What Are the Biggest Animals to Have Ever Lived?
If you have ever seen an enormous cat or a giant dog, the chances are that you were moderately impressed. Yet, if you saw any of the following record-breaking animals then you won’t have forgotten them in a hurry.
Forest, The Giant Giraffe
Recent reports from Australia suggest that a 12-year old giraffe with the name Forest is the tallest giraffe in the world. He lives in the Australia Zoo in Queensland and has been measured at 5.7 metres tall. These creatures don’t normally go over 5.5 metres, while others reach a “mere” 4.5 metres tall.
Calculating his massive height wasn’t easy, as zoo workers couldn’t just climb onto a regular step unit with tape measures in their hands. Instead, they spent months creating a hay dispenser with a measuring pole that was finally used to successfully record his record-breaking dimensions.
Zeus, the Enormous Dog
If you have seen a picture of an incredibly big Great Dane and wondered if it was photoshopped, you were possibly looking at the mighty Zeus. Back in 2012, this mythologically large canine was officially registered as the tallest dog to have ever walked the Earth.
At five years old, Zeus lived in Michigan, USA and measured 7 feet 4 inches when standing on his hind legs. He was used as a therapy dog in hospitals and was said to be very gentle. Sadly, he passed away in 2014, from natural causes. Currently, the tallest dog alive is said to be Freddy, a Great Dane from Essex who is over 7 feet tall on his hind legs and who eats £100 of food each week.
Jake, the Humungous Horse
Jake is a majestic Belgian Gelding who is officially the tallest horse alive, and has been the holder of this title since 2010. The height of horses is typically given in hands, and Jake reaches 20 hands 2.75 inches. This translates to 2 metres 10cm or 82.75 inches and it puts him comfortably ahead of the previous record holder.
He lives in Wisconsin, USA and turned into a popular tourist attraction at the farm where he is based. Now retired, Jake has a bigger than average stall and eats two buckets of grain and a bale of hay each day.
The Mystery of the Biggest Cows
There is some debate over the record for the tallest cow to have lived. One contender is Knickers, the Australian Holstein steer that was measured at 6 feet 4 inches tall, with a weight of 3,000 pounds. The average height of these beasts is under 5 feet, but that is partly due to the fact that relatively few live long enough to grow to their full potential.
Another possible record-holder is a steer called Daniel, that is said to also reach 6 feet 4, According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the largest cow to have lived was 6 feet 2.8 inches tall, and is now no longer with us, so either Knickers or Daniel would beat that record if their height is confirmed.