If you’ve ever seen an elephant or a giraffe up close, you know those animals can seem massive, but would you believe that some of the animals which have roamed this planet would make even the elephant look minuscule in comparison? As you might imagine, prehistoric creatures could fill out a list all by themselves, but we are going to break it down by species and diet to make it a little more interesting. Below we have compiled a list of the longest, tallest and heaviest animals ever to walk the Earth.
#10 Biggest Animals Ever to Walk the Earth: Jaekelopterus
An aquatic scorpion that lived about 460 million years ago, the Jaekelopterus was a sea creature that reached a length of around three yards, making it the largest insect ever known to exist. Can you imagine an insect being nine feet long? Its exact weight is unknown, but since it was longer than an adult male human being is tall, we can guess it likely had an average weight of a similar range to humans.
#9 Biggest Animals Ever to Walk the Earth: Elephant
It may not top the list, but the largest herbivorous land mammal currently alive is still the elephant. There are several species of elephant, and the largest can reach heights of up to 12 feet and weigh up to 12,000 pounds. Many people think the Wooly Mammoth was bigger a bigger animal, but they were really about the same size as modern African Elephants, they just had a lot more fur and much bigger tusks.
#8 Biggest Animals Ever to Walk the Earth: Polar Bear
The biggest land predator animal currently alive is the Polar Bear. These massive arctic creatures can grow to be over eight feet tall. They weigh about one-tenth as much as the largest elephant, or about 1300 pounds. One interesting fact about them is that they aren’t actually white. Their fur is actually clear and their skin is black! Unfortunately, these bears have a conservation status of vulnerable and could be extinct within the next 30 years if climate change continues unchecked.
#7 Biggest Animals Ever to Walk the Earth: Chinese Giant Salamander
The largest amphibian currently alive is the Chinese Giant Salamander. These animals are about the same size as the average human lying down, growing just under six feet in length and weighing just over 110 pounds. These salamanders live underwater and breathe through their skin! Their numbers are dwindling, however, and their conservation status is Critically Endangered.
#6 Biggest Animals Ever to Walk the Earth: Spinosaurus
The title of largest land predator that ever walked on Earth goes to the Spinosaurus. This meat-eating dinosaur lived about 90-100 million years ago. It was about 60 feet long, 12 feet high, and weighed at least seven tons. The Spinosaurus got its name from the massive spikes that ran down its spine. Its head was shaped much like a crocodile‘s, though much, much bigger.
#5 Biggest Animals Ever to Walk the Earth: Shastasaurus
Shastasaurus is the largest known marine reptile that ever existed. This carnivore lived in the ocean 200 million years ago and fed primarily on squid. The largest was over 60 feet long. Even the Shastasaurus’s ribcage was almost seven feet across!
#4 Biggest Animals Ever to Walk the Earth: Paraceratherium
The largest land mammal was a herbivore related to the modern rhinoceros, only much taller and without a horn. The Paraceratherium was about 16 feet high and 24 feet long, and its diet was mainly the leaves of tall trees. It is thought to have weighed nearly 45,000 pounds, which means it must have eaten a lot of leaves! Scientists believe it had a prehensile upper lip or a trunk, which it probably used to pull the leaves from tall tree branches.
#2 (tie) Biggest Animals Ever to Walk the Earth: Patagotitan mayorum
Patagotitan mayorum is arguably the largest dinosaur ever found. This titanosaur was a herbivorous dinosaur that lived about 100 million years ago, with a very long neck and a very long tail. The Patagotitan’s fossils were first found in Argentina in 2012. This recently discovered dinosaur measured over 120 feet long from head to tail, which is about 40 feet longer than the Diplodocus, previously thought to be the longest dinosaur. Patagotitan had an estimated weight of around 75 tons. That’s as much as a space shuttle!
#2 (tie) Biggest Animals Ever to Walk the Earth: Argentinosaurus
The Argentinosaurus was also discovered in Argentina, back in the 1980s. Based on the bones that have been found, it was about the same length as the Patagotitan. However, some researchers claim that by their estimates, the Argentinosaurus likely weighed as much as 20 tons more than the Patagotitan!
#1 Biggest Animals Ever to Walk the Earth: Blue Whale
Strictly speaking, the largest mammal ever on Earth doesn’t walk, it swims, but no biggest animal list would be complete without the massive Blue Whale, considered the heaviest animal ever known to exist. Though it rarely happens now due to fishing of the larger specimens, the Blue Whale can reach a length of up to 100 feet. With hearts as large as small cars, these water mammals can weigh as much as 200 tons, an equivalent to nearly 400,000 pounds, and more than twice as much as the largest dinosaur. Sadly, these whales are listed as endangered by the World Wildlife Fund.
Next up: The 10 Dumbest Animals in the World