The Largest Animals Alive On Earth Today
LARGEST ANIMALS ON EARTH TODAY
- BLUE WHALE (Balaenoptera musculus)
The Blue Whale is the biggest creature to ever live on earth, even bigger then the biggest dinosaurs. As with all baleen whales, the females are much bigger then the males. The Largest Blue Whale ever measured was a female that weighed over 171,000 kgs. The Longest whale ever measured came in at over 110 feet long. Blue Whales were abundant in nearly all of the oceans until the beginning of the twentieth century. Since then, they were hunted to near extinction by whalers. In 1966, they were finally put on the protected list by the international community. Today, it is believed that only a few thousand Blue Whales remain worldwide.
- AFRICAN ELEPHANTS (Loxodonta africana)
The African Elephant is the largest land animal in the world. No other land animal even comes close to the size of these large creatures. Male elephants can weigh up to 16,500 lbs and can grow up to 20 feet long. Elephants are very intelligent animals and they even have a sophisticated system of communicating with each other. They can live up to 70 years and they stay with their families for most of there long lives.
- WHALE SHARKS (Rhincodon typus)
The Whale Shark is the largest living fish on earth. This shark can be found in tropical and warm oceans around the world, living in the open sea. The largest whale shark ever recorded was 41 feet long and it weighted over 47,000 lbs. Although they look big and scary, the whale shark is a very calm and peaceful creature that feeds mostly on plankton, krill, and macro-algae. An adult whale shark has a huge mouth that can be over 4 feet long and it contains 3000 very small teeth that the shark rarely uses. Whale sharks are solitary creatures and usually are not found in groups.
- SPERM WHALES (Physeter catodon)
The largest carnivore in the world, the Sperm Whale got its name because of the milky-white waxy substance, spermaceti, found in its head. Also the largest toothed whale in the world, they mostly feed on squid and fish, sometimes diving over 7000 feet to get its prey. Sperm Whales are gray in color, but they sometimes appears to be brown when seen in the sun light. Unlike the blue whale, the sperm whale males are larger then the females. The largest male sperm whale ever measured was over 67 feet long and it weighted 88 tons. Their distinctive shape comes from their very large head, particularly in males, which is typically one-third of the animal's length. The brain of the sperm whale is the largest and heaviest known of any modern or extinct animal, weighing about 15 lbs. The Sperm whale is also the second largest living creature in the world today.
- COLOSSAL SQUIDS (Mesonychoteuthis hamiltoni)
The Colossal Squid is the largest invertebrate in the world today. It is also believed to have the largest eyes in the animal kingdom. The squid's known range extends thousands of miles northward from Antarctica to southern South America, southern South Africa, and the southern tip of New Zealand, making it primarily an inhabitant of the entire circumantarctic Southern Ocean. The largest known Colossal Squid ever captured weighed over 1000 lbs and it was initially estimated to measure 33 feet in total length. A lot is still unknown about these mysterious animals. Being a deep-water species, they usually stay deeper than 1,000 meters, making it very difficult for scientists to gather information about them. It also isn't known how many of these squids still remain alive today.
- GIRAFFES (Giraffa camelopardalis)
The giraffe is an African even-toed ungulate mammal. It is the tallest of all land-living animal species, and it is also the largest ruminant alive today. Male giraffes are usually bigger then the females, and the largest one ever measured was over 19 feet tall and it weighted about 4400 lbs. Giraffes can inhabit savannas, grasslands, and open woodlands and are found in Africa from Chad to South Africa.
- FIN WHALES (Balaenoptera physalus)
The Fin Whales is a marine mammal that belongs to the suborder of baleen whales. It is tied for being the second largest animal in the world with the sperm whale. Like all other large whales, the Fin Whale was heavily hunted during the twentieth century and it is now also an endangered species. Fin whales are brownish-gray in color and are found in all of the oceans around the world. Males are usually bigger then the females and they can grow to be 88 feet long. The heaviest fin whales can weight as much as 154,000 lbs.