The United States of America is a vast and diverse country, with rich and varied wildlife. From the tropical forