Mammalia is a class which distinguishes a physiologically unique group of organisms from the rest in the entire animal kingdom. Humans belong to the same class and so do 5400 other species of organisms. From small cats, dogs and rodents to huge bears, tigers and whales, there exists a vast diversity with regard to the size and weight of the animal.
The largest mammal of the world is found both on the land as well as in the oceans. Here is a description of about 10 of the most magnificent organisms belonging to class Mammalia.
Scientifically termed as Balaenoptera musculus, this majestic organism is not only the largest mammal in the world, but also the biggest member of the entire animal kingdom. In fact, blue whale is the biggest animal ever in the history of the planet earth. At 190,000 kg, a blue whale weighs more than thirty to forty African elephants combined and more than over 2,000 human beings. On the other hand, with a maximum size reaching up to 30 meters, this ocean creature can be as large as an entire basket ball court. This massive organism is also the loudest among all animals, producing sounds up to 180 decibels in intensity. Moreover, despite its large size and heavy weight, it is one of the fastest swimming creatures with a maximum speed of 50 Km/hour.
African Bush Elephant
Next to the blue whale is Africa's Bush Elephant which is the heaviest mammal on earth. Male elephants can have a length of 6 to 7.5 meters and a height of 3 meters. They can be as heavy as 13,000 pounds. On the other hand, the females are smaller with an average length lying between 5.4 and 6.9 meters and a height of 2.7 meters. Moreover, they only weigh around 6,600 pounds. Still, they are among the largest mammals on land. Interestingly, a baby elephant can be as heavy as 220 pounds. As the African Bush Elephant is the biggest of all land creatures, it does not face threat from any organism other than human beings as its predator.
These fascinating African creatures are the tallest of all animals on earth. Although, with an average weight of 3,500 pound, they are not as heavy as the blue whale or the African Bush Elephant, still their height puts them in the category of the biggest animals. A giraffe can be as tall as five to six meters. Its extremely long neck measures two meters in length which is almost half of the vertical height of a giraffe.
Another water creature, a killer whale is the biggest of all dolphins. It is also known as the blackfish due to its color. A fully grown killer whale can be between six to eight meters in length with six tons of weight. Contrary to its name, a killer whale is not dangerous for humans unless threatened by them. These carnivores feed on fish, squids and even larger animals including polar bears, penguins and other whales.
Southern Elephant Seal
A southern elephant seal might not be the biggest mammal in the world, but it certainly is among the top ten. It wins the title of the biggest carnivore due to an average weight of 4,900 – 8,800 pounds of a male seal. Moreover, a male measures from 4.5 to 5.8 meters in length. Females, on the other hand, weigh around 2,000 pounds and measure around 2.6 to 3 meters in length. The largest southern elephant seal in South Georgia Possession Bay was recorded to have a length of 6.85 m along with a whooping 11,000 pounds of weight.
There are five species of rhinoceros with the White Rhino being the biggest of all in size and weight. At birth, a White Rhinoceros weighs around one hundred and forty pounds. As it grows, it gains up to 5,000 pounds and measures approximately thirteen feet between the nose and the tail. Just like most other organisms, White Rhinoceros also differs in size and weight according the gender, with the males being heavier and bigger. White Rhinoceros has been categorized as an odd-toed ungulate. The other members found in this category include zebras, horses, donkeys and tapirs. Among all these members, the White Rhinoceros is the biggest one.
Hippopotamuses are chubby and rather cute looking creatures. Their length varies from eleven to seventeen feet while their maximum weight can be up to 7,900 lb. A male hippopotamus keeps on growing throughout its life while the females attain their maximum length and weight at twenty-five years of age. Apart from being one of the biggest animals, a hippopotamus is also one of Africa's most violent and dangerous creatures. It is categorized as an even-toed ungulate. Other members of this group are camels, giraffe, deer, antelope and pronghorn. A hippopotamus, of course, is the biggest of all these organisms. It does not beat giraffe in height, but is heavier in weight.
Eastern Low Land Gorilla
The biggest of all primates, the Eastern Low Land Gorilla weighs around 500 pounds with six feet of height. Phil is one of the biggest Eastern Low Land Gorillas living in captivity in the St. Louis Zoo, USA. It measures 388 Kg in weight and 180 cm in height. Apart from being big, gorillas are also extremely intelligent primates. Scientists have succeeded at training the members of this species to learn sign language.
After the southern elephant seal, polar bears are the biggest carnivores. They are the largest among all carnivorous organisms living on land. These magnificent snow-white creatures weigh around 900 pounds in the case of males and 500 pounds if it is a female. The males can be 2.6 meters tall while a female polar bear attains the maximum height of 2 meters.
Another formidable carnivore, the tiger, is placed among the top ten. Known as Panthera tigris scientifically, it is the biggest of all cats. Different sub-species of tigers vary in size as well as morphology. The Siberian Tiger, known as Panthera tigris altaica, is the biggest among all subspecies. They can grow as tall as 3.7 meters with more than 423 kg of weight.