Special Sub-Topic: Extremes in the animal kingdom
|The blue whale may be the most massive animal that ever lived, but which of the animals below has been found to be longer than a blue whale?|
Lions mane jellyfish. While blue whales can grow up to 100 feet long with some reported at around 110 feet, there have been lions mane jellyfish reported well over 100 feet with some reports up to 200 feet long. The brontosaurus will max out at around 80 feet. Giant squids can reach around 50 feet. The anaconda can average around 20 to 30 feet long.
|Most animals have some sort of hair, even insects. Which is the hairiest animal (in terms of hairs per square inch of skin) alive today?|
Sea otter. Sea otters have an amazing 1 million hairs per square inch. An adult pelt can average 800 million to 1 billion hairs! The northern fur seal is the second hairiest animal with about 300,000 hairs per square inch. Chinchillas have the highest fur density of any land animal and will have more than 50 hairs coming from a single follicle.
|There are many types of amphibians including salamanders, frogs and newts. What is the world's largest amphibian? |
Chinese giant salamander. The Chinese giant salamander grows to an amazing 6 feet long and can live up to 50 years! An olm is also very long for an amphibian but much smaller at 8-12 inches. Olms are one of the few amphibians that will live in a cave. Goliath bullfrogs are 4 to 16 inches and are the world's biggest frog. The goliath bullfrog lives in Western Africa and can leap the length of a small car. The marine toad is the world's largest toad at up to 9 inches and 4 pounds and can eat snakes.
|There are many different types of cats including what many call, big cats. However, which is the biggest of the big cats?|
Tiger. Tigers can grow up to 10 feet long and weigh 575 pounds. Tigers are also excellent hunters and can stalk prey almost silently. Lions can get to around 9 feet in length and up to 500 pounds. Black panthers and cheetahs, although very large, do not compare with lions and tigers.
|Elephants are certainly among the largest land mammals. Which type of elephant below holds the title of world's largest land mammal? |
African bush elephant. The African bush elephant can top out at 25 feet long, 14,000 pounds and 13 feet for its shoulder height. The African forest elephant and the Asian elephant, though the same length are a bit shorter and not as heavy. Asian elephants differ from African as they have much smaller ears. Pygmy elephants are much smaller.
|Owls are some of the most numerous and successful birds in the world. Which type of owl claims the title of the most widespread? |
Barn owl. The barn owl is on every continent except Antarctica. Great horned owls are in North, Central and South America. Spectacled are in Mexico, Central America and South America. And the scops owl is in Europe, Asia and Africa.
|Dragonflies have not changed much in the last 300 million years and there are many different kinds. Which one is the fastest and can go an incredible 24 mph? |
Emperor dragonfly. The emperor dragonfly is also one of the biggest and most powerful. Southern hawkers are very fast as well, at around 20 mph.
|Unfortunately all species of rhinoceros are endangered as they are hunted for their horns. Rhinos are very large vegetarian mammals with only elephants and hippos bigger. Do you know which rhino is the biggest? |
White rhino. The white rhino tops off at 13 feet long and 5,100 pounds. Indian rhinos are very close and 12 1/2 feet long and 5,000 pounds. The Sumatran is actually the smallest at a mere 1,800 pounds.
|Beetles are very hearty animals and are found all over the world in every kind of habitat. They are so hearty that no beetle is listed on the endangered species list. Many beetles are huge like the hercules, goliath and atlas beetles. Which beetle below is one of the smallest?|
Ladybug. Ladybugs are around 1/4 of an inch compared to the hercules beetle that can grow as long as 7 1/2 inches. All beetles have forewings called elytra, which close over their hind wings to protect them.
|With 293 known species, tortoises and turtles are some of the longest-living animals on earth. Just concentrating on tortoises, which is the largest?|
Galapagos giant tortoise. The Galapagos tortoise is the world's biggest at 4 feet long. Some have lived to be over 170 years old! The aldabra tortoise is close in size to the Galapagos, but so far none have measured larger. Aldabras might be the oldest as some are estimated at over 200 years old. Leatherback turtles are the biggest turtle at 4-6 feet and can weigh as much as 1,800 pounds. Most sea turtles are, unfortunately on the endangered list.
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