Animals come in a great diversity of sizes. The biggest animal in the world is Blue Whale whereas African elephants are the biggest land animals on earth. There are also other animals like Giraffe, Red Kangaroo, Eastern Gorilla falls in the category of “biggest” according to various aspects, which will be discussed in the article.
- Blue Whale
- African Elephant
- Red Kangaroo
- Eastern Gorilla
The Blue whale is the biggest animal (marine mammal) in the world, generally ranging in length from 80 to 100 feet (24 to 30 meters), and weight of 173 tonnes (190 tons). The blue whale’s heart weighs around 400 pounds.
Blue Whale is also the loudest animal in the world. The call of a blue whale reaches 188 decibels, whereas a jet engine’s sound ranges between 120 to 140 decibels. The sound can be heard underwater for a distance of more than 100 kilometres.
Despite the Blue Whale’s huge size, they eat tiny shrimp-like crustaceans called krill. A Blue Whale eats up to 8,000 lbs. of krill.
The average life span of the biggest animal in the earth is around 80 to 90 years. Females get pregnant approximately every two to four years with a pregnancy period of 11 months. The baby blue whale is called as the calf. A blue whale mother produces over 50 gallons (200 litres) of milk a day. The mother and the baby whale has a very close bond, the baby often swimming close to its mother.
Blue whales were hunted heavily in the late 19th century, which has reduced its population 70-90 per cent in the past 150 years. Blue whales were hunted commercially for oil, meat, and apparel materials.
African elephants are the biggest land animals on Earth, slightly larger than the Asian elephants. The Asian and African elephants can be differentiated comparing the size of the ears, the ears of Asian elephants are smaller compared to the large fan-shaped ears of the African elephants.
The size of the African elephants, adult males weighing between 1,800 and 6,300 kg (2 and 7 tons/ 4,000 and 14,000 lb) whereas females are comparatively smaller, weighing between 2,700 and 3,600 kg (3 and 4 tons/ 6,000 and 8,000 lb).
The elephants are also known as ecosystem engineers as they create and maintain ecosystems by physically changing habitats. With the use of their tusk they dig up dry riverbeds creating watering holes, many animals get benefit out of this in the summer. They clear the way for smaller animals. What not, their dung is full of seeds, helping plants spread across.
Elephants eat small plants, bushes, grasses, fruit, bark, can consume up to 300 pounds of food and up to 152 L (40 gal) of water in a single day.
Elephants recognize themselves in a mirror. They also show sign of grief and revisit the bones of the deceased for years.
The giraffe is an African artiodactyl mammal, the tallest living terrestrial animal in the world. Males can grow up to 18 feet (5.5 meters) tall, whereas females are comparatively shorter and can reach 14 feet (4.3 meters) tall. The baby giraffe is called calves and they grow up to an inch a day.
A giraffe’s legs are taller than many humans, about 6 feet allowing to run as fast as 35 miles an hour. Giraffe’s tongue is 21-inch. The heart weighs about 25 pounds (11.33 KG), big enough to pump blood all the way to the brain.
Giraffes are herbivores and eat most of the time. Regurgitate food and chew it as cud. A giraffe travel miles and eats hundreds of pounds of leaves each week. Giraffes only drink once several days.
Since mother giraffes give birth in standing position, the calf will be dropped to the ground and it can be as far as 5 feet (1.5 m). Calves can stand in half an hour after birth. Calves run with their mothers in ten hours after birth.
The red kangaroo or red giant kangaroo is the largest extant marsupial in the world and the largest terrestrial mammal native to Australia. Red kangaroo stands two metres tall and weighing around 187 pounds (85 kilograms).
Female kangaroos sport a pouch on their belly, which makes the kangaroos weird from any other animal in the world. Newborn kangaroo babies or joeys are just 2.5 centimetres in size. After birth, joeys stay with the safety and comfort of the mother’s pouch.
Red kangaroos are not only big but also powerful, it can reach the speed of over 35 miles an hour (56.32 Km/Hr). The powerful hind legs allow it to jump 6 feet high but can’t walk backwards. Female red kangaroos are smaller but faster than males.
A group of kangaroos is called a ‘mob’, ‘troop’ or ‘court’, a male is a boomer and a female is a jill. It is said that there are more kangaroos in Australia than the number of Australian people.
The eastern gorilla is the largest primate in the world with a large head, broad chest, and long arms. A full-grown eastern gorilla typically weighs 140 to 205.5 kg (309 to 453 lb) and stands 1.7 m (5.6 ft) tall. Few go beyond that, heaviest gorilla recorded was 267 kilograms (589 lb).
Eastern gorillas tend to live in larger group sizes numbering up to 35 individuals. Females give birth only once every 3 to 4 years. Newborn gorillas have a greyish-pink skin colour. Males gorillas defend their females using their large size in threatening displays involving chest-beating as we see in movies.
The lifespan of gorillas is over 40 years old. Sadly, these are critically endangered species with only around 1,063 exist in the wild. Humans share about 98% of our DNA with gorillas.