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Top 10 Strongest Animals In The World

polar bear
Polar bear (Ursus maritimus) in winter snowstorm. Image via Alexander Leisser, CC BY-SA 4.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Welcome to the intriguing realm of the Top 10 Strongest Animals.

Strength often correlates with an animal’s size and its potential to cause harm or damage to humans. Yet, the true measure of strength lies in the context of an animal’s body size. You might find some of the creatures on this list rather unexpected.

Ultimately, the key takeaway from this list is that size indeed plays a pivotal role, albeit in a relative sense.

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!

Read the entire text about the strongest Animals, or jump to any section below:

Key Points

dung beetle
Image Credit: Lyndsey King
RankAnimalKey Points
1Hippopotamus– Third-largest mammal after elephants and white rhinos. – Weighs between 1.4 and 5 tons. – Herbivores. – Can move up to 30mph. – Lifespan of around 50 years. – Adapted to semi-aquatic environments.
2Eagle– Giant flying birds with wingspans up to 1.8m. – Exceptional eyesight. – Some species feed on large vertebrates. – Impressive hunters and powerful fliers.
3Anaconda– Boa constrictors found in South America. – Green anacondas can weigh close to 200 pounds. – Use their bodies to constrict and suffocate prey.
4Crocodile– Known for their strong jaws and powerful bite force. – Found in the Americas, Australia, Africa, and Asia. – Can live up to 75 years.
5Grizzly Bear– North American brown bear subspecies. – Known for their robust build and humps on their backs. – Hibernate in torpor during winter.
6Ox– Domesticated draught animals. – Used for various tasks, including plowing and hauling. – Male cattle commonly castrated for docility.
7Tiger– Largest and most renowned big cat in the world. – Some species are critically endangered. – Excellent swimmers.
8Leafcutter Ant– Known for cutting and transporting foliage to feed their fungus farms. – Exoskeleton coated in calcite for added strength.
9Rhinoceros Beetle– Strong beetles capable of lifting 850 times their weight. – Males have horns for digging and mating rituals.
10Dung Beetle– The strongest animal in the world. – Can lift 1141 times their weight. – Important for ecosystem health.

#1 Hippopotamus

Hippopotamus
Hippopotamus (Hippopotamus amphibius) with a Cattle Egret (Bubulcus ibis), Chobe National Park, Botswana. Image via Diego Delso, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=74486424

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.

More About Hippos

angry hippo
Image via Depositphotos

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.

#2 Eagle

Martial eagle
Martial eagle at serengeti national park. Image via Thomas Fuhrmann, CC BY-SA 4.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

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.

More About Eagles

eagle hunting
Image by Federico Di Dio Photography via Unsplash

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.

#3 Anaconda

green anaconda
Green Anaconda, eunectes murinus, Los Lianos in Venezuela. Image via Depositphotos

Anacondas are members of the boa family. The boa constrictor family that is.

Anacondas, the formidable giants of the snake world, come in four distinct species: the Green anaconda (Eunectes murinus), the Yellow anaconda (E. notaeus), the Bolivian anaconda (E. beniensis), and the Dark-spotted anaconda (E. deschauenseei).

Among these, the most renowned and colossal is the Green anaconda. These impressive snakes inhabit the lush wetlands and river basins scattered across South America, including regions of Brazil, Colombia, Venezuela, Guyana, Surinam, Bolivia, Peru, and Ecuador.

More About Anacondas

Green Anaconda Image Via Depositphotos.

With some giant green anacondas tipping the scales at nearly 200 pounds, they stand as the heaviest of their kind. Unlike venomous snakes, anacondas rely on their robust bodies to constrict and overpower their prey, employing suffocation and crushing techniques to secure their meals. It’s no surprise that anacondas earn a well-deserved spot on the list of the top 10 strongest animals in the world.

#4 Crocodile

Crocodile resting
Crocodile resting on the bank of a stream. Image via Iheadindueme Loveth Chidinma, CC BY-SA 4.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

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.

More About Crocodiles

Brillenkaiman (Caiman crocodilus yacare), Portrait, frontal, Pantanal, Mato Grosso, Brasilien via DepostiPhotos
Brillenkaiman (Caiman crocodilus yacare), Portrait, frontal, Pantanal, Mato Grosso, Brasilien via DepostiPhotos

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 bear .
Close-up of brown grizzly bear. Image via Depositphotos.

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.

More About Grizzly Bears

Grizzly Bear. Image via Depositphotos.

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.

#6 Ox

ox
Ox. Image via Pexels

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.

More About Oxen

Muskoxen. Image via depositphotos.

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.

#7 Tiger

Tiger
Tiger resting during the day. Image via Chrumps, CC BY-SA 4.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

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.

More About Tigers

Biggest Tiger Ever. Depositphotos

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

Leaf cutter
Leaf-cutter ant (Atta cephalotes) with minim (partially hidden), near San Ignacio, Cayo district, Belize. Image via Charles J. Sharp, CC BY-SA 4.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

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.

More About Leafcutter Ants

leaf cutter ant
macro image of a red leaf cutter ant in Costa Rica carrying away a piece of leaf on a natural green background. Image by wollertz via depositphotos.com

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

Rhino beetle
Rhino horn beetle from front view. Image via Adhityo Wicaksono, CC BY-SA 3.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

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.

More About Rhinoceros Beetles

Rhinoceros Beetle. Image via depositphotos

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

Dung beetle
Dung beetle (Deltochilum mexicanum) 3, Colombia. Image via Charles J. Sharp, CC BY-SA 4.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

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.

More About Dung Beetles

dung beetle
Image by Wolfgang Hasselmann via Unsplash

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

Tigress and cubs. In a sunny day the tigress lies on a forest glade. The Bengal tiger, also called the royal Bengal tiger (Panthera tigris tigris). India. Bandhavgarh National Park. Tiger. Image via Depositphotos.
YouTube video
“10 Strongest animals in the world”, Source: Top trending, Source: YouTube

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.

More Animal News

hippo one of the most dangerous animals
Image via Pixabay

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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