We share this planet with a multitude of fascinating creatures of all shapes and sizes. We’ve compiled a list of
10. Kodiak Bears- 1800 lbs.
Kodiak bears are found only in Alaska and are one of the biggest bears in the world. The average male is about 10 feet tall standing on it hind legs, and can weigh up to 1800 lbs. The female Kodiak stands about 8 feet tall and weighs up to 1500 lbs. Because they live in such a remote location, they don’t have many other animals to compete with for food, which is one of the reasons they grow so large. Their weight increases by up to 50% when they hibernate.
9. Bison- 2000 lbs.
Bison, or buffalo as they are sometimes called, are very large herbivores. While there used to be 4 species of buffalo, 2 have become extinct, so only 2 species remain. They can grow up to 2000 lbs. Today they are sometimes bred with domestic cattle to produce a very heat hearty hybrid called beefalo.
8. Yak- 2200 lbs.
The Yak is a very large bovine that lives throughout the Himalaya region of Asia, and as far north as Russia. An adult yak can stand 7 feet tall at the shoulder and weight up to 2200 lbs. They are densely built animals with a bulky frame, making them good pack animals. They thrive in cold weather and do poorly in warm weather. In fact, they begin to show signs of heat exhaustion in only 60-degree weather.
7. Crocodiles- 2300 lbs.
Did you know that crocodiles are among the heaviest animals in the world? They are actually the largest reptile. They live in tropical areas, and they can be up to 25 feet long and weigh up to 2300 lbs. They can actually go months without eating, using stored body fat for energy. A crocodile’s physical traits enable them to be a very skilled predator. Their long and streamlined body moves quickly through the water, and their webbed feet allow them to make fast turns. A mature crocodile has 80 teeth!
6. Giraffe- 2600 lbs.
Besides being in the top 10 heaviest animals in the world, giraffes are also famous for being the tallest animal in the world. A mature giraffe can weigh over 2600 lbs. and they can grow to between 15-20 feet tall. Most of that height is in their neck, with their bodies being relatively short. Their neck accounts for 6-8 feet of their total height. They also have an unusually long tongue of 18”! This long tongue comes in handy for grasping foliage for food in high places.
5. Hippopotamus- 3000 lbs.
The name of the hippopotamus is derived from ancient Greek, where its name means “river horse”. Even though their appearance resembles a large pig, they look more similar to whales and porpoises. They weigh between 2900-3300 lbs., with the males being larger than the females. The hippopotamus is a very aggressive and unpredictable animal, and they are considered one of the most dangerous animals in Africa. They are semi-aquatic, meaning that they largely inhabit rivers, lakes, and swamps during the day, coming out in the evening to graze.
4. White Rhinoceros- 4800 lbs.
The white rhinoceros is a fairly rare creature; it is estimated that there are only around 20,000 living in the wild. There are 5 different species of rhinoceros, with the white rhinoceros being the largest. Males can weigh up to 4800 lbs., with females being substantially smaller, weighing up to 3700 lbs. There have been reports of even larger males, but it’s hard to verify. They are one of the largest animals that rely solely upon grazing for plants for food. They drink twice a day if water is available, but in dry conditions they can go 4-5 days without drinking. The white rhinoceros have a fairly long lifespan, between 40-50 years.
3. African Elephant – 12,000 lbs.
Between Indian elephants and African elephants, African elephants are by far the largest. They can weigh up to 13,000 lbs! Males generally grow to between 10-13 foot tall, and females grow up to 9 ft. tall. Their trunk functions as a fifth limb and is also a sound amplifier. Elephants have amazing tusks that can be used to dig up roots and strip bark from trees to eat. They are also used as weapons during mating season, and to defend themselves from predators. Although there used to be many African elephants, sadly today they are becoming more endangered as they are hunted for their ivory tusks.
2. Whale Shark- 30,000 lbs.
The whale shark is a slow-moving fish, and the largest known fish species. The largest whale shark that is confirmed weighed 47,000 lbs. and was 41 ft. long. You can find the whale shark in tropical oceans, and they prefer water above 72 degrees F. The whale shark is completely harmless to humans because they feed only on plankton. They can dive up to 4000 ft. deep to find food. Their teeth are amazing; they have 300-350 rows of tiny teeth add 10 filter pads they use to filter their food through their mouths.
1. Blue Whale- 400,000 lbs.
The blue whale is definitely first on the list of top 10 heaviest animals in the world, weighing a staggering 400,000 lbs! The longest two recorded females were over 100 ft. long. They feed almost exclusively on krill, with an adult blue whale being able to eat 40 million krill per day. This equates to 8000 lbs. of krill per day! Their feeding is seasonal- they stuff themselves on krill in the Antarctic before migrating to their breeding grounds where there is less food available. It is estimated that they can live up to 80 years. Imagine going san diego whale watching and seeing one of these giants breaching!