Animal World

Animal Characteristics and Activities

What are the largest and smallest vertebrates?

Largest Vertebrates Name Length and Weight
Sea mammal Blue or sulphur-bottom whale (Balaenoptera musculus) 100–110 ft (30.5–33.5 m) long; weighs 135–209 tons (122.4–189.6 tonnes)
Land mammal African bush elephant (Loxodonta africana) Bull is 10.5 ft (3.2 m) tall at shoulder; weighs 5.25–6.2 tons (4.8–5.6 tonnes)
Living bird North African ostrich (Struthio c. camelus) 8–9 ft (2.4–2.7 m) tall; weighs 345 lb (156.5 kg)
Fish Whale shark (Rhincodon typus) 41 ft (12.5 m) long; weighs 16.5 tons (15 tonnes)
Reptile Saltwater crocodile (Crocodylus porosus) 14–16 ft (4.3–4.9 m) long; weighs 900–1,500 lb (408–680 kg)
Rodent Capybara (Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris) 3.25–4.5 ft (1–1.4 m) long; weighs 250 lb (113.4 kg)
Smallest Vertebrates Name Length and Weight
Sea mammal Commerson’s dolphin (Cephalorhynchus commersonii) Weighs 50–70 lb (236.7–31.8 kg)
Land mammal Bumblebee or Kitti’s hog-nosed bat
(Craseonycteris thong longyai) or the pygmy shrew (Suncus erruscus)
Bat is 1 in (2.54 cm) long; weighs 0.062–0.07 oz (1.6–2 g); shrew is 1.5–2 in (3.8–5 cm) long; weighs 0.052–0.09 oz (1.5–2.6 g)
Bird Bee hummingbird (Mellisuga helenea) 2.25 in (5.7 cm) long; weighs 0.056 oz (1.6 g)
Fish Angler fish (male) (Photocorynus spiniceps) 0.24 in (6.2 mm) long
Reptile Gecko (Spaerodactylus ariasae) 0.63 in (1.6 cm) long
Rodent Pygmy mouse (Baiomys taylori) 4.3 in (10.9 cm) long; weighs 0.24–0.28 oz (6.8–7.9 g)


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