When we were young, I’m sure many of us asked our parents what the biggest animal in the world is, to which they probably took a wild guess and said something like elephants or giraffes; but are either of these answers actually correct.
While giraffes and elephants might be the obvious answer to the question, that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s correct. In fact, what probably isn’t surprising to Australians, there is a giant reticulated python out there that can reach north of six metres in length with the largest snake recorded in 1912 at 10 metres long.
Tune into the full episode of Huh? Science Explained below…
Putting this into perspective, giraffes usually only reach around five metres in length. While the python and the giraffe are fair contenders, no land animal can match the African bush elephant.
You might be thinking – but the tallest elephant doesn’t even exceed four metres, these magnificent creatures beat both the python and giraffe in mass.
While the bush elephant is undeniably the largest animal on land, I think it’s important to note that when we think of the largest animals known to man, sometimes we forget about the animals that live underwater.
You guessed it, whales – but more specifically, the giant blue whale which can weigh in at a massive 150 tonnes.
Their tongues alone weigh almost three tonnes, the equivalent of a couple of giraffes,Cosmos magazine journalist Evrim Yazgin
“The largest blue whale ever recorded was a female hunted in the Southern Ocean near Antarctica in 1947 and weighed 199 tons. That’s more than a Boeing 747 airplane.”
So, the undisputed largest animal on earth is technically the blue whale, but what about the creatures that preceded their time on earth?
Cosmos Magazine journalist Evrim Yazgin reveals which animal is the biggest to have walked the earth along with how scientists determine which animals are the largest.
Put your thinking caps on, folks. Huh? Science Explained is here, the twice weekly podcast brought to you by LiSTNR and Cosmos. Hosted by Cosmos’ very own science journos, this is the podcast that will answer all of life’s questions – in just 10 minutes. Hear it on the LiSTNR app now.