus massaicus) by Lip Kee.
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The ostrich not only holds the record as the largest living bird, it also owns the largest egg among living animals, and with its ability to run up to 74 km/h (46 mph) has the top land speed among birds. This flightless bird with its distinctive long neck and legs can weigh up to 155 kg (340 lb) and stand up to 2.8 m (9.2 ft).

Chinese Giant Salamander: Largest Amphibian


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The Chinese Giant salamanders are the largest living amphibians known today. These river-dwellers from China can weigh up to 64 kg (140 lb) and be as long as 1.83 m (6 ft). They are critically endangered due to habitat loss, pollution and over collecting as they are a delicacy and used in traditional Chinese medicine.

Japanese Spider Crab: Largest Arthropod

File:Spider crab at manila ocean park.jpg

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The Japanese spider crab is the largest known arthropod having a leg span of 4 m (13 ft), a body size of 37 cm (15 in) and can weigh up to 20 kg (44 lb). Its natural habitat is at the seabed of the Pacific Ocean in the waters of Japan. This 10 legged crab is believed to live up to 100 years. It is often eaten salted and steamed and is also grown in an aquarium.

Goliath Beetle: Largest Insect

File:Goliath beetle.jpg

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The Goliath beetles are among the largest and heaviest living insects on Earth. They can measure up to 110 mm (4.3 in) and can weigh over 100 g (3.5 oz) in the larval stage. This species (Golianthus)are native to Africa. It was named after the Biblical story of David and Goliath as it can carry loads many times its own body size.

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37 Responses to “The Largest Living Animals”
  1. mikky webs Says...

    On April 15, 2009 at 5:10 am

    Oh that’s lovely. Thanks. Pls be my friend immediately.


  2. Joe Dorish Says...

    On April 15, 2009 at 7:16 am

    That salamander is huge!


  3. OhSugar Says...

    On April 15, 2009 at 9:00 am

    Oh my word, they are massive. Beautiful, but massive. Great presentation.


  4. kate smedley Says...

    On April 15, 2009 at 9:29 am

    Wow, some startlingly huge animals! Great photos, great article.


  5. Gon pincha Says...

    On April 15, 2009 at 9:44 am

    GREAT article. I really loved it!


  6. Judy T Lloyd Says...

    On April 15, 2009 at 11:13 am

    I agree this is a good article.


  7. Will Gray Says...

    On April 15, 2009 at 11:26 am

    Amazing article! Great work and fantastic pics!


  8. Allana Calhoun Says...

    On April 15, 2009 at 1:01 pm

    Nice informative article. Are you a Discovery Channel fan? I am. :-D


  9. magicdarts Says...

    On April 15, 2009 at 1:26 pm

    Wonderful run through the giants of the animal kingdom -thanks!


  10. rajeev bhargava Says...

    On April 15, 2009 at 1:27 pm

    awesome photos and beautiful descriptions for each one. i felt like i was reading a pictoral encyclopedia. BRILLIANT!!!


  11. bjr Says...

    On April 15, 2009 at 5:41 pm

    thats crazy


  12. Jack Castle Says...

    On April 15, 2009 at 6:59 pm

    That Saltwater Crocodile looks camouflaged in its environment.


  13. Mystical Whitwolf Says...

    On April 15, 2009 at 9:11 pm

    Fasinating article. I had never seen photo’s of some of the animals.


  14. Eunice Tan Says...

    On April 15, 2009 at 9:59 pm

    Nice to know this, JK. Cannot imagine if I face to face with one of them.


  15. rutherfranc Says...

    On April 15, 2009 at 10:02 pm

    those are really large..


  16. nutuba Says...

    On April 15, 2009 at 10:11 pm

    Well researched and interesting article! Well written and enjoyable. Nicely done!


  17. Jo Oliver Says...

    On April 15, 2009 at 11:39 pm

    Awesome animals; thx for the pics and info.


  18. Westbrook Says...

    On April 16, 2009 at 9:19 am

    Great review and photos.


  19. pdiddy214 Says...

    On April 16, 2009 at 11:48 am

    That was awesome those animals were huge.


  20. Anne McNew Says...

    On April 16, 2009 at 8:34 pm

    great write up JK, beautiful photos and interesting information presented.


  21. Jelle E Says...

    On April 17, 2009 at 5:44 am

    I really enjoyed reading this! I’m looking forward to simular articles.


  22. David Says...

    On April 17, 2009 at 11:41 pm

    I’ve never actually seen a picture of a blue whale like that next to people….wow, kinda makes a person feel small…and I didn’t know there was a squid bigger than the giant squid…Fascinating facts.


  23. Dee Gold Says...

    On April 18, 2009 at 8:32 pm

    great big animals.good job,JK


  24. Debra. Says...

    On April 19, 2009 at 12:46 am

    Not only are they big but some of them were down right creepy! Excellent read!


  25. Holly Eliza Says...

    On April 19, 2009 at 3:51 am

    stumbled =)


  26. KSimone Says...

    On April 20, 2009 at 7:30 am

    Really Great Piece!


  27. Darlene McFarlane Says...

    On April 23, 2009 at 8:55 am

    Fascinating article! I knew of these animals but didn’t know their statistics and I have always wondered if the squid was real.

    Great work.


  28. CutestPrincess Says...

    On April 23, 2009 at 8:58 am

    Wow! what an article and so nicely done.


  29. catlord Says...

    On April 28, 2009 at 7:20 am

    Kewl!! (visited via your blogger site)
    -That Chinese Giant Salamander looks more like what I saw in the river than the suspected Hellbender ( http://tinyurl.com/d6dy2v )

    Those Japanese Crabs have a special ability; -they sometimes leave the water and walk around on land, in the forests! Locals have encountered them that way …quite fearfully I’d imagine! They must have thought these were some heretofore unknown land creature!

    -thestickman


  30. rizzei Says...

    On May 26, 2009 at 3:43 am

    that salamander is really rare:) without reading the caption, i might have guessed it’s a slimy stuff toy:) my mistake// keep on writing:)


  31. J Pizzle Says...

    On June 8, 2009 at 4:37 pm

    Not to nitpick but Humans can be larger than 6ft and weigh more than 500 lbs as well!!! Maybe we are the largest primates…


  32. Anupam Kachroo Says...

    On January 8, 2010 at 8:32 am

    nice ….


  33. Tyericka Says...

    On March 3, 2010 at 5:18 pm

    OMG..THIS IS SO COOL


  34. bill Says...

    On April 8, 2010 at 2:06 pm

    Good article, but why was the largest fish left out in the cold??? That would be the whale shark. bpgofo


  35. Yayayayaya Says...

    On April 25, 2010 at 10:37 pm

    Great Article, It Help Me ALOT!


  36. tonoy804 Says...

    On May 28, 2010 at 2:21 am

    Best Article, It always help me.


  37. jeffrey Says...

    On October 28, 2012 at 7:58 pm

    actually the largest fish is not simply the whale shark but the vegitarian whale shark, on the other hand however good article indeed.


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