Environment

Heaviest Land Animals Alive Today

While whales may dominate the list of largest aquatic animals, these terrestrial species can really make the ground rumble.

While we may take pride in attaining the highest degree of evolution, and that too in very less time, we still are in awe of the humongous animals that roam on Earth. Though right now the blue whales top the list of being the biggest marine mammals, the list is quite different for the animals that walk on the earth. The African elephant holds the first position by virtue of its size and strength.

The Top Rankers

All the top three terrestrial animals that are the heaviest are herbivores. Among them, African elephants top the list. The weight of the male African elephant is 8400 kg on an average, and the females are around 3,232 kg. The height of the males is around 10-13 feet, and the females have an impressive length of 7-9 feet! The tusks of the elephants are also sure to be as massive weighing around 23 to 45 kg. They walk at a speed of 4 mph, and their eyesight is poor. The Indian elephant weighing 5 tons or 5000 kg is the second heaviest terrestrial animal belonging to the Elephantidae family and the Elephas genus. These elephants attain a shoulder height of 11 feet on an average. They have smaller ears but larger trunks than the African elephants. Belonging to the Hippopotamidae family and from the Hippopotamus Linnae genus, the Hippopotamus is the third largest animal to walk on the surface of the earth. It weighs around 2,350 kilograms. The hippo has its name from Greek where it means “river horse.” It spends a lot of its time in muddy swamps all day and emerges out in the evening.

The Need To Conserve

Extensive poaching of African elephants during 2009 and 2014 lost around 85,000 of them in Tanzania alone. The World Wildlife Fund has claimed that the biggest reason for African elephants’ numbers to fall is due to ivory and hunting for sport. The threats that Indian elephants face are a loss of habitat and poaching. Moreover, poaching for ivory across the forests in North Bengal in India and Myanmar has also caused huge concern. Loss of freshwater wetlands across Africa has caused the reduction in the number of hippopotamuses. Thankfully, local government and international wildlife conservation bodies are working tirelessly to protect these beasts of the forests. Even protecting the elephant corridors or by checking on the black market trade of the hippopotamus are efforts that shall help in the long run. While there are other heavy animals also walking around, these top three heaviest animals are the most interesting and gorgeous beasts that require protection. There are awareness camps, conservation centers, and sanctuaries to ensure these animals get their habitats in the right form. With efforts, these heaviest animals shall remain here for a long time to come. Reducing the conflict between the elephants and human population and increasing the forest patch or the wetland reserves can make a significant impact on the environment as a whole.

Heaviest Land Animals Alive Today

RankHeaviest Extant Terrestrial AnimalsWeight
1African Elephant8,400 kilograms
2Indian Elephant5,000 kilograms
3Hippopotamus2,350 kilograms
4White Rhinoceros2,250 kilograms
5Indian Bison (Gaur)1,600 kilograms
6Giraffe1,400 kilograms
7Walrus1,200 kilograms
8Black Rhinoceros1,100 kilograms
9American Bison1,000 kilograms
10Cape (African) Buffalo900 kilograms

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