List of largest mammals

Posted in Biology

A member of the order Cetacea, the Blue whale (Balaenoptera musculus) is believed to be the largest animal ever to have lived. The maximum recorded weight was 190 tonnes and 30 m (100 ft) long, while longer ones, up to 33.3 m (110 ft), have been recorded but not weighed.

The African Bush Elephant (Loxodonta africana), of the order Proboscidea, is the largest living land animal. At birth it is common for an elephant calf to weigh 100 kg (225 pounds). The largest elephant ever recorded was shot in Angola in 1974. It was a male and weighed 12,272 kg or 13.5 tons (27,000 lb), with an overall length (trunk to tail) of 10.6 m (35 ft) and a shoulder height of 4.2 m (13.7 ft).

  • Monotreme mammals (Monotremata). The largest extant monotreme is the Western Long-beaked Echidna weighing up to 16.5 kg (36.4 lb) and measuring 1 m (3.3 ft) long. The largest monotreme (egg-bearing mammal) ever was the extinct echidna species Zaglossus hacketti, known only from a few bones found in western Australia. It was the size of a sheep, weighing probably up to 100 kg (220 lb).
  • Marsupials (Marsupialia). The Red Kangaroo (Macropus rufus) is the largest living marsupial. The maximum size of these lanky mammals is 100 kg (220 lb) and 1.92 m (6.3 ft) tall. Many much larger marsupials existed prehistorically, the largest of which was Diprotodon. This rhino-sized herbivore would have easily exceed 2 tonnes (4,400 lb), 3.3 m (11 ft) in length and 1.83 m (6 ft) in height.
  • Non-Paenungulate Afrotherians (Afroinsectiphilia). The largest species of this clade (which also contains elephant shrews, tenrecs and golden moles) is the Aardvark. Aardvarks are typically up to 1.3 meters in length with a weight of up to 65 kg, although some larger exceptions can be found.
  • Even-toed Ungulates (Artiodactyla). The largest species in terms of weight is the Hippopotamus (Hippopotamus amphibius), reaching a maximum size of 4,500 kg (10,000 lb), 4.8 m (16 ft) long and 1.66 m (5.5 ft) tall. The longest-bodied species, and tallest of all living land animals, is the Giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis), measuring up to 5.8 m (19.3 ft), and despite being relatively slender, reaching a top weight of 2 tonnes (2.2 tons).
  • Carnivores (Carnivora). The largest species is now, with the inclusion of pinnipeds, the Southern Elephant Seal (Mirounga leonina). The top size recorded for this species was 5,000 kg (11,000 lb) and 6.9 m (22.5 feet) long. The largest living land carnivores are the Polar Bear (Ursus maritimus) and the Brown Bear (Ursus arctos), both exceptionally exceeding 1 tonne (2,205 lb), 3 m (10 ft) long, and 1.5 m (5 ft) tall at the shoulder.
  • Whales (Cetacea). The largest whale and animal is the aforementioned blue whale, a baleen whale (Mysticeti). The largest toothed whale (Odontoceti) is the Sperm Whale, bulls of which range usually range up to 18 metres (59.5 ft) and a mass of 50 tonnes (55 tons), but may possibly grow considerably larger. The Orca or Killer Whale (Orcinus orca) is the largest species of the oceanic dolphin family (Delphinidae). Males normally grow from 6.5-8 m long (20-25 ft) and weigh in excess of 6 tonnes; it has been reported that especially large males have reached nearer 8 tonnes. Females are smaller, growing from 5.7-7m (18-22 ft) and a weight of about 5 tonnes. The longest Orca ever recorded was a male off the coast of Japan, measuring 9.8 m (32 ft).
  • Bats (Chiroptera). The largest bat species is the Giant golden-crowned flying fox (Acerodon jubatus), a rare fruit bat and endangered species that is part of the megabat family. The maximum size is believed to approach 1.5 kg (3.3 lb), 55 cm (22 in) long, and the wingspan may be almost 1.8 m (6 ft). The Ghost Bat (Macroderma gigas) is believed to be the largest carnivorous bat, belonging to the microbat family.
  • Armadillos (Cingulata). The extant giant of this group is the Giant Armadillo (Priodontes maximus). The top size for this species is 60 kg (132 lb) and 1.5 m (5 ft) in length. Much larger prehistoric examples are known, especially Glyptodon, which easily topped 2.7 m (9 ft) and 2 tonnes (4,400 lb).
