BIGGEST ANIMAL IN THE WORLD, BLUE WHALE
The blue whale (Balaenoptera musculus) is a marine mammal belonging to the suborder of baleen whales. At 30 metres (98 ft) in length and 180 metric tons (200 short tons) or more in weight, it is the largest known animal to have ever existed. The Blue Whale’s tongue weighs around 2.7 metric tons (5,952 pounds), about the size of an average Asian Elephant and its heart weighs about 600 kg (1,300 lb) and is the largest known in any animal. Not only is the heart similar size to a mini-cooper car but also comparable in weight.
The Blue Whale is thought to feed almost exclusively on small, shrimp-like creatures called Krill. During the summer feeding season the Blue Whale gorges itself, consuming an astounding 3.6 metric tons (7,900 pounds) or more each day. This means it may eat up to 40 million krill a day with a daily calorie requirement of an adult Blue Whale in the region of 1.5 million.
HEAVIEST LAND ANIMAL, AFRICAN BUSH ELEPHANTS
The African Bush Elephant is the largest living terrestrial (land) animal, with males reaching 6 to 7.5 metres (19.7 to 24.6 ft) in length, 3.3 metres (10.8 ft) in height at the shoulder, and weighing 6 t (13,000 lb). Females are much smaller, reaching 5.4 to 6.9 metres (17.7 to 22.6 ft) in length, 2.7 metres (8.9 ft) in height at the shoulder, and weighing 3 t (6,600 lb). The adult African bush elephant generally has no natural predators due to its great size, but the calves (especially the newborn) are vulnerable to lion and crocodile attacks, and (rarely) to leopard and hyena attacks.
TALLEST LAND ANIMALS, GIRAFFE
The giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis) is an African even-toed ungulate mammal and the tallest living terrestrial animal in the world. It stands 5–6 m (16–20 ft) tall and has an average weight of 1,600 kg (3,500 lb) for males and 830 kg (1,800 lb) for females. The giraffe has an extremely elongated neck, which can be over 2 m (6 ft 7 in) in length, accounting for nearly half of the animal’s vertical height. The long neck results from a disproportionate lengthening of the cervical vertebrae, not from the addition of more vertebrae.
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