The 18 Biggest Animals in the World

We share our planet with some incredible animals, including some that are unbelievably large. If you’ve ever found yourself curious about exactly which species are the largest, you’re in luck. We’ve compiled a list of the 18 biggest animals in the world.

Blue Whale

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The blue whale is famous for being the largest animal in the world, with some individuals reaching staggering lengths of up to 100 feet. Despite their huge size, blue whales mostly feed on tiny krill, which they can consume up to 4 tons of every day.

Great White Shark

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According to the Monterey Bay Aquarium, great white sharks can grow to be up to 23.5 feet and weigh up to a whopping 7,500 pounds. These mighty predators are known for their powerful jaws, which are lined with multiple rows of incredibly sharp teeth.

African Elephant

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While the blue whale is certainly the king of the sea, the African elephant holds the title of the largest land animal. Males can reach up to 13 feet tall at their shoulders and can weigh a whopping 14,000 pounds. Their huge, distinctive ears help them regulate their body temperature.


Father and son feeding giraffe in zoo
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Giraffes may not be as hefty as African elephants, but they do hold the title of the tallest land animal. They can grow up to an incredible 18 feet tall, which helps them reach leaves high up in trees. As well as being tall, giraffes are surprisingly fast, reaching speeds of up to 35 miles per hour.

Saltwater Crocodile

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The saltwater crocodile is known for being the largest living reptile. Some males have been known to reach a mighty 20 feet in length. Crocodiles are also famous for their ferocious hunting abilities and powerful jaws, which allow them to bite down with incredible force.


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Did you know the ostrich is both the largest and heaviest bird on our planet? While these huge creatures cannot fly, they can reach impressive speeds of up to 45 miles per hour. They also produce the biggest eggs of any living land animal.

Whale Shark

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Whale sharks are famous for being the largest fish on our planet, growing up to 40 feet in length. While you may expect all sharks to be ferocious hunters, ZME Science states that whale sharks actually primarily feed on tiny plankton and have a surprisingly gentle nature.

Brown Bear

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Brown bears are one of the largest land carnivores on Earth. They can grow to weigh over 1,500 pounds and primarily eat a mix of fish, berries, and other mammals. These amazing animals are also known for being great swimmers and runners, reaching speeds of up to 30 miles per hour on land.

Colossal Squid

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As their name suggests, colossal squids can be rather colossal in size. Scientists currently believe them to be the largest squid species on Earth, reaching lengths of up to 46 feet. But fear not—you’re unlikely to bump into these sea giants any time soon, as they reside in the deep depths of the Antarctic Ocean.

Polar Bear

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Like grizzly bears, male polar bears can easily weigh up to 1,500 pounds, making them the largest bear species on Earth. While they may look fuzzy and friendly enough, polar bears are ruthless hunters and primarily feed on seals.

Siberian Tiger

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There are several tiger subspecies, but the Siberian tiger is the biggest. These huge cats can weigh up to 660 pounds and grow to an impressively large size. They are native to eastern Russia and some parts of China and North Korea.

African Bush Elephant

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The African bush elephants may not be quite as large as their counterparts, but they can still weigh up to 7,125 pounds. They are also noted for their huge tusks, which can weigh around 100 pounds each. Like other elephant species, African bush elephants are social, intelligent creatures who can cover vast distances every day.

Southern Elephant Seal

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As noted by National Geographic, southern elephant seals are famous for being the largest of all seal species. Males can reach lengths of up to 20 feet and weigh a staggering 8,800 pounds. As well as their large size, they get their name from their inflatable proboscis, which resembles an elephant’s trunk.

Chinese Giant Salamander

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Chinese giant salamanders may not be huge compared to our biggest mammals, but they are one of the largest amphibians in the world. Some individuals have been known to reach lengths of around 6 feet. They are most commonly seen hanging out in rocky streams and lakes in China.

Goliath Beetle

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The Goliath beetle is famous for being one of the largest insects in the world, with some beetles growing up to 11 centimeters in length. They can also weigh up to 100 grams. Fact Animal claims that they are one of the strongest insects on the planet.

Manta Ray

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The manta ray is the largest species of ray, and its wingspan can reach an incredible length of 23 feet. They can be found in warm, subtropical, tropical, and temperate waters around the world, and they mostly feed on plankton and small fish.

Andean Condor

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According to the Welsh Mountain Zoo, Andean condors are the largest flying birds in the world in terms of wingspan and weight. Their wingspan can reach an impressive 10.5 feet in length, and they can weigh a substantial 31 pounds. These big birds are most common in mountainous parts of South America.

Leatherback Sea Turtle

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There are some big turtles out there, but leatherback sea turtles are the biggest of them all. Some of the biggest can grow to be over 6 feet in length and over 2,000 pounds in weight. These majestic creatures mostly feed on jellyfish, which they dive to great depths to find.

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