Skip to Content

13 Animals That Are Bigger Than You Think

Most people are familiar with some of the largest animals on the planet, such as elephants and whales. However, the size and weight of some other animal species might surprise you.

Here are 13 animals that are bigger than you think.

If you prefer to watch the video version of this article, click on the video below.


Check out our YouTube channel @measuringstuff

Clydesdales

Horses are large herd animals, and most people know that Clydesdales and other draft horses are even bigger than other horse breeds.

However, Clydesdales can be surprisingly large, growing up to more than 6 feet tall at the shoulder. Male Clydesdales can weigh as much as 2,200 pounds.

Shire horses, a less familiar draft horse breed, can be even larger, measuring over 7 feet tall at the shoulder and weighing as much as 2,425 pounds.

clydesdale horse behind a wire fence
Clydesdale horse

Salamanders

When people think of salamanders, they usually picture a small semi-aquatic creature measuring only a few inches in length.

However, some salamanders can grow to much larger sizes. The Chinese giant salamander, for example, can grow to almost 6 feet long, while the Japanese giant salamander can reach lengths of 5 feet.

The hellbender salamander of North America can grow as long as 30 inches, while the lesser siren can grow to 27 inches.

Land Snails

Snails can be found in a range of sizes, but some snails, such as the giant African land snail, can grow to a massive size. These snails can grow to 8 inches long and have a diameter of about 5 inches.

These snails are often kept as pets, but they’re also considered a dangerous invasive species in many parts of the United States.

Giant African Land Snail
Giant African Land Snail

Sunfish

Sunfish have an odd, rounded body shape, a wavy, round tail fin, and two angular fins that protrude from their spine and underbelly. These fish can also grow to incredible sizes.

Adults can reach lengths of 6 feet and can weigh as much as 4,400 pounds. When these fish first hatch, however, they weigh less than a gram and measure only about 2.5 millimeters across, which is about 3/32 of an inch.

This means that a larval sunfish will grow to over 731 times its original length.

Ocean Sunfish
Ocean Sunfish

Wombats

Wombats, a type of Australian marsupial, are often thought of as small and cuddly.

However, these animals can grow to over 3 feet long and can weigh as much as 77 pounds.

Wombats dig extensive burrow systems that other animal species often use as shelter.

Wombat in a field
Wombat

Flemish Giant Rabbits

Like wombats, rabbits are usually thought of as small, fluffy, and cuddly. Flemish giant rabbits, however, break this stereotype.

These rabbits can grow to 2.5 feet in length, which is as large or larger than some dogs. Most Flemish giant rabbits only weigh between 15 and 22 pounds, however.

These rabbits are often kept as pets and can be trained to use a litter box.

Great Danes

Great Danes are one of the largest dog breeds, but their actual size can be quite surprising. Male Great Danes can weigh as much as 200 pounds and stand as tall as 3 feet at the shoulder.

English mastiffs, another dog breed that isn’t quite as common as the Great Dane, can weigh as much as 230 pounds, and males grow another inch taller than a Great Dane.

Great Dane walking by the ocean
Great Dane

Moose

Moose are often thought of as slightly larger than a deer or elk, but they’re actually significantly bigger. Moose can reach a height of 6.5 feet at the shoulder and often weigh as much as 1,800 pounds.

CHECK OUT  How Much Does Snow Weigh?

Elk, on the other hand, only stand between 3 and 5 feet tall. The antlers of an adult moose can measure 5 feet across and often weigh as much as 30 pounds.

Moose in Jasper, Canada
Moose in Jasper, Canada


Elephant Seals

People don’t usually think of seals as large animals, and not all seal species are very big. However, elephant seals take after the land animal they’re named for, and they can grow to be quite large.

An adult male elephant seal can grow to more than 13 feet in length and can weigh as much as 4,500 pounds.

Female elephant seals are a little smaller than males, but even they are very big, measuring up to 10 feet long and weighing around 1,300 pounds.

Snapping Turtles

Many people imagine that snapping turtles are about as large as other common pond and lake turtles, such as red-eared sliders. However, snapping turtles are actually much larger.

They’re the largest freshwater turtle species in North America, and males can be as long as 29 inches. Male alligator snapping turtles can also weigh as much as 250 pounds.

The largest freshwater turtle in the world is the Yangtze giant softshell turtle. These turtles can grow to more than 3 feet long.

Currently, only three Yangtze giant softshell turtles remain in the world.

Snapping Turtle
Snapping Turtle

Saltwater Crocodiles

Saltwater crocodiles can grow to incredible lengths. Males can often measure more than 20 feet long and weigh as much as 1,200 pounds.

Females are significantly smaller, measuring between 9 and 11 feet and only weighing as much as 230 pounds.

In comparison, male American alligators only weigh a maximum of 500 pounds and can grow to about 15 feet.

Blue Whales

When asked about the largest animal on the planet, most people know it’s the blue whale. However, this whale’s size can still be shocking.

Adult blue whales can measure as much as 98 feet long, which is more than the length of two school buses. These giant animals can also weigh as much as 400,000 pounds.

Not only is the blue whale the largest animal currently alive, but it’s also the largest animal to have ever lived. The largest dinosaurs were probably the Dreadnaughts, which measured only about 85 feet long.

Blue Whale
Blue Whale

Giant Huntsman Spider

The largest spider in the world, the giant huntsman, which is native to Laos, can be as wide as 1 foot across when measured by leg span.

Goliath birdeater tarantulas are also quite large, with a body measuring as long as 5 inches.

Although they’re large, both giant huntsman spiders and goliath birdeater tarantulas are relatively harmless to people.

Their bite can be painful, but they rarely feel the need to bite unless they are provoked. Despite their name, goliath birdeaters also rarely catch birds.

Giant Huntsman Spider
Giant Huntsman Spider

Sharing is caring!