15 Biggest Animals You Won’t Believe Actually Exist!
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15 Biggest Animals You Wont Believe Actually Exist!
The world is full of giants, and I’m not talking about the mythological kind. And although evidence of giant sized ancient humans existing on earth have been uncovered, we’re going to talk about the verifiable giants of the animal kingdom.
From the biggest of the flying insects, to a giant creature that spawned a legend, here are 15 biggest animals you won’t believe actually exist.
Number 15. The Biggest Butterfly
Butterflies, or any insect for that matter, rarely grow big. but when they do, they get really big, and here’s one of the over achievers. The Queen Alexandra’s birdwing is the largest living butterfly on earth. Its wingspan is almost 1 foot, that’s as large as a dinner plate.
Large as they are, they are extremely difficult to spot out in the wild owing to their rarity. They can be found in the rainforests of Papua New Guinea and the IUCN lists this butterfly as endangered.
Sexual dimorphism is very evident in this species, with females being larger with a wingspan of 11 to 12 inches. They also are a drab color brown. While the yellow, green, black and blue males are slightly smaller, with wingspans of 6.7 to 7.4 inches long.
Number 14. The Largest Arthropod
Here’s something that you might not know; arthropods, which include spiders, insects and other invertebrates with hard exteriors, are actually the largest animal group on earth. And the largest of all arthropods is the massive Japanese spider crab.
The largest Japanese spider crab on record had a leg span of 12.5 feet. To put its size into perspective, the largest modern arthropod is possibly the American lobster, which can grow to a little more than a meter when they grow old, but let’s face it, lobsters rarely get old anymore.
The Japanese spider crab, however, isn’t the largest arthropod to have ever existed. That title belongs to the extinct Jaekelopterus rhenaniae, a giant sea scorpion that grew to be up to 8.2 feet long.
Number 13. The Biggest Jellyfish
The lion’s mane jellyfish is not only the largest jelly species in the world, but it also harbors a powerful sting that it uses to catch its prey. Most humans have little to fear from this ferocious jelly, but its poison is more than enough to scare away enemies, thus creating a safe space for both the jelly and other species that are lucky enough to be immune to the toxin.
It can grow up to 120 feet long. By comparison, the largest recorded blue whale was a paltry 108 feet long. But don’t go around calling this jellyfish the world’s longest animal. Some scientist claim that the title belongs to the saltwater bootlace worm which can reach up to 180 feet in length, however, such a specimen has yet to be found.
Number 12. The Largest Rodent
You think New York sewer rats are big? Well feast your eyes on the capybara. These impressive semi-aquatic mammals are found throughout much of northern and central South America, and at two feet tall, are the largest rodents on earth.
Like other rodents, capybaras’ teeth grow continuously, and they wear them down by grazing on aquatic plants, grasses, and other plentiful plants.
They do have the disgusting habit of eating their own poo for breakfast though. That’s when their poo is protein rich from the high number of microbes digesting the previous day’s meals. Because the grasses they eat are so hard to digest, eating their waste essentially allows them to digest it twice.
Number 11. The Largest Marsupial
The red kangaroo is the largest living marsupial in the world. It measures up to 5.3 feet from its head to rump, and its tail alone can be up to 3.6 feet. These muscular marsupials can also weigh up to 200 pounds.
They aren’t, however, the largest kangaroo on record. That title goes to the giant short-faced kangaroo which, at 529 pounds, was more than twice as heavy. That animal went extinct about 15,000 years ago. But even that behemoth isn’t the largest marsupial on record.
That would be the long extinct, four-legged Diprotodon optatum, which looked somewhat like a bear. It was 5.5 feet tall at its shoulders and just under 13 feet long, and it weighed up to 6,100 pounds.