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the ten largest animals on earth

Updated on April 29, 2012
Humpback whale tail.
Humpback whale tail. | Source

The desire to find out what the 10 largest animals on the planet began when watching a quiz show, I got a quiz question wrong. Or so the quiz host said. I thought the second largest animal on earth was the humpback whale, but the answer given was a fin or finback whale. I was taken aback by this and decided that I had to learn what the ten largest animals are and why the fin back is second not the humpback. So began my little journey into discovering the 10 largest animals on the planet.

I would still raise a query with the game show host as to the validity of which was second, as the fin or fin back whale is part of the same family and genus as the blue whale and almost the same species.

Blue Whale tail.
Blue Whale tail. | Source

The definition of LARGEST

The definition that I found for the term largest, as applied to animal species, is a combination of measures including, size, length, width, weight and volume.

This is why the blue whale, of the baleen family of whales is considered the largest animal on the planet. It may not be as long as a sea jelly found to be of greater length, but it is the largest in length, width, weight and volume.

The contentious measurements of the sea jelly, with its length making it the longest animal, yet its lack of other measurements makes it not as big as the blue whale or supposedly the fin or humpback whale.


The Ten Largest Animals on my list.

  1. Blue whale

  2. Fin or Finback whale

  3. Humpback whale

  4. Sperm Whale

  5. Giant squid / sea jelly

  6. African Bush Elephant

  7. Asian Elephant

  8. Orca

  9. White Rhinosaurus/Hippopotomous

  10. Giraffe or Gara

  11. Walrus

1. The Blue Whale

The blue whale is the largest animal to have ever existed on this planet. It can reach the size of a 6 to 8 story building or over 30 metres or 100 feet. The Blue whale can weight over 190 tonnes or 400,000 pounds. A baby Blue whale can measure over 25 feet and weight.....


It is believed that at one time there were more than 200,000 blue whales. There are only about 10,000 blue whales now -- they've been on the endangered list since the mid-1960s -- and the population is not expected to recover.

The diet of the blue whale consists of krill, one of the smallest creatures on the planet.

The Blue Whale from BBC television, narated by David Attenborough.

2. The Fin or Finback Whale.

The second largest animal on earth is said to be the Fin Whale or Finback whale.

The finback whale is of the same genus as the blue whale, yet is still a different species which may lead to the confusion as to whether it is indeed the second largest animal on the planet or a relative of the Blue Whale..

Both these magnificent creatures are of the baleen genus, which refers to the keratin or comb like hairs that the whales feed through.


Beautifully filmed vision of a Finback Whale.

The Fin Whale or Sea Jelly?

There may be some contention whether the finback is actually the second largest animal on this planet. There is a sea jelly, which is can be as long or longer that the blue whale, yet has not been classified as the largest animal on earth as it does not fit all the dimensional requirements of largest. The Man of war is also of a large size, but as it is a colony, is not considered to be one individual animal.


3. The Humpback Whale.

The third largest animal is said to be the humpback whale, yet I have not included here the sea jelly. As for some reason, the experts who decide largest seem to ignore this animal.

Songlines of an Eastern australian Humpback whale.

Mingaloo the white whale speaks to the international whaling commission in 2008.

African Bush Elephant by marc-oh  flickr cc
African Bush Elephant by marc-oh flickr cc
giraffe by cornstaruk flickr cc
giraffe by cornstaruk flickr cc

Further Contention.

Further contention exists in a number of lists as to which animals come next. One list quotes the sperm whale as the third largest animal, yet it does not include the humpback whale. Listed as fourth by some is giant squid and then the list moves on to land animals, such as the african elephant, then the asian elephant. Following these to beautiful giant creatures is the killer whale or orca, then the white rhinosaurus or the hippopotomus. The Gara and the girrafe sit next.

I haven't checked as yet, the rest of the whale family. As I am working from lists I have found of the largest animals on earth. I have found different lists measuring different animals as larger than others, so I am working out the ratio of length, weight,volume, mass, width and height to build my best 10 largest animals on the planet.


My list of The Ten Largest Animals.

