In the natural world, certain animals and plants have gigantic proportions. In fact, these organisms are so large that they would have no natural predators in the wild. Read on to discover the biggest organisms to have ever lived.
General Sherman (Sequoiadendron giganteum)
Most giant sequoia trees easily reach over 160 feet in height. The tallest ever recorded sequoia is the General Sherman, which towers over 275 feet in height. It is located in the Giant Forests of Sequoia National Park, USA.
Based on the measurements of the trunk, the age of the tree is estimated to be at least 2,000 years. Sequoias are also the fastest growing trees on earth, so after seed germination, it can grow upwards of 4 feet in under 3 years.
However, it is not the tallest, that distinction goes to the Hyperion, a Coast redwood located in California, USA. It is neither the widest, that distinction is accredited to the larger baobab and cypress trees. Nonetheless, General Sherman is one of the most massive trees by volume living today.
Whale Sized Hypercarnivore (Livyatan melvillei)
Livyatan melvillei is a large species of whale which went extinct 8.9 million years ago. However, unlike modern whales, or any other predator for that matter, Livyatan was huge and a hypercarnivore. This means that Livyatan’s diet predominantly consisted of meat. The animal’s name was derived from the biblical sea monster Leviathan.
In life, Livyatan would have measured over 57 feet in length and weighed a colossal 51,000 kilos. L. melvillei also had the biggest teeth of any animal; it resembled thick, serrated steak knives. Its teeth and the size made this organism an apex predator of its time. It was able to hunt down other large whales and marine reptiles, which existed at that time.
Argentine Lizard (Argentinosaurus huinculensis)
Argentinosaurus was a gargantuan dinosaur that lived 97 million years ago. It was also one of the biggest terrestrial animals ever to live. From head to tail, Argentinosaurus measured 115 meters and weighed at least 90,000 kilos. This means Argentinosaurus weighed as much as ten African Elephants.
It was also 70 feet tall based on recent estimates; this makes Argentinosaurus at least as tall as a five-storied building. Consequently, a fully grown Argentinosaurus had no natural predators. Most individuals would have succumbed only to disease, old age or accidents. Studies on its biomechanics revealed that it had a top speed of 8 kilometres per hour.
- Explore Foster’s Rule, Insular Dwarfism, Insular Gigantism
- Evolution – Darwin’s Theory of Evolution, its Causes and its Mechanism
- Natural Selection And Darwin’s Theory of Biological Evolution
Frequently Asked Questions on Examples of Supersized Flora and Fauna
What is a Hypercarnivore?
A hypercarnivore is an animal whose diet consists of more than 70% meat. Examples of hypercarnivores include big cats such as lions, tigers, panthers and leopards. It is also important to note that not all hypercarnivores occupy the top of a food chain, hence, a common house cat could also be considered a hypercarnivore.
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