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Humans, being the inquisitive creatures that we are, tend to ask many questions about these fantastic creatures in the animal’s kingdom.
One of the questions that pop up the most is what the heaviest land animals are? While this can be a very tricky question, when making a list of the heaviest land animals, there are always a few that come to mind.
Many popular animals from Africa, such as Elephants, Hippopotamus, Rhinoceros, and Giraffes, are always at the top. Interestingly, there are quite a few that you may not think of that are, without a doubt, some of the heaviest land animals in the world.
So, let’s find out what some of Earth’s largest animals are and what makes each of them so unique.
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Elephants are the heaviest land animals in the world. There are about two main species of elephants in the world; African and Asian. And on the list of the world’s heaviest land animals, both will come first and second. The African elephant can be differentiated from the Asian by the shape of the ears and the fact that both males and females of this species have tusks as compared to only male Asian elephants.
Weighing more than 6 tonnes, 20,000 pounds, the African elephant is the heaviest land animal. Interestingly, elephants can also stand over 14 feet.
Considering their weight, it becomes less surprising that this elephant species, roaming the land of Western and Central Africa, need to eat up to 300 pounds of food every day.
Apart from being the heaviest and largest land animal in the world, the elephant also has the longest gestation period of 22 months. More so, they are one of the loudest animals in the world and can be very dangerous.
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Rhinoceros have five different types of breeds across the world. Out of the five types – Black, Indian, Javan, Sumatran, and White, the white rhino is the largest. With about 7000 and 9000 pounds, the white Rhinoceros are one of the heaviest land animals in the world. While this African animal is not as tall as the average elephant, it can stand up to 4 feet to 6 feet in height.
There are more amazing things about this huge creature. It has a giant horn on its head that can be up to 1.5 meters long, and this animal can live without water for up to 5 days. They are herbivorous and also one of the largest terrestrials living among all wild animals on earth, besides elephants.
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Although these African animals are considered land animals, Hippopotamus spend most of their day in water to avoid hot climates, and they are also adept swimmers. The average hippopotamus can range anywhere from 5,000 pounds to over 9,900 pounds. And that makes them one of the largest animals in the world. Their length ranges from 9 feet to over 14 feet, and they are one of the most formidable animals in the wild.
Although native to South Africa, they can be found in zoos all over the world. Generally, Hippos are heavy eaters. They consume over 80 pounds of grass every day, and preferably, they feed after dusk. Unlike other animals, they don’t have sweat glands. Instead, they secrete a red-colored fluid that functions as sweat in other animals.
Despite this, they have large teeth that is used when males duel for mates. The average lifespan of Hippos is 45 years in the wild.
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Belonging to a genus of African even-toed ungulate mammals, the giraffe is the tallest and the largest ruminant among all wild animals that live on land. It is a member of the family Giraffidae. Giraffes can grow over 20 feet tall, making them the tallest animals in the world, and considering their weight of about 3,200 pounds to over 4,500 pounds, they are also one of the heaviest land animals in the world.
The giraffe has three most distinguishing features; first being its long neck, second, its horn-like ossicones, and finally, its unique coat pattern. The long necks on giraffes and their 21-inch tongues make it easy for them to reach food in trees to maintain their size.
More so, most of the weight on a giraffe is located in their neck, and they have a heavy heart as well. Interestingly, the giraffe’s neck has the same number of vertebrae as the human neck, but each bone is much longer in the giraffe. These animals can also run at a speed of 50 kilometers an hour when escaping from predators.
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Out of the many species of crocodiles in the world, the Australian Saltwater crocodile is the largest and heaviest. Growing about 15 feet to over 21 feet long and weighing about 2100 pounds to over 2300 pounds, the Saltwater Crocodile is one of the largest land animals in the world.
They are carnivores and feed on a wide variety of smaller animals like deer, pigs, larger rodents, and other aquatic animals and store the calories as fats which they can utilize when there is a shortage of food. The Saltwater Crocodile is very tough and has one of the strongest bites. They can also take out many of the animals on this list due to their similar size and immense strength.
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The Bison, also known as Gaur, is the largest and heaviest species of cattle in the world and is endemic to South Asia; and is also one of the largest land animals in the world.
In fact, the other species of this animal, the American Bison, is also a huge animal. Generally, the males are larger than the females.
American bison can weigh up to 2,900 pounds, with an average weight of around 2,200 pounds. Sometimes, they can weigh up to 3,400 pounds. Their height and horn length are much larger than their domestic relative, making them intimidating animals.
Gaurs live in herds and both males and females, and their greatest enemy is the saltwater crocodile.
7. Water Buffalo
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Many people tend to confuse water Buffalo with bison. While they do have some things in common, water Buffalo are smaller in weight and height. They weigh over 2,400 pounds, and that makes them one of the largest animals in the world. They are primarily found in Asian countries and are currently on the endangered list.
Also, the Cape Buffalo, found in Africa, is considered one of the most dangerous animals in the world as well. They can weigh up to 2,600 pounds and cannot be domesticated due to their unpredictable nature.
Water buffalo are herbivores. They feed on aquatic plants, grasses, reeds, herbs, leaves, and other vegetation.
8. Polar Bear
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Welcome to the Bear family. There are about eight different species in the world; black, brown, polar, sun, sloth, panda, Andean, and Asiatic bears. They can all be found in different areas of the world, and all have their unique characteristics. However, of all these eight other species, the Polar Bear is the largest. And with a weight of over 1800 pounds and a height of 10 feet, Polar Bears are one of the heaviest land animals.
Interestingly, polar bears are also the largest land predators. They are found in Russia, Alaska, Canada, Greenland, and Norway. Because of their large size, they don’t have any natural enemies except humans. The average lifespan of the bears is 15-18 years in the wild and over 30 years in captivity.
9. Kodiak Bear
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Kodiak bear is wholly isolated from other members of the bear family because of its remote habitat and is also one of the largest carnivorous bears in the world. More so, they are one of largest land animals and can grow up to 10 feet tall, and it weighs as much as 1700 pounds. Kodiak bears are omnivores. They feed on both meat and plants. During winter, they go into hibernation and can survive without food during this period. They slow down their metabolism process and use up fat stored in their bodies.
Kodiak bear populations are healthy and productive. They enjoy a relatively solitary habitat and can be very aggressive.
10. Elephant Seal
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Elephant seals are one of the most fantastic Antarctica animals; however, there are many different species to observe.
The adult elephant seal can weigh up to five tonnes and grow up to six and a half meters in length. The females are smaller, with a weight of around 7 – 800 kg. The gestation period of the female one is about nine months; however, they have delayed implantation, and hence babies are born after 12 months; however, pregnancy lasts for nine months. The newborn babies weigh around 50 kilograms, and within three months, they became around 150kg one of the highly social animals for large groups or harems for a month during the breeding season.
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The next on our list of the heaviest land animals on earth is another member of the Bovine family, Wild Yaks. They are found mainly in Asia, especially in elevated areas. They weigh over 2,000 pounds and can grow up to 11 feet in length.
Their long coat helps them stay warm. The male wild yak can be up to three times the size of a female. Domesticated yaks are also found in a similar area. They can weigh up to 1,300 pounds and can stand anywhere from 5 feet to 7 feet.
They are herbivores and feed mainly on grasses and sedges, such as Carex, Stipa, and Kobresia. They also eat a smaller amount of herbs, winter fat shrubs, and mosses and have even been reported to eat lichen.
12. Komodo Dragon
Source by: Mental Floss
Lastly on our list of the heaviest land animals in the world is the Komodo Dragon. Quite strange, yeah? Komodo dragons are amazing creatures. They are primarily found in four islands; Flores, Rinca, Gilli, and Komodo. And that’s where the name Komodo came from. This creature was discovered over a century ago, and it’s expected to exist for millions of years. The largest lizard species can reach up to 10 feet in length and weigh over 400 pounds, and that earns them a place on the list of the heaviest land animals.
They are carnivorous animals, and they feed on pigs, deer, snakes, fish, and water buffalos. The average lifespan of the species is 30 years in the wild and a few more years in captivity.
That’s it on our list of heaviest land animals in the world. While, of course, the list is not exhaustive, as the animal kingdom is filled with different species of animals of different sizes and weights, it gives an insight into the weight variation amongst animals.
More so, having an animatronic animal of your favorite animals right in your park is more pleasing than reading or watching it on the television. Come and check them out!