There are scores of animal species in our planet, and yet a lot of us are inexplicably surprised when we come across an animal that we’ve never seen or heard about before. But since there are over a million kinds of animals (non-insect) existing on Earth, how do we expect to know them all?
Every year, scientists keep on discovering new and even more obscure species of animals, and they concede that modern science hasn’t cataloged all the existing animals, which leaves a lot of room for many bizarre and unique discoveries that are yet to be made.
Throughout the rather brief and somewhat dark history of humans on planet earth, we have always had a common and very vicarious interest in size. Human beings do love a lot of large things ranging from large monuments to large mansions, and large, sparkly rocks (i.e. rubies, diamonds, etc.). Admittedly, we are not so enamoured as much as we are fascinated with large animals, and even if some of us do find them really interesting, they are usually admired from a distance. Therefore, here’s a list of some of the world’s largest species of animals (and some are really cute).
15. The Goliath Birdeater
This is a bit creepy because when we usually think of spiders, what usually comes to mind are tiny, diminutive, eight-legged creatures with beady eyes which produce spectacular webs. And generally, spiders consume flies and then are eaten by lizards and birds.
Now we introduce a freak of nature living in the Amazonian jungle. This particular spider called the Goliath Birdeater is, in fact, a tarantula, and while most people are not arachnophobic, I am pretty sure that they will be tarantula-phobic! Living in the South American rain forests, it could weigh up to an unbelievable 6 ounces or 175g (which is very hefty…..for a spider!) Despite its designation as a “Birdeater,” it doesn’t actually feed on birds, but snakes, rodents, and toads are all within its purview.
14. The World’s Tallest Dog…Zeus
Zeus, whose owners described as a very gentle giant, clinched the record for the world’s tallest dog in 2013’s version of the Guinness Book of World Records. When standing on his hind legs, Zeus measured a whopping 7 feet, 4 inches. Apparently his owners Denise and Kevin Doorlag, residents of Otsego, Michigan, received a lot of inquiries about whether or not there pet was actually a horse!
Unfortunately, the gentle giant died just three days before his sixth birthday. He was actually a qualified therapy dog, and in order to draw smiles from people, he usually sat on their laps. Weighing at a hefty 155 pounds, the smiles could easily have turned into grimaces!
13. The African Giant Snail
The African Giant Snail with emphasis on the word “Giant” is expected to be huge, but this huge? Heck, no!
Extremely huge, very tough, and incredibly slimy, this snail at approximately 8 inches long is virtually the size of a fully-grown human hand. Despite its name, the snail is found in a lot of places and is considered a big pest problem around crops. Due to its size, it has a voracious appetite, and if that’s not bad, it also has a rapid rate of reproduction. Both of these factors rank it among the world’s top ten invasive species.
12. The World’s Largest Rabbit…Darius
If seen from a distance, you would probably be excused if you took this creature for a dog, though a very fat one, and with a little unusual coloring. And on coming a little closer, you will then see his ears and become really baffled. Because this canine-sized fella who weighs an astonishing fifty pounds, and is 4 feet 4 inches tall, is none other than a bunny.
Don’t get too surprised until you meet Jeff, his son, who although is not fully grown, is already 3 feet 8 inches tall. The father-son duo are members of a giant rabbit species known as the Continental rabbits whose members usually reach a height of roughly four feet.
The two cute giants go through 700 apples and 2000 carrots every year, in addition to a bowl of rabbit food daily; which all cost Annette Edwards, their 63-year-old loving owner, close to 5000 pounds every year.
11. Chinese Giant Salamander
If the word salamander calls to mind a small reptilian, lizard-like creature who live close to water bodies and is fairly icky and slimy to deal with, then you would not be totally incorrect. In fact, they are amphibians and not reptiles and appear to be a cross between a lizard and a frog. Salamanders are usually about six inches long, with many being smaller than that and the smallest of them being less than an inch, but with over six hundred species, there has to be at least one that is aberrant.
10. The World’s Largest Cat…Ludo
The Maine Coons are a relatively giant breed of domestic cats. Having characteristic furry tails, they usually come in at 40 inches when measured from nose to tail. Ludo, at seventeen months, already measured a remarkable 45 inches and weighed 24.5 pounds. The Maine Coons are known for being gentle, and Ludo is no exception, just considerably bigger than your average cat. Also, despite his size, he actually eats less than other smaller felines.
And though these temperate giants are very friendly, their size often constitutes a deterrent to many, because you must be very brave to want to pet a giant-sized cat! Let’s face it, as cute and fluffy as he looks, having a cat’s temperament means he could turn on you at anytime.
