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The Largest Animals on the Planet

Los animales más grandes que habitan el planeta Tierra actualmente.

In this article we are going to tell you about the largest animals that inhabit planet earth. Whether they are mammals, birds, reptiles or insects, our planet is inhabited by many gigantic animals. Below we describe the largest animals in each category.

The largest animal on our planet: The Blue Whale

La ballena azul es el animal más grande del planeta tierra.

The blue whale (Balaenoptera musculus) is a marine mammal and a baleen whale. Reaching a confirmed maximum length of 29.9 meters (98 feet) and weighing up to 199 tons (196 long tons; 219 short tons), it is the largest known animal

The long, slender body of the blue whale can be various shades of grayish blue on the back and somewhat lighter on the underside

Four subspecies are recognized: B. m. musculus in the North Atlantic and North Pacific, B. m. intermedia in the Southern Ocean, B. m. brevicauda (the pygmy blue whale) in the Indian Ocean and South Pacific Ocean, B. m. indica in the North Indian Ocean. There is also a population in Chilean waters that could constitute a fifth subspecies.

In general, blue whale populations migrate between their summer feeding grounds near the poles and their winter breeding grounds near the tropics. There is also evidence of year-round residency and partial or age- or sex-based migrations

They are filter feeders; their diet consists almost exclusively of krill. They are generally solitary or gather in small groups, and do not have a well-defined social structure, apart from mother-calf bonds

The fundamental frequency of blue whale vocalizations ranges from 8 to 25 Hz, and vocalization output can vary according to region, season, behavior and time of day. Killer whales are their only natural predators.

The blue whale was once abundant in almost all of the Earth’s oceans until the late 19th century. It was hunted almost to extinction by whalers until the International Whaling Commission banned all blue whaling in 1966.

The International Union for Conservation of Nature has listed the blue whale as an endangered species as of 2018 danger of extinction as of 2018. It continues to face numerous man-made threats, such as ship strikes, pollution, ocean noise and climate change.

The largest bird: the ostrich

Avestruz, animales más grandes de la Tierra.

Ostriches are large flightless birds of the genus Struthio in the order Struthioniformes, part of the infraclass Palaeognathae, a diverse group of flightless birds also known as ratites that includes emus, rheas, and kiwis

There are two living species of ostriches: the common ostrich, native to large areas of sub-Saharan Africa, and the Somali ostrich, native to the Horn of Africa.

The common ostrich was also historically native to the Arabian Peninsula, and ostriches were present throughout Asia as far east as Mongolia during the late Pleistocene and possibly into the Holocene. They lay the largest eggs of all living land animals

With the ability to run at 70 km/h, they are the fastest birds on earth. They are bred worldwide, mainly for their feathers, which are used for decoration and feather dusters. Their skin is also used to make leather products. Ostriches stand out as the largest and heaviest living birds.

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The largest reptile: Saltwater crocodile

Cocodrilo de agua salada.

The saltwater crocodile (Crocodylus porosus) is a crocodile native to saltwater habitats and brackish wetlands from the eastern coast of India through Southeast Asia and the Sundaic region to northern Australia and Micronesia

Since 1996, it has been listed in the IUCN Red List as a species of least concern. Until the 1970s it was hunted for its skin throughout its range and is threatened by illegal killing and habitat loss. It is considered dangerous to humans.

The saltwater crocodile is the largest known living reptile and crocodile. Males reach a length of up to 6 m, although they rarely exceed 6.3 m or a weight of 1,000-1,300 kg. Females are much smaller and rarely exceed 3 m (10 ft). It is also known as estuarine crocodile, Indo-Pacific crocodile, marine crocodile, sea crocodile.

It is a large, opportunistic, hypercarnivorous apex predator. It ambushes most of its prey and then drowns or swallows them whole. It is capable of overpowering almost any animal that enters its territory, including other apex predators such as sharks, varieties of freshwater and saltwater fish, including pelagic species, invertebrates such as crustaceans, various amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals, including humans.

Largest amphibian: Chinese Giant Salamander

Salamandra gigante china.

The Chinese Giant Salamander (Andrias davidianus) is one of the largest salamanders and one of the largest known amphibians. It is fully aquatic and is endemic to the rocky mountain streams and lakes of the Yangtze River basin in central China

It has been introduced into Kyoto Prefecture, Japan, and Taiwan, either by itself or a close relative. It is considered critically endangered in the wild due to habitat loss, pollution and overharvesting, as it is considered a delicacy and used in traditional Chinese medicine

On farms in central China it is extensively farmed and sometimes breeds, although many of the salamanders on farms are wild-caught

It has been listed as a top 10“focal species” in 2008 by the Evolutionarily Distinct and Globally Endangered project. The Chinese giant salamander is considered a “living fossil”

Although protected by Chinese law and CITES Appendix I, the wild population has declined by more than 80% since the 1950s. Although traditionally recognized as one of two living species of Andrias salamander in Asia, the other being the Japanese Giant Salamander, evidence indicates that the Chinese Giant Salamander may be composed of at least five cryptic species, further compounding the danger of each species.

The largest rodent: the capybara

Capibara, con crías.

The capybara or greater capybara (Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris) is a giant capybara native to South America. It is the largest living rodent and belongs to the genus Hydrochoerus. The only other extant member is the lesser capybara (Hydrochoerus isthmius)

Among its closest relatives are guinea pigs and rock caves, and it is related to the agouti, chinchilla and otter

The capybara inhabits savannas and dense forests and lives near bodies of water. It is a very social species and can be found in groups of up to 100 individuals, but normally lives in groups of 10 to 20 individuals. The greater capybara is hunted for its meat and skin and also for the fat in its thick hide.

Adult capybaras grow from 106 to 134 cm (3.48 to 4.40 ft) in length, stand 50 to 62 cm (20 to 24 in) tall at the withers, and typically weigh 35 to 66 kg (77 to 146 lb), with an average in the Venezuelan plains of 48.9 kg (108 lb). Females are slightly heavier than males. Maximum recorded weights are 91 kg (201 lb) for a wild female from Brazil and 73.5 kg (162 lb) for a wild male from Uruguay. Also, an individual weighing 81 kg was reported in São Paulo in 2001 or 2002.

Largest snake: Reticulated Python

Pitón reticulada es la serpiente más grande.

The reticulated python (Malayopython reticulatus) is a species of python native to southern and southeastern Asia. It is the longest snake in the world and is classified as Least Concern on the IUCN Red List due to its wide distribution. In several range countries, it is hunted for its skin, for use in traditional medicine and for sale as a pet.

It is the largest snake native to Asia. More than 1,000 wild reticulated pythons were studied in southern Sumatra and were estimated to have a length range of 1.5 to 6.5 m (4 ft 11 in to 21 ft 4 in), and a weight range of 1 to 75 kg (2 lb 3 oz to 165 lb 6 oz)

Reticulated pythons with lengths of more than 6 m (19 ft 8 in) are rare, although according to the Guinness Book of World Records, it is the only extant snake that regularly exceeds that length. One of the largest scientifically measured specimens, from Balikpapan, East Kalimantan, Indonesia, was measured under anesthesia at 6.95 m (22 ft 10 in), and weighed 59 kg (130 lb 1 oz) after not eating for nearly 3 months.

It is an excellent swimmer, has been recorded in distant waters, and has colonized many small islands within its range.

It is among the three heaviest snakes. Like all pythons, it is a non-venomous constrictor

The reticulated python is one of the few snakes that feeds on humans. On April 9, 2015, the species was added to the Lacey Act list in the United States, prohibiting importation and interstate transport due to its “injurious” history with humans. Attacks on humans are not common, but this species has been responsible for several reported human deaths, both in the wild and in captivity.

The World’s Largest Lizard: Komodo Dragon

Dragón monitor de Komodo.

The Komodo dragon (Varanus komodoensis), also known as the Komodo monitor, is a member of the lizard family Varanidae that is endemic to the Indonesian islands of Komodo, Rinca, Flores and Gili Motang

It is the largest lizard species in existence, with a maximum length of 3 meters and a weight of approximately 70 kilograms.

Because of their size, Komodo dragons are top predators and dominate the ecosystems in which they live. Komodo dragons hunt and ambush prey such as invertebrates, birds and mammals. It has been claimed that they have a venomous bite; there are two glands in the lower jaw that secrete various toxic proteins

The biological significance of these proteins is debated, but it has been shown that the glands secrete an anticoagulant. The group hunting behavior of Komodo dragons is exceptional in the reptile world. The diet of Komodo dragons consists mainly of Javan rusa (Rusa timorensis), although they also eat considerable amounts of carrion. Komodo dragons also occasionally attack humans.

. Young Komodo dragons are vulnerable and inhabit trees to avoid predators, such as cannibalistic adults. They take 8 to 9 years to mature and are estimated to live up to 30 years.

Komodo dragons were first recorded by Western scientists in 1910. Their large size and fearsome reputation make them popular exhibits in zoos.

In the wild, their range has been reduced due to human activities, and is likely to be further reduced by the effects of climate change; as such, they are listed as Endangered by the IUCN Red List. They are protected by Indonesian law, and Komodo National Park was established in 1980 to help protect them.

Biggest fish: Whale shark

Tiburón Ballena es un animal de los más grandes.

The whale shark (Rhincodon typus) is a slow-moving, filter-feeding carpet shark and the largest known fish species. The largest confirmed individual was 18.8 m long. The whale shark holds many size records in the animal kingdom, most notably for being the largest living non-mammalian vertebrate

Whale sharks are found in the open waters of the tropical oceans and are rarely found in waters below 21 °C (70 °F). Studies looking at vertebral growth bands and growth rates of free-swimming sharks have estimated whale shark lifespans at 80-130 years

Whale sharks have very large mouths and are filter feeders, a feeding mode found in only two other sharks, the whale shark and basking shark. They feed almost exclusively on plankton and small fish, and pose no threat to humans.

The species was distinguished in April 1828 after a 4.6 m (15 ft) specimen was harpooned in Table Bay, South Africa. Andrew Smith, a military doctor associated with British troops stationed in Cape Town, described it the following year

The name“whale shark” refers to the size of the fish, which is as large as some species of whales, as well as its filter-feeding habits, which are no different from those of baleen whales.

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The world’s largest insect: Stick Insects

Los insectos palo pueden llegar a medir más de medio metro.

Phasmatodea (also known as Phasmida, Phasmatoptera or Spectra) are an order of insects whose members are known as stick insects or stick bugs,

In general, they may be referred to as phasmatodes, phasmids, or ghost bugs, and the phasmids of the family Phylliidae are called leaf bugs, leaf bugs, walking leaves, or leaf bugs. The group’s name derives from the ancient Greek φάσμμα phasma, meaning apparition or phantom, in reference to their resemblance to vegetation when they are actually animals

Their natural camouflage makes them difficult for predators to detect; even so, many species have one of several secondary lines of defense in the form of startle displays, spines, or toxic secretions. Stick insects of the genera Phryganistria, Ctenomorpha, and Phobaeticus are the longest stick insects in the world.

Members of this order are found on all continents except Antarctica, but are most abundant in the tropics and subtropics. They are herbivorous and many species live inconspicuously in the treetops

They have a life cycle of incomplete metamorphosis with three stages: egg, nymph and adult. Many phasmids are parthenogenetic, and do not require fertilized eggs for female offspring to be produced. In warmer climates, they can reproduce year-round; in more temperate regions, females lay eggs in the fall before dying, and the new generation hatches in the spring. Some species have wings and can disperse by flying, while others are more restricted.


Alejandra Roig

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