  1. Blue whale

  2. Fin or Finback whale

  3. Humpback whale

  4. Sperm Whale

  5. Giant squid / sea jelly

  6. African Bush Elephant

  7. Asian Elephant

  8. Orca

  9. White Rhinosaurus

  10. Giraffe and Gara

  11. Walrus

white rhino by jemartin flickr cc
white rhino by jemartin flickr cc

Copyright jmkwriting 2012.

Thankyou for the use of Creative Commons photos.

Comments

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    • salt profile imageAUTHOR

      salt 

      5 years ago from australia

      I think this is the 10 largest animals. Not mammals. Second could have been the giant squid, but it does not fit all the requirements of the definition of "Largest'

    • profile image

      Ellen 

      5 years ago

      I wanted a list of the largest animals , not Mammals.

    • profile image

      LolDude 

      6 years ago

      It`s ok.

    • salt profile imageAUTHOR

      salt 

      6 years ago from australia

      Thanks for the comment. Did your read how the definition of largest was made? And this is not about individual animals of a species, but about each of the species as a group. I thankyou for your list and will look it up.

      The definition used to determine largest, is based not just on weight, but on a combination of size, length, width, weight and volume.

      I do agree, different lists give different species as larger etc... I did not say all baleen whales were the largest, I refered specifically to the Blue Whale, then the fin whale. Love your research and will look at it further. :)

    • profile image

      ashley 

      6 years ago

      dammmm`1

    • profile image

      Orcinus 

      6 years ago

      largest asian elephant: 8 tonnes

      largest orca: 10 tonnes

      Largest whale shark: 21.5 tonnes and not on this list.

      Did some more research: Out of all the baleen whales, 3 are smaller than an african elephant, and 10 are larger, excluding Omura's/Bryde's/Eden's whale(s) which I don't get.

      It's a nice piece of work, but that list is not accurate.

    • salt profile imageAUTHOR

      salt 

      6 years ago from australia

      From what I gather, the whale shark is the largest species of fish, being differentiated from the baleen genus. It is large in size, yet I think it is not as heavy as the rhinosaurus. I will have to research this more to see if it does fit anywhere.

    • salt profile imageAUTHOR

      salt 

      6 years ago from australia

      From what I gather, the whale shark is the largest species of fish, being differentiated from the baleen genus. It is large in size, yet I think it is not as heavy as the rhinosaurus. I will have to research this more to see if it does fit anywhere.

    • profile image

      6 years ago

      NICE ONE

    • profile image

      strf 

      6 years ago

      what about the whale shark

    • profile image

      Akinyemi oluwabukola 

      6 years ago

      Wonderful nd intresting information

    • mythbuster profile image

      mythbuster 

      8 years ago from Utopia, Oz, You Decide

      Interesting hub here - impressive videos. My cat wasn't sure he liked what Migaloo was saying, lol so I have to come back and check out that video again later.

    • salt profile imageAUTHOR

      salt 

      8 years ago from australia

      Thank you, that's wonderful to know. I'll try and find a picture of one.

    • profile image

      Jonsi 

      8 years ago

      At 646LB this Mekong Giant Catfish is the largest freshwater fish in the world.

    • theindianblues profile image

      theindianblues 

      8 years ago from Some where on the Globe

      Very nice hub

    • mdlawyer profile image

      mdlawyer 

      8 years ago

      Interesting information.

    • northweststarr profile image

      northweststarr 

      8 years ago from Washington State

      neat hub, love the videos!

    • JannyC profile image

      JannyC 

      8 years ago

      This was a cool hub. I learned something new!

    • salt profile imageAUTHOR

      salt 

      8 years ago from australia

      thankyou - i love the videos too, they are such amazing animals and the whales have a lovely energy that flows with them.

    • thevoice profile image

      thevoice 

      8 years ago from carthage ill

      amazing beauty great hub write the pictures are fabolous

    • daisyjae profile image

      daisyjae 

      8 years ago from Canada

      Very interesting hub, loved the pictures too.

    • stephensaldana profile image

      stephensaldana 

      8 years ago from Chicago

      Cool videos.. I liked them very much. they were simply stunning.. I adored huge animals.. they looks so amazing and beautiful.. thanks for sharing the videos..

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