Animals take many shapes and forms and come in a great diversity of sizes, from microscopic to the 30 m long blue whale! Whether you measure in terms of weight, height or length, there is no denying some animals are huge in comparison to others in their class.
Hiding in the undergrowth of African tropical forests, Goliath Beetles take the top spot as the heaviest insect in the world! They weigh up to 3.5 ounces (100 g), grow to a length of 4.5 inches (11.5 cm) and are brown/black/white in colour.
The Chinese Giant Salamander is the largest living amphibian, weighing around 66 lb (30 kg) though they can reach 132 lbs (60 kg), and growing to a length of 6 ft (1.8 m) long. Having changed little from their ancestors, they are known as living fossils, but despite their fascinating nature, they are endangered and rare in the wild.
The Ostrich is the largest living bird, with a height of 9 ft (2.7 m) and weight of 344 lbs (156 kg), and at 1.9 in (5 cm) in size, their eyes are the largest of all birds. They don’t have teeth and can survive without water for days as they can make their own water internally and extract the rest from the vegetation they eat!
The largest living reptile is the Saltwater Crocodile, growing to an average length of 17 ft (5.2 m), although they can reach 21 ft (6.3m) in length and weigh up to ~1,000 lb (453 kg). They are distributed widely in brackish and salt waters in parts of India, Asia and Australia and feed on all animals they can get their teeth in to, which includes sharks if they get the chance.
Heading underwater, the largest living fish is the 40 ft (12 m) long Whale Shark. Weighing up to 24 US tons (22 tonnes), they are an impressive sight, but despite their size, they feed mostly on tiny plankton. Present in tropical seas around the world, whale sharks are considered vulnerable and are hunted in some areas.
The position of largest living land carnivore is shared between Brown Bears and Polar Bears. Weighing a whopping 907 kg (1 ton) and reaching up to 10 ft (3 m) tall when standing on their hind legs, they’ve definitely earned their spot as the biggest. While you’ll find Brown Bears in the forests and mountains of North America, Europe and Asia, you need to head further north to the Arctic Circle to catch a glimpse of Polar Bears, who split their time between the sea and ice and feed mostly on seals.