|Going to need a bigger boat :|
Humans think of themselves as the most important creatures ever to walk the planet. But when it comes to size, humans are mere peanuts next to ballpark-sized animals. Here's a snapshot — you never know what a paleontologist will dig up — of some of the biggest animals that have walked our planet, present and past.
Pictured here is the megalodon, also known as Carcharocles megalodon. This creature was a 52-foot shark with jaws big enough to swallow a rhinoceros. It lived about 25 to 1.5 million years ago. Some believers think it may still lurk in our deepest oceans today, though there is no proof of this.
|World's Biggest Dog :|
Say hello to this gargantuan specimen named Hercules, purportedly the Guinness Record holder for World's Biggest Dog. Hercules is an English Mastiff and has a 38 inch neck and weighs 282 pounds.
With "paws the size of softballs", the three-year-old monster is far larger and heavier than his breed's standard 200lb. limit. Hercules owner Mr. Flynn says that Hercules weight is natural and not induced by a bizarre diet: "I fed him normal food and he just grew, and grew, and grew”.
More : The Best Photography of Dogs
|Giant short-faced bear :|
The polar bear is currently the largest bear on Earth, standing at around 8 feet tall. That's still a few feet short of the biggest bear, which is thought to be the South-American giant short-faced bear. Also known as Arctodus, this bear is believed to have tipped the scales at 3,500 pounds and stood 11 feet tall, which is even taller than this diagram shows. Experts say this bear wandered South America from about 500,000 to 2 million years ago. Based on observations of a skeleton (click here for a photo) discovered in 1935 in Argentina, National Geographic reports that "there's nothing else that even comes close" in terms of this powerful meat-eater.
|World's Biggest Horse :|
Radar, a Belgian draught horse, is the World’s Tallest Living Horse. This huge horse, at 6ft 71/2in from hoof to shoulder, is from Mount Pleasant, Texas. At 2,400lb, he has a giant appetite to match, putting away 20 gallons of water a day and 18lb of grain.
The largest bird to fly, Argentavis magnificens, was believed to have flown like a high-performance glider, according to experts. This bird was believed to have lived 6 million years ago in Argentina. It was close to the size of a Cessna 152 airplane. As NPR reports, this bird was rather like "a bald eagle with wings that stretch for 21 feet from tip to tip and feathers the size of Samurai swords." It is believed to have soared on the winds like a glider and could reach speeds of up to 150 mph. Experts are still not sure how it achieved landing and takeoff.
|World’s Biggest Cow :|
As big as a small elephant, Big Cow Chilli and he's described as a gentle giant. Chilli the giant bullock stands at 6ft 6ins and weighs well over a ton. Despite his grand stature, Chilli only grazes on grass during the day and enjoys the occasional swede as a treat.
|World's Biggest Pig :|
The Liaoning Provincial Agricultural Museum is appealing to the Guinness Book of Records to recognise a 900 kg (1984 pounds) pig which died on February 5 as the biggest pig ever. When the pig died it was 2.5 metres long, had a waistline of 2.23 metres and a tusk of 14.4 centimetres long. According to XU Changjin, a farmer of Wafangdian city, the pig was only 5 years old. He kept his pig in a good built sty and gave it quality food all its life.
|Reticulated python :|
The animals of prehistory were massive, but there are definitely some heavyweights that exist today. The longest snake is the reticulated python and it generally reaches lengths of up to 20 feet — though the record is 33 feet. They are usually tame but can be "a jumpy and unpredictable species." They are often kept as pets but can turn out to be too much for their owners (click here for a photo of nine men holding one). Python reticulatis is found in the lakes and rivers of Central and South America. It is non-venomous, but it could kill a grown man through strangulation.
|World's Biggest Catfish :|
At 646LB this Mekong Giant Catfish is the largest freshwater fish in the world. With nearly nine feet long (2.7 meters) and as big as a grizzly bear, this huge catfish caught in northern Thailand may be the largest freshwater fish ever recorded. Although there are many claims and rumours about the world’s largest freshwater specimens, especially from misguided anglers. However, in the eyes of scientist's the Mekong Giant Catfish has taken pole position with the recorded capture of this huge 646LB specimen by local fishermen in 2005. Many anglers over look the fact that some larger fish that can be caught in the worlds rivers, such as Sturgeon, migrate between river and sea, and therefore not considered to be freshwater species in the true sense of the word.
|The blue whale :|
There's one animal that exists today that measures up to the ancient behemoths. The blue whale can measure up to 100 feet in length and weigh as much as 150 tons. Today most blue whales only reach lengths of 75 to 80 feet because whale hunters tend to target the largest of the species, according to experts. About 50 people could stand on the tongue of an adult blue whale. Even a baby blue whale is gigantic — a newborn calf can be as long as 25 feet and drink as much as 100 gallons of its mother's milk a day. Endangered since the mid-1960s, only 10,000 blue whales are believed to still exist.
|World's Tallest Dog :|
Hercules might be the biggest dog in the world, but the tallest according to the Guinness World Records is Gibson, a Harlequin Great Dane, who is 42.2 inches. The 170-pound Dane is more than 7 feet tall, taller than most NBA basketball players.
|African elephant :|
While the blue whale is the largest animal in the ocean, the African elephant is the biggest land animal. The African elephant can live as long as 70 years, can stand as high as 13 feet in the shoulder and weigh as much as 14,000 pounds. They are perhaps among the cleanest animals on the planet, as National Geographic notes that the animal enjoys a good trunk shower, "often spray(ing) its skin with a protective coating of dust." Like the blue whale, its existence on Earth is threatened.
Average weight: 8500 kg
Maximum weight: 13000 kg
Average length: 6.66 meters