Can You Identify These Animals That Are Longer Than Humans?
By: Ian Fortey
Image: Fir0002 via WikiCommons
About This Quiz
Many animals in the wild are very deceptively sized when you start to look into it. When you think of a hippo, do you think of an animal that's over 15 feet long or just a chubby, surly creature that resembles a pig in a river? Do you think of great white sharks as being more than twice the size of a full-grown man? Or birds that have wingspans greater than 10 feet?
There are dozens of beasts that grow to a size that dwarfs humans no matter how tall some of us grow to be. Some are pretty obvious, like those massive snakes you'll find in the Amazon, or things like giant whales that tend to be bigger than buses. But others may not be as obvious to you at all. You'd have to know your stuff to get them all right.
But if you think you're the kind of person who knows the animal kingdom like the back of their hand, who knows the world's megafauna like other people know their adorable little housepets, then this is the quiz for you. So what are you waiting for? Grab that tape measure and take the quiz!
Factor in weight and wingspan and this is the largest flying bird in the world. Do you know it?
Andean condors have a wingspan of over 10 feet and weigh nearly 30 pounds. That may seem small, but consider that a bald eagle weighs only about 14 pounds, and you get an idea of just how big an Andean condor truly is.
Thanks to movies, this is one of the most feared animals on Earth. Tell us what it is.
Great white shark
Great white sharks typically reach lengths of 16 feet, but some have hit nearly 20 feet long. Unreliable reports in the past have suggested some specimens have reached lengths of 37 feet or so, but those are pretty dubious.
Do you know this animal that can jump about 20 feet straight out of the water?
Bottlenose dolphins can grow to be about 13 feet in length and are known for their exceptional intelligence. Some dolphins have been observed using tools in the wild, and they can recognize the whistles of other dolphins even after 20 years apart.
These animals are extremely aggressive in the wild. What are they?
Male hippos continue to grow throughout their lives and can reach lengths of 17 feet. Despite their size, they're quite fast in the water and even on land. They're also an invasive species in Colombia thanks to drug lord Pablo Escobar, who smuggled four of them into the country in the 1980s.
There are fewer than 1,000 of this endangered animal left in the world. What is it?
Siberian tigers can grow to a length of over 10 feet to the tip of their tails. They tend to feed mostly on deer-like species that live in Russia and China but will hunt smaller prey, like rabbits, and larger prey, like bears, on occasion.
This creature can run at speeds over 40 miles per hour. Tell us what it is.
Ostriches can reach heights of over 9 feet and weigh over 300 pounds, making them the largest birds in the world. There's a common myth that ostriches foolishly bury their heads in the sand in a vain effort to hide from danger. This isn't true and probably is the result of someone watching one digging in the sand for pebbles.
There's a $50,000 reward for anyone who can find one of these animals at over 30 feet in length. Name it!
Green anacondas can grow to 16 or 17 feet in length, but they seem to be subject to wild rumor more than most snake species. As such, there are numerous stories of snakes reaching lengths of 20 to 30 feet and a weight of over 500 pounds, but none of them have ever been scientifically confirmed.
This has become an invasive species in Florida. What is it?
The Burmese python averages about 16 feet in length but can exceed 20 feet on occasion. It's believed that Hurricane Andrew destroyed a python breeding facility in 1992, and the escaped snakes set up a viable population in Florida.
It's believed that there are fewer than 100 of these animals in the world. What are they?
Ligers are the offspring of tigers and lions, specifically a male lion and a female tiger. The offspring end up being larger than either parent, coming in at close to 12 feet in length. Breeding of ligers isn't all that common. There are about 30 of them in the United States.
This is the largest animal that has ever existed. What is it?
Blue whales are massive beyond belief, larger than any dinosaur that ever walked the Earth or swam in its oceans. They can grow to 98 feet in length and weigh in at 190 metric tons. Whaling severely depleted their numbers, they have been slowly climbing back up.
In 1924, two of these animals pulled 50 metric tons. What is it?
Shire horses are the largest horses in the world and measured to the withers, the tallest on record clocked in at just over 7 feet tall. With its head raised, it would have been looking down at pretty much anyone in the NBA.
Lewis and Clark are responsible for naming this animal. What is it?
A grizzly bear can reach heights of about 9 feet, 8 inches when they stand upright. Their claws can grow to be about 4 inches in length. As a point of reference, that's about the size of human fingers.
This is the largest fish in the world. Tell us what it is.
The largest whale shark ever recorded was 62 feet in length. That size is impressive when you consider whale sharks are filter feeders, meaning they're not going to bite you like a great white shark. Instead, they feed on plankton, dozens of pounds of it per day.
Despite being a saltwater fish, these have been found hundreds of miles upriver from the sea. Name it!
Largetooth sawfish are typically about 8 feet long but can also reach lengths of around 23 feet. The saw is used to stir up the bottom of the sea to disturb potential prey and also to strike at fish they're hunting. Unfortunately, they also have a bad habit of getting stuck in fishing nets.
Incredibly, this creature can live over 100 years. What is it?
White sturgeon can each about 20 feet in length and weigh over 1,700 pounds. Generally, they're much smaller, coming in at about 5 or 6 feet in length. Caviar fishing nearly drove them to extinction before they bounced back.
These animals eat over 300 pounds of plant matter every day. What are they?
Asian elephants typically reach a height of about 9 feet at the shoulder. The largest on record was over 11 feet high and over 24 feet long. It was shot back in 1924. There have been unconfirmed reports of even larger elephants, though.
These creatures prefer cold water and can't tolerate warmer climates. What is it?
Lion's mane Jellyfish
The lion's mane jellyfish is the largest species of jellyfish in the world. The bell is over 7 feet in diameter, but it's their massive tangle of tentacles that really gives them their size, growing to as much as 120 feet in length!
Bootlace worms can grow to a staggering 180 feet in length. When they're threatened, they secrete a mucus that has a neurotoxin in it able to kill small predators. It also smells like sewage, so that's fun.
Every summer, thousands of people in Australia get stung by these animals. What are they?
Portuguese man o' war
The Portuguese man o' war typically has tentacles that are over 30 feet long but sometimes reach lengths of up to 98 feet. Their tentacles can sting, even after they've been torn off the main body or if the jellyfish has died.
Word is this animal can swim for over 200 miles. Do you know what it is?
Adult male polar bears can reach heights of nearly 10 feet when they rear up on their hind legs. One of the largest-ever specimens was just over 11 feet tall. At a weight of over 1,500 pounds, they are the largest bears in the world and the largest predators in Canada.
The largest specimen of this animal was found on the side of a road in 1967. Name it!
Australian brown worm
Giant Gippsland earthworm
African giant earthworm
The African giant earthworm is usually only about 6 feet in length which, if we're being honest, is still pretty dramatic for a worm. The largest ever found was 22 feet long but, even at that dramatic size, they're so thin, they only weigh a few pounds.
This long critter likes to live in shallow water. Tell us what it is.
Snake sea cucumber
The snake sea cucumber looks a bit like a log of decaying plant matter, but it can grow to be about 10 feet long. It has tiny nubs called spicules all over its body, and it uses them like feet, but they're also extremely sticky and hard to remove from anything, including a diver's wet suit.
Specimens of this creature can weigh over 40 pounds. Do you recognize it?
Japanese spider crab
Japanese spider crabs can reach 18 feet from claw to claw, making them the largest crustacean in the sea. They're also considered a delicacy, though the fishing industry for them is relatively small. Overfishing has caused a population decline, and these days, most crabs tend to be relatively small.
There may be a hidden population of these animals in New Zealand. What is it?
Moose stand about 6 feet, 9 inches tall at the shoulder with a nearly 6-foot span across the antlers that also add height. Their body length is around 10 feet long. In 1900, they tried to establish a population in New Zealand that seemed not to work. However, hair and antlers have been discovered as recently as 2002.
This is the longest bony fish in the world. Do you know its name?
Giant oarfish can grow over 30 feet long, which makes them look a lot like ribbons. They can beach themselves on occasion and will also come to the surface when they're sick. It's thought that maybe they're the source of old sea serpent tales.
It's exceptionally rare to find this animal, and only a few specimens have ever been seen. Do you know it?
The colossal squid is likely the largest invertebrate in the world, but getting a feel for the average size is hard since so few specimens have ever been discovered. Most estimates put their size at up to about 46 feet in length, however.
This fish's brain is 10 times larger than a whale shark's. Name it!
Giant oceanic manta ray
Giant oceanic manta rays can grow to have a wingspan of over 20 feet across and, in at least one case, an Atlantic manta ray was recorded as having a wingspan of 30 feet. Thanks to the fact they can also swim over 20 miles an hour, there are very few animals in the sea that hunt these giant creatures.
This animal can drink 35 gallons of water in about three minutes. Do you know what it is?
A full-grown camel is over 7 feet tall to the top of its hump, and some species can weigh over 2,000 pounds. Due to the nature of the habitat in which they live — often arid or desert areas — camels can go for up to 10 days without having to drink anything.
Males of this species can reach lengths of 16 to 20 feet. Name it!
Elephant seals are absolutely massive and not only can males reach 20 feet on rare occasions, but they can also exceed 8,000 pounds, which is about 4 tons. Males can be nearly 10 times the size of females.
Females of this species can produce 300 million eggs at one time. What is it?
Ocean sunfish look a bit like a head that can swim and are deceptively large. Devoid of something for comparison it's hard to tell that these fish can grow to over 10 feet in height and 14 feet across the fins. They can also weight over 5,000 lbs.
Some people just call this animal a luth. What else is it called?
Leatherback sea turtle
Leatherback sea turtles are the largest turtles in the world. Their average length is only about 5 and a half feet, which is dramatic for a turtle but not super huge. That said, some specimens have hit lengths of about 7 feet, 2 inches, which is definitely longer than your average person.
Upon reaching maturity, this fish's teeth fall out. What is it?
European conger eel
European conger eels are the largest eels in the world and can reach a maximum length of over 9 feet. They can live in the frosty waters near Norway. When they reproduce, females will lay millions of eggs, though only a few will make it to maturity.