Friday, 2 July 2010

Biggest Animals: The Largest of the Large

Biggest Animals: The Largest of the Large:

There’s a normal, expected size range in any species, and it’s natural that some will fall on the small end, and some will fall on the large end, but wow, you still don’t expect to see creatures like this. These are the extreme animals – the largest of the large; those powerful creatures who dwarf the others in their species, and awe us all:

(Images via polkaswithpugs, guzer, yousaytoo)

When your cat is larger than your neighbor’s dog, and it’s not an exotic wildcat, you’ve got a winner. The orange Maine Coon featured above is named Verismo Leonetti Reserve Red. He is 48 inches in length, and weighs 35 pounds. When standing up, he’s about the height of an 8 year old.

(Images via equineink, runcornponyclub, funnypictures, dimensionsguide)

Horses are large, powerful, animals. As the main source of early farm power and transportation, large draft breeds were utilized heavily. Here are some of the largest horses in the world, those whose genes and predispositions have bloomed into the full expression of girth and power. These horses make their human companions seem comical in comparison.

(Images via gldfrogs, yapunbreakable)

Frogs are supposed to be small and cute; sitting on a little log or in a puddle with as much impact on your life as a pretty flower. Goliath frogs missed the memo, and can grow up to 13 inches long and weigh upwards of 8 pounds!

(Images via guzer, thewere42, nationalgeographic)

Some fish can live for decades, doing nothing but gently grazing like undersea cattle… endlessly fattening up until they’re stumbled on by an ambitious fisherman. Forget putting these examples into a koi pond; you could put the pond inside them.

(Images via worldsmostunique, vinaminh, inra, bennadel)

Double muscling typically involves a genetic defect involving myostatin, a muscle inhibitor. When this beta protein isn’t around to inhibit muscle differentiation and growth, animals get… big. The most drastic example above is the Whippet (typically a lean animal) named Wendy, who weighs in at a whopping 50 pounds. Let’s hope humans don’t figure out how to start inducing this type of muscle behavior, or our body builders will become freakish.

(Images via worldmustbecrazy, dogsarethecoolest, petdoctorforum, neveryetmelted)

Dogs are such a common part of our everyday lives, that giant ones are a welcome departure from the ordinary. The above dogs have all been recognized at some point for being the largest in the world, and they don’t disappoint. The largest dog currently is a Great Dane named George who is 43 inches tall and slightly over 7 feet long (245 pounds).

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