The 5 largest animals in the world


Share this update on

These are links to external pages and will open in a new window

Copy link

These are links to external pages and will open in a new window

Humans can be tall or short, skinny or fat, but we don't usually talk about the length of our body.

That would explain why extreme lengths call us so much attention.

And, in any conversation about animals of great length, there are obvious leaders: snakes, the longest land animals in the world.

In April 2016, some bricklayers working on the construction of a highway in Penang, Malaysia, They said they discovered a reticulated python (Python reticulatus) 8 meters long.

However, the official figures reduced it to 7.5 meters.

And, what is worse, the snake died after being captured, so we will never know the size it could have reached.

According to the Guinness World Record, the longest reticulated python in captivity is called Medusa, lives in Kansas City, USA, and measures 7.67 meters.

But some say that these animals can double their length.

The fragrant flower of Indonesia became famous because they say it came to measure 14.5 meters, until the tape measures confirmed, shamefully, that its size was around 7 meters.

"In my experience, most claims about snake length and weight are exaggerated"says Dan Natusch of the University of Sydney in Australia, who has been studying the great pythons for years.

"The cross-linked pythons are highly coveted for their skin. During the past two years we have examined about 8,000 copies of these snakes, which are collected for this business, and of them only two measured more than 7 meters."

"Those who trade with them say that snakes do not measure much more than that," says the expert.

"I think the maximum size that species can measure is about 8 meters, but it is possible that some rare specimen could measure more. "

"There are records from the beginning of the last century that state that a specimen in Sulawesi, Indonesia, measured 10 meters, which may be true. Even so, we cannot verify the accuracy of those measurements."


Natusch lists several species that are supposed to exceed the record length of the cross-linked python. Some of them are the Australian bush python, the African rock python and probably the best known: the green anaconda (Eunectes murinus).

Originally from the rainforests of South America, the green anaconda was the object of fascination of the first adventurers, who told stories about what a reptile of unlikely measures looked like.

Her remote home and her stealthy habits make her an ideal candidate for fiction, as it is very difficult to find copies that demonstrate the precise data.

Under the right conditions, without human intervention and with abundant prey, It could grow to an enormous size and we would remain confused.

"The green anaconda is probably the only species with reliable length records that border on 8 meters," says Natusch.

"Maximum length data of other species have been recorded, but I think they are doubtful," he adds.

Larger? Underwater

The anacondas is the greatest length that land animals can reach.

But most of the Earth's surface is oceanic, and it is there, in the oceans, where the true giants meet.

The largest animal in the world is the blue whale (Balaenoptera musculus) and seems to obliterate any possibility of other animals to hold the title of the longest.

Even a newborn blue whale is longer than a giant reticulated python.

The largest blue whales are found in the southern hemisphere, where the estimated length of the Antarctic subspecies usually reaches 30 meters.

The length record was broken by a 33.58 meter female, captured by whalers in the South Atlantic.

However, sightings of specimens of these dimensions are rare, due to the exploitation by these hunters.

Scientists are monitoring populations through their songs to understand how they are after the ban on whaling.

From bell to tentacle

It seems that some marine animals challenge the blue whale in terms of its length.

But, instead of measuring from the nose to the tail, they should do so from the bell to the tentacle.

The Arctic lion mane jellyfish (Cyanea capillata), which receives this name for its reddish-gold color and for its tentacles that look like a scalp, is one of the longest jellyfish in the world.

It is found in the waters surrounding Australia, but reaches its highest proportions in the cold waters of the northern hemisphere.

There, its bell can grow up to 2 meters in diameter and it is believed that its tentacles reach 60 meters.

But it is quite difficult to get a measuring stick underwater and take the measure of the translucent and stinging tentacles of a moving jellyfish, so its true length is not clear.

You may have seen the retouched image of a jellyfish rising above a diver that often emerges on social media, further fueling the rumors.

The largest specimen of which is recorded was found in Nahant, Massachusetts, USA, in the 1860s.

They measured their tentacles, which reached 36.5 meters in length.

In a 2015 essay on sea giants, Craig McClain of the National Center for Evolutionary Synthesis in Durham, USA, noted that the arctic lion's jellyfish tendrils were fragile.

And that means that it is especially difficult to measure them and that we probably never know how long they can reach.

The true and official record

If the relative weakness of its tentacles causes people to overlook the extreme length of the Arctic lion mane jellyfish, the same could be said of the boot lanyard worm (Lineus longissimus).

It lives in and around the rocky pools of the western coast of the United Kingdom and belongs to the species of ribbon worms.

It is dark brown and It is about 5 millimeters wide. By touching it, produces a smelly mucus.

That description might sound quite bland and even unpleasant, but when they found one in the Saint Andrews thing, in Fife County, United Kingdom, sen 1864, it caught a lot of attention.

It reached, surprisingly, 55 meters long and officially became the longest animal in the world.

As with all historical records, we have no way of knowing if they "stretched" the actual figure.

The flexible worm could literally extend its length to meet record seekers.

In the scientific community, bootworm worms are said to be 5 to 10 meters long, but they can contract their muscles to shrink their bodies when they feel threatened.

So The next time you see a tangled worm on the coast, remember that it could be the longest animal in the world.

The sperm whale

The sperm whale is a species that It is in danger of extinction. It has the ability to descend to a thousand meters in the depth of the sea, in search of squid to feed. In addition, you can hold your breath for up to 90 minutes. This whale measures between 15 and 20 meters and weighs up to 40 tons.

1. Blue Whale

This marine mammal It can measure up to 30 meters long and weigh no less than 150 tons. One of the curiosities regarding the largest animal in the world is that it feeds on the basis of one of the smallest organisms: the krill. Although it is known as Blue Whale, it can be of other colors, such as gray. It has the ability to vocalize underwater, nothing great distances during the year and has one baby at a time.

2. Common whale

His scientific name is Balaenoptera Physalus and it is called "common Rorcual". It is a little smaller than the Blue Whale, but it comes to measure no less than 27 meters and weigh up to 70 tons. It is dark gray at the top and white below. It feeds not only on krill, but also on small crustaceans, squid and fish. It is a species threatened with extinction due to indiscriminate hunting.

3. Giant Squid

Scientists still don't agree if in the animal world there is one or more species of squid (Some scholars claim that there are 8 different). The truth is that this being that lives in the depths of the ocean can reach 18 meters long and 275 kg, although on average they measure 14 meters, and it is still one of the largest animals in the world.

4. Whale shark

The size of the sharks is really amazing, no matter what the species. Of all of them, the largest is the "whale" or Rhincodon Typus, which lives in tropical areas (warm seas). Like the cetacean from which its name derives, This huge fish feeds on krill, as well as algae, phytoplankton and crustaceans. You can locate the food through olfactory signals.

5. White shark

The scientific name is Carcharodon Carcharis and, like its relative, it inhabits warm waters although, it can also be found in temperate seas. It causes panic on the beaches and is the largest predator that exists. It can measure 6 meters and weigh 2 tons. Unlike most species in the animal kingdom, females are larger than males.

6. Elephant

Sea animals aside, the elephant is the largest of the land. It measures 7 meters long and 3.5 meters high and weighs approximately 6 tons. Eat about 200 kg of food per day! (mostly leaves). Its long trunk allows them to reach the top of the trees. The brain of this mammal weighs 5 kg and it is said that they therefore have a lot of memory. They live in a pack.

Another of the largest animals in the land, more than anything because of its height: 6 meters (most of the body is formed by its large neck). It can weigh between 750 kg and 1.5 tons. The brown spots typical of its fur allow it to camouflage itself with the ecosystem. The giraffe's tongue is dark in color and can be almost 1 meter long: they use it to pluck leaves high in the trees.

8. Anaconda

With a weight of 200 kg and an extension of almost 8 meters, the anaconda is ranked No. 8 of the world's largest animals. This giant snake lives in the rivers of Venezuela, Colombia, Peru and Brazil, more precisely in the Amazon area. It feeds on birds, tapirs, alligators and even deer.

9. Crocodile

This large reptile that inhabits swampy areas It can measure about 8 meters and weigh 1.5 tons. While they are not very agile on land, they are really fast in the water. In addition, they can spend hours completely submerged and leave out only their eyes to observe and closely follow their prey. You can eat from small animals to deer or horses.

10. Polar bear

It weighs about half a ton and measures 3 meters. Carnivorous feeding, its diet is based on fish, seals, arctic foxes and walruses. Hibernates during winter and is a perfect swimmer. Due to climate change and rising temperature at the poles, it is in a vulnerable situation.

Main Image Source: Hermanus Backpackers

The blue whale

The blue whale or Balaenoptera musculus, not only is it the largest animal in the ocean, but It is the biggest animal that inhabits planet Earth today. This marine mammal also known as blue whale, can measure up to 30 meters long and weigh up to 150 tons, this is a really surprising fact if we think about the feeding of the blue whale, since these whales feed mainly on krill.

Although it is known as a blue whale, its long and large body usually has various shades ranging from a dark blue to a light gray. Unfortunately, these amazing animals that vocalize underwater to communicate are in danger of extinction due to their indiscriminate hunting in some parts of the world.

The common whale

Another of the animals of the world that also inhabits the ocean is the common whale orBalaenoptera physalusdIn fact, it is the second largest animal on our planet. This marine animal can reach 27 meters long, being the Antarctic whale that usually comes to measure more, and larger specimens can weigh more than 70 tons.

The whale is a dark gray on the top and white on the bottom, it feeds mainly on small fish, squid, crustaceans and krill. Due to the intensive hunting of this animal during the twentieth century, today the common whale is considered a threatened species.

The giant squid

There is a debate among scientists specialized in these animals about whether there is only one species of giant squid or Architeuthis or if there are up to 8 different species of this animal. These animals that usually inhabit the depths of the ocean are one of the 10 largest animals in the world, since according to scientific records the largest specimens have been a female of giant squid that measured 18 meters and was found on the shores of New Zeeland in 1887 and also a male 21 meters long and 275 kg.

Today the most common sizes that are recorded in this marine animal are 10 meters in males and 14 meters in females. For all this, the giant squid is considered one of the largest animals in the world.

The White shark

He white shark orCarcharodon carchariasIt is one of the largest animals in the world that inhabits warm and temperate waters of almost everyone. This animal that causes fear while admiring in many people, is considered one of the largest sea fish in the world while also being considered the largest predatory fish. Normally it can measure up to 6 meters long and weigh more than 2 tons. A curious fact about this animal is that females are always larger than males.

In recent decades the fishing of this shark has increased and this has caused that currently, although it is a species widely distributed throughout the world, it is considered a vulnerable species, approaching to be threatened.


In the terrestrial plane of our planet we find that the largest animal is the elephant orElephantidae, since it measures up to 3.5 meters high and up to 7 meters long, weighing between 4 and 7 tons. To weigh so much, these animals must ingest a minimum of 200 kg of leaves per day.

There are many curiosities of the elephant, such as its characteristic trunk with which it reaches the highest leaves of the trees to feed and its long fangs. In addition to their physical attributes, elephants are well known for their excellent memory, in fact their brain can weigh up to 5kg, and for their social relationships in herds, since they live in herds of related females and male elephants leave the herd at grow to create an isolated group of their own or lead a more lonely life.

The giraffe or Giraffa camelopardalisIt is another of the largest land animals in the world, more for its height than for its weight, since they can reach almost 6 meters in height and weigh from 750 kg to more than 1.5 tons.

There are many curiosities about giraffes, for example, the brown spots of their fur and their tongue, which can reach 50 cm. In addition, it is one of the most widespread African animals, so the concern about its existence in the immediate future is less.

The Anaconda

Another land animal that enters the list of the world's largest animals is a snake, we are talking about the anacondas orEunectes which can measure 8 meters or more and weigh up to almost 200 kg.

This giant snake lives mostly in the river basins of Latin America and specifically, where it is most seen is in Venezuela, Colombia, Brazil and Peru. It usually feeds on capybaras, tapirs, birds, deer, alligators and their eggs.

The crocodile

Although there are up to 14 different species of crocodile, there are some specimens of a really impressive size. The crocodiles orCrocodylidae They are large reptiles, in fact, the largest crocodile recorded was a specimen of marine crocodile found in Australia and was 8.5 meters long and weighed more than 1.5 tons.

Crocodiles are currently in minor concern on the scale that measures the conservation status of the species. These reptiles live both outside and inside the water so they feed on aquatic animals and those who get too close to the waters in which they live.

The polar bear

He polar bear, white bear uUrsus maritimusIt is another of the 10 largest animals in the world. These bears can measure up to almost 3 meters long and can weigh more than half a ton.

They are carnivorous animals and, therefore, the feeding of the polar bear is based on both fish and other animals that inhabit the pole such as seals, walruses, arctic foxes, among many others. The white bear is currently considered vulnerable.

If you want to read more articles similar to The 10 largest animals in the world, we recommend that you enter our Curiosities section of the animal world.

The moonfish

In this case we talk not only about one of the largest animals that exist, but also about largest bone fish in the world. And, if we include the cartilaginous, the whale shark (which is a shark and not a whale as some think) it would be the biggest. It's about the moonfish, or great great According to its scientific name. This amazing animal can reach 4 meters in length, which makes it as we say in the world's largest skeleton fish.

The Arctic Lion mane jellyfish

The arctic lion jellyfish it is a species that inhabits the abyssal zone of the waters of the Arctic Ocean and is one of the greatest beings that have registered in the world.

Only your bell has a diameter of 2.3 meters and in appearance it is not very large, however, the largest copy registered It was 37 meters long if we consider its tentacles.

Boot Lace Worm

The boot cordworm is classified as the longest species

As for length, the animal that takes the palm is ... a worm. Yes, an extremely long worm that measures between 35 and 50 meters. This peculiar worm lives in Britain. It is called boot lanyard by the way it gets tangled, what if it were a cord. However, it is so fragile and delicate that if you try to untangle it It can break.

We hope you liked this list of largest animals in the world. Have you been surprised?