9. The Goliath Frog
The Giant frog, or Goliath as it is called, is not really very scary, but having this monstrosity croak at you when you least expect it just might give you a mini heart attack! The biggest frog that most people have ever encountered is about the size of a fist, but this froggy giant is over a foot long, and once it extends its legs, it’s even longer! Their tadpoles are the same size as the other normal species of frogs; it’s just that they keep on growing bigger. They are found in Cameroon and in other certain parts of Africa. Also, they are not ideal parent role models because once the eggs have been laid, the parents just up and disappear. Talk about being mean!
8. The World’s Tallest Horse…Big Jake
Though horses are usually big and most are taller than the average human, Big Jake is sure to take the cake. This gorgeous stallion measures an official 6 feet, 10 ¾ inches tall and weighs an astonishing 2,600 pounds. Even at birth he was a big fellow; he weighed approximately 240 pounds, almost fifty pounds above the average weight of his breed.
Notwithstanding his huge dimensions, he is unexpectedly good with people and has a lot of fans. He is owned by Jerry Gilbert and resides in Poynette, Wisconsin at Smokey Hollow Farm, where he is a hitch horse.
7. Hercules: The World’s Biggest Liger
Think of cats and what comes to mind are the cute, fluffy, and domestic fur-balls as well as the other jungle wildcats such as tigers and lions, etc. The biggest of them all was previously the Siberian Tiger. However, there’s still another wildcat who surpasses this ferocious and magnificent predator…the liger. Yes, that’s right…a LIGER. It is the progeny of a union between a female tiger and a male lion as opposed to the progeny of a male tiger and a female lioness called a tigon.
6. Japanese Spider Crab
Crabs are usually thought about in the same breath as an exquisite beachside dinner complemented with a bottle of fine French wine, though this culinary fantasy will evaporate when you are faced with the Japanese Spider Crab. A perversely large species weighing an enormous 42 pounds and measuring an astounding 18 feet, this freak of nature is particularly scary (especially when met on a dark, cold, and lonely beach).
But similar to most of the world’s largest animals, this large and ferocious looking spider crab has been reported to possess a gentle personality.
Shockingly, the Japanese spider crab is being hunted as food and is considered a delicacy in many Japanese regions. Its population has greatly declined, and conservation efforts are being made to protect the world’s largest arthropod.
5. The World’s Tallest Cow…Blosom
Blosom was officially recognized in the Guinness Book of World Records as the world’s tallest cow just before she passed on. A Holstein cow weighs an average of 1500 pounds, but Blosom came in at over 2000 pounds and measured an amazing 6 feet 4 inches. She was indeed the biggest of them all.
When it was found out that Blosom couldn’t give birth to calves her owner, Patty Meads-Hanson, opted to keep her on as a pet instead of sending her to be slaughtered. She later became the farm’s official greeter and quickly became famous for her unique size.
4. The Record-Breaking Stingray
Although it was a stingray (notorious for their venomous sting) that killed Steve Irwin, a famous wildlife TV personality, in a tragic incident, another wildlife TV personality and conservationist, Jeff Corwin, has the special distinction of catching what is alleged to be the biggest stingray of them all. It is also considered as the largest freshwater fish ever caught in the wild.
3. The World’s Longest Snake…Medusa
The Guinness World Record’s title for the world’s largest snake has been conferred to Madame Medusa – a python living in Kansas City, Missouri. When Medusa was measured in 2011, she had an astonishing length of 25 feet 2 inches, taking ten men to hold her up so that she could be measured. Her typical fortnightly dinner is a forty pound deer!
In 2016, there were reports of an even lengthier snake captured in Malaysia, which measured over 26 feet and weighed over 550 pounds. Unfortunately, the snake died within 3 hours of its capture, leaving Medusa as the reigning queen.
2. The World’s Largest Crocodile…Lolong
So crocs are typically biggish, right? But Lolong is in a class all on its own.
The immense-sized croc was caught in September 2011 in the Bunwan Creek located in the Philippine province of Agusan Del Sure. The daunting task was carried out by a joint team comprising of local residents, units from the local government, and crocodile hunters from the Palawan Wildlife Reservation Center.
The crocodile was hunted over a three week period before he was eventually caught. It took nearly a hundred people just to drag him to land, and judging from his violent protestations he certainly didn’t want to be captured! Weighing an astonishing 2,370 pounds, and recorded at 20 feet 3 inches long, this monstrosity of a croc (thought to be at least fifty years old), was alleged to be a man-eater.
1. Big Bill The World’s Largest Pig
Owned by Elias Buford Butler, Big Bill from Jackson, Tennessee holds the title of the world’s largest pig weighing in at a shocking 2,552 pounds. Big Bill was awarded the title back in 1933 and was five feet tall and nine feet long. Up till date, no pig has ever approached his gigantic size.
There were reports of another hefty pig, who was just five years old and weighed 1,984 pounds. The pig died in February of 2009 from health-related problems that began because of his inability to move due to his immense size.
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