  • Colugos (Dermoptera). Of the two colugo species in the order Dermoptera of gliding arboreal mammals in southeast Asia, the largest and most common is the Sunda Flying Lemur (Cynocephalus varigatus). The maximum size is 2 kg (4.4 lb) and 73 cm (29 in).
  • Hedgehogs, Gymnures, Shrews, and Moles (Erinaceomorpha & Soricomorpha). The largest of these two orders of small mammals is the Greater Moonrat (Echinosorex gymnura), the maximum size of which is over 2 kg (4.4 lb) and 60 cm (24 in).
  • Hyraxes (Hyracoidea). The largest species of hyrax seems to be the Cape Hyrax (Procavia capensis), at up to 5.4 kg (12 lb) and 73 cm (29 in) long.
  • Rabbits, Hares, & Pikas (Lagomorpha). The largest species is the European Hare (Lepus europaeus), which is up to 6.6 kg (14.6 lb) and 76 cm (30 in) long.
  • Odd-toed Ungulates (Perissodactyla). The largest extant species is the White Rhinoceros (Ceratotherium simum). The largest size this species can attain is 4,540 kg (10,000 lb), 4.7 m (15.5 ft) long, and 2 m (6.6 ft) tall. It is slightly larger than the Indian Rhinoceros. The largest land mammal ever was Indricotherium, a member of this order. It stood up to 5.5 m (18 ft) tall, measured over 9 m (30 ft) long and weighed up to 20 tonnes (22 tons).
  • Pangolins (Pholiodata). The largest species of scaly anteater is the Giant Pangolin (Manis gigantea), at up to 1.7 m (5.8 ft) and at least 40 kg (88 lb).
  • Anteaters & Sloths (Pilosa). The largest species is easily the Giant Anteater (Myrmecophaga tridactyla). A large adult can weigh as much as 65 kg (143 lb) and measure 2.4 m (8 ft) in overall length. The sloths attained much larger sizes prehistorically, the largest of which were Megatherium which, at an estimated average weight of 4.5 tonnes (5 tons) and height of 5.1 m (17 ft), was about the same size as the African Bush Elephant.
  • Primates (Primates). The Eastern Lowland Gorilla (Gorilla beringei graueri) is the largest living primate. The maximum size of a male gorilla can be over 225 kg (500 lb) and 1.83 m (6 ft) in the wild, with much heavier weights recorded in captivity. Gigantopithecus is the largest known primate ever, probably averaged 3 m (10 ft) tall and weighing 300 to 550 kg (700 to 1,200 lb). It lived around 5 million years ago until about 100 thousand years ago in the region of India and China. Human beings (Homo sapiens) can attain massive weights measured in thousands of pounds (up to 1,600 lb), but these are cases of morbid obesity, tumor, and other medical malady, and enormous heights (up to 8 ft 11.1 in), due to the growth disorder gigantism. The tallest humans (who have reached heights of at least 7 ft 8 in even when not afflicted with gigantism) are the tallest living primates.
  • Elephants, mammoths, and mastodons (Proboscidea). Contrary to popular belief, extinct species in the order Proboscidea, such as mammoths and mastodons, did not dwarf the modern African Bush Elephant. The largest elephant ever was probably the Imperial Mammoth (Mammuthus imperator), which were believed to have attained a size of as much as 4.5 m (15 ft) tall and weighed over 13.6 tonnes (15 tons).
  • Rodents (Rodentia). The largest living rodent is the capybara, native to most of the tropical and temperate parts of South America east of the Andes, always near water. Full-grown capybaras can reach a top size of 80 kg (176 lb), 1.5 m (5 ft) long and 90 cm (3 ft) tall. The largest known rodent ever is Phoberomys insolita, an extinct species known only from fossils. An almost complete skeleton of its slightly smaller Late Miocene relative Phoberomys pattersoni was discovered in Venezuela in 2000; it was 3 m (10 ft) long, with an additional 1.5 m (5-foot) tail, and probably weighed around 700 kg (1,540 lb).
  • Tree Shrews (Scadentia). The largest of the tree shrews seems to be the Common Tree Shrew (Tupaia glis), at up to 187 g (6.6 oz) and 40 cm (17 in).
  • Dugongs and manatees (Sirenia). The largest living species in the order Sirenia of dugongs and manatees is the West Indian Manatee (Trichechus manatus). The maximum size of this species is 1,590 kg (3,500 lb) and 4.1 m (13.5 ft). However, the extinct Steller's Sea Cow (Hydrodamalis gigas) was much larger, growing up to at least 7.9 m (26 ft) long and weighing up to 11 tonnes (12.1 tons).

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