Category Archives: Life on Earth

Top 10 Largest Insects on Earth

The largest insects on Earth – preparing such a list is not an easy task. Because, how can you identify the “large”? It is a relative term: if you mean the “bulkiest” by largest, for instance, this title may go to the Goliath beetle (Goliathus), which are among the largest insects on Earth, if measured in terms of size, bulk, and weight. They measure from 60–110 millimeters (2.4–4.3 in) for males and 50–80 millimeters (2.0–3.1 in) for females, as adults, and can reach weights of up to 80–100 grams (2.8–3.5 oz) in the larval stage, though the adults are only about half this weight. Or maybe Actaeon beetle (Megasoma actaeon) claims the title, which is a rhinoceros beetle, a member of the Scarabaeidae family. They can be up to 7 centimeters (2.8 in) across, with a body length of up to 13.5 cm (5.4 in) long by 4 cm (1.6 in) thick.

If you are looking for the “heaviest”, check out the Giant Weta, the heaviest insect in the world. A female giant weta filled with eggs can reach up to 70 grams!

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The fastest land animals

If you search for the fastest land animals on the Internet, you will find many “fastest animals” lists, most of them are popular “top list” sites. But, in fact, there is a tendency to overestimate the speed of fast animals. Even the speed of the world’s fastest land animal, cheetah’s speed is usually highly overestimated.

Measuring an animal’s speed is a very hard task, and very few of them were properly authenticated. Some of them are really fast, that’s true, but what is the exact number? This information is usually not measured correctly.

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Okavango Delta, Botswana

The Okavango Delta is a unique pulsing wetland where the 1,600 km (990 mi) long Okavango River reaches a tectonic trough in the middle of the Kalahari Desert in northern Botswana. Each year approximately 11 cubic kilometers of water spread over the 6,000-15,000 km2 area. It is on the UNESCO World Heritage List as well as one of the Seven Natural Wonders of Africa. (1)

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Nile Crocodiles Have Been Found in Florida

Four Nile crocodiles have been found in Florida by scientists from the University of Florida. Between 2002 and 2004, the researchers have studied populations of crocodiles in the state. Previously, using DNA analysis, they found three Nile crocs: one was a foot long hatchling sitting on a porch in Miami. Another was found on the property of a private zoo in Homestead, and a third, also in Homestead, a 10-pound (4.5 kg) female, was captured in a public park.

Finally, more recently, in March 2012, a three-foot-long (1 meter) female was trapped in a canal in Homestead. The researchers tagged this one and released her to nature. Two years later, it recaptured and the team calculated its growth rate (40.5 cm/year – 15.95 inches/year) and movement. “The most likely route of travel by waterway (i.e., canal) illustrates that this animal traveled at least 29 km (18 miles) from its original capture site.”

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Largest prehistoric mammals

After the extinction of the dinosaurs, approximately 66 million years ago, the rise of mammals begun. There were mammals on earth before that date, but after the Cretaceous–Paleogene (K–Pg) extinction event (a mass extinction of some three-quarters of the plant and animal species on Earth, including all non-avian dinosaurs), mammals took over the medium- to large-sized ecological niches. Some of these mammals reached enormous sizes, and usually, they were larger than today’s counterparts (with the exception of whales). Here are some of the largest prehistoric mammals ever known.

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Top 22 most powerful bite forces in carnivore land mammals

Bite force is an important property of carnivore ecology because these amazing animals need to kill their prey as easily as possible, and the bite force is a vital factor in this context. Here are the top 22 most powerful bites in carnivore land mammals.

The values below are average bite forces at the canine tips and taken from the most recent and accurate 2007 research titled Bite Forces and Evolutionary Adaptations to Feeding Ecology in Carnivores by Per Christiansen and Stephen Wroe of the Ecological Society of America.

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Humpback Whale Thanks to its Rescuers After Being Freed From Nets

An amazing and wonderful video that I came across a few years ago: Michael Fishbach, co-founder of The Great Whale Conservancy, his family and friends rescued a Humpback Whale from fishnets, and after being freed, the whale shows amazing appreciation to the rescuers.

The Great Whale Conservancy was launched in 2010 to advocate for the great whales, they need our help and protection to survive, to learn more about our current efforts and find out how we can work together.

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Top 5 largest prehistoric cats

Like all prehistoric counterparts of today’s animals, the prehistoric cats were usually larger, heavier and more robust than today’s felines. Here are the top five largest prehistoric cats.

For a comparison, male African Lions sometimes exceed 250 kg (550 lb) in weight. Reported body measurements in males are head-body lengths ranging from 170 to 250 cm (5 ft 7 inches to 8 ft 2 inches), tail lengths of 90–105 cm (2 ft 11 in–3 ft 5 in). Male Siberian (Amur) tigers have a head and body length of between 190–230 cm (75–91 in) and weigh between 180 to 306 kg (397 to 675 lb).

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A giant prehistoric crocodile discovered in the Sahara: Machimosaurus rex

National Geographic grantee Federico Fanti and his research team have unearthed a sea-dwelling crocodylomorph (a teleosaurid) skeleton in southern Tunisia, in the Sahara desert: Machimosaurus rex. It is the world’s largest marine crocodyliform, and was previously unknown to science. Its length is estimated at more than 30 feet (9.14 meters). The giant was probably weighed three tons.

The fossil dates back 130 million years ago. The head of the crocodile alone is over 5 feet long. The discovery proves that this animal lived 25 million years past the hypothesized global extinction at the end of the Jurassic period.

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