Welcome to the Top 10 Strongest Animals.
Strength is usually linked to the size and how much damage and harm an animal can cause to humans. However, the real strength of any animal is relative to its body size. Some of the animals on this list might be surprising.
But the main takeaway from this list is size does matter (relatively).
Strength is not a matter of body shape or size. Instead, it is a matter of ratio. In other words, how much can a body lift in weight relative to its size? Let’s get into the list of the top 10 strongest animals in the world!
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Hippos are the third largest living mammal found in the world, after elephants and white rhinos. Weighing between 1.4 and 5 tons and being herbivores, hippos must consume roughly 80 pounds of grass each night to sustain weight. Despite their weight, hippos can move up to 30mph (roughly 50km/h).
The lifespan of hippos is around 50 years in the wild. Hippos have adapted to semi-aquatic environments and can move swiftly and elegantly in water and land. Their habitats include wetlands, rivers and swamps.
They can also hold their breath for as long as 5 minutes. No wonder this number one on the top 10 strongest animals in the world’s nickname is “river horse”.
Hippos’ jaws can open up to 150 degrees, revealing their giant incisors. What places these chunky guys number one on the top 10 strongest animals in the world list is their sheer ability to move their weight through water and on land quickly and ferociously.
The king of the sky, found mostly throughout Africa and Asia, is the Eagle. Eagle species are native to Australia, Central America, the Americas, and North America.
Except for vultures, eagles are giant flying birds with wingspan up to 1.8m. Eagles are members of the raptor family. This means they feed on big vertebrates, which they can spot up to 2 miles away. Number two on the top 10 strongest animals in the world boasts the origin of the saying “eyes as sharp as eagle’s”. Some of the more giant eagles, the Harpy eagle, feed on monkeys, sloths, and coatis.
Records claim that some eagles have flown carrying prey weighing up to 6.8kg. While other species are known to have killed prey weighing between 30 and 37kg. This means these eagles’ prey weighed 7-8 times more than them!
Eagles use their heavy sharp beaks and powerful talons to rip the flesh from their prey. These birds are remarkable hunters and very powerful fliers.
Anacondas are members of the boa family. The boa constrictor family that is. There are four species of anaconda: Green anacondas (Eunectes murinus), yellow anacondas (E. notaeus), Bolivian anaconda (E. beniensis), and the dark-spotted anaconda (E. deschauenseei).
The most famous, and also the biggest, is the green anaconda. These anacondas live in wetlands and river basins throughout South America, including parts of Brazil, Colombia, Venezuela, Guyana, Surinam, Bolivia, Peru, and Ecuador.
Giant green anacondas can weigh close to 200 pounds, making them the heaviest anacondas. Like other boas, anacondas use their powerful bodies to constrict their prey, as they lack venom to neutralise them. Ultimately, anacondas use their bodies to suffocate and crush their prey to death. It’s no wonder anacondas score themselves on the top 10 strongest animals in the world list.
If you’ve ever watched Crocodile Dundee or are a hardcore Steve Irwin fan you are no stranger to the strength of crocodiles. You’d also know that crocodiles have stronger jaws than alligators, hence they have a spot on the list of top 10 strongest animals in the world. Saltwater crocodiles have the most substantial bite compared to any animal, measuring at 3,700 psi.
Crocodiles are giant reptiles commonly found in the Americas, Australia, Africa and Asia. Crocodiles are not native to Europe. Their habitats include wetlands, rivers and lakes, and saltwater regions like lagoons and estuaries.
These T-rex rival bite force champions can live up to 75 years, grow up to 23 ft or 7m long and weigh up to 2,600 lb or 1,200kg. Given how hard crocs can bite down, how heavy they can be and how long they can be, they are a force of nature.
#5 Grizzly Bear
Grizzly bears are built for sturdiness and robustness. These North American brown bear subspecies sport large heads, firm rumps, round ears, and long claws.
A key identifier of grizzlies is the humps on their backs. These humps distinguish them from black bears. The hump on a grizzly bear’s back is a muscle they use to dig dens with and tear apart logs in search of grubs and plant bulbs.
While grizzlies dig dens for winter, bears don’t hibernate in winter. Instead, they enter what is known as torpor. This means that although bears bunker for the worst part of winter, they are easily awoken by noises and touches.
Ever heard the phrase “strong as an ox” and wondered why? Number 6 on the list of the top 10 strongest animals in the world is not a wild animal but a draught animal.
Also known as bullocks, oxen are male bovine trained as draught or work animals. Commonly, oxen have castrated adult male cattle. The function of castration is to inhibit aggression and testosterone production, making the ox more docile to work with.
Oxen are used for plowing, pulling carts, hauling wagons, powering machinery that grinds grain, or running irrigation. The domestication of these creatures began around 4000 BC.
The largest and most renowned big cat in the world deserves a spot on the top 10 strongest animals in the world list. Tigers can reach up to 3.3m in length and weigh up to 670 pounds.
While ten tiger species once existed, three became extinct in the 20th century. Tigers are hunted for trophies and medicinal purposes. All remaining tiger species are at-risk of becoming extinct but are under protected status. The most commonly known tiger is the Bengal Tiger, native to India. They also number more than half the number of all wild tigers.
The biggest tiger species is the Siberian tiger, which is also the most elusive. Tigers like water and are good swimmers.
#8 Leafcutter Ant
Leafcutter ants are named for their job; they cut foliage many times their size and carry them to their colonies. There, they chew them up and feed the ever-growing underground fungus farm. Along this arduous journey, these ants often war with other ants and predators.
Recent research found that leafcutter ants’ exoskeleton is coated in calcite which contains high levels of magnesium, which can grind limestone. Bones and teeth of many animals contain calciferous minerals; leafcutter ants are the first insects found to sport calcite minerals.
Not only does this calcite mineral provide additional strength for the ants, it also protects them from fungal infections. Further, these ants are capable of lifting 50 times their weight!
#9 Rhinoceros Beetle
The penultimate strongest animal in the world, the rhinoceros beetle, can lift 850 times their weight. Rhino beetle’s horns look quite ferocious and hardy. However, they are pretty lightweight.
Their horns are made of chitin, just like the rest of their exoskeleton, and are hollow. Only male rhino beetles have horns which they use for digging into the soil and leaf litter to escape danger. The horns are also used to drive away other males away from the females during mating rituals.
These beetles are also known as Hercules beetles for their herculean strength. These super strong insects grow only to 6 inches in size.
#10 Dung Beetle
Last but not least on the top 10 strongest animals in the world list is the dung beetle, the strongest animal in the world. Much like rhino beetles, they are found on every continent in the world, bar Antarctica. The job hierarchy of dung beetles falls into three categories: rollers, tunnellers, and dwellers.
The strongest dung beetle species is the horned dung beetle. Only 10mm long, these beetles can lift 1141 times their weight. The ‘rollers’ of this species can pull a dung ball 1141 times heavier than itself.
Summary on Top 10 Strongest Animals
Humans have had, and continue to have, a damaging impact on wildlife. 9 out of 10 of the animals on this list are protected, endangered, threatened, or nearing extinction.
We must continue raising awareness for protecting these animals, not just for tourism. More importantly, for the vital role these animals play in our ecosystem. An ecosystem that we are a part of just as much as they are.
Nature is wonderful, fascinating, and deserving of our dedication to its protection. If you enjoyed reading about the animals above, check out Animals of the Amazon and The 10 Most Endangered Animals following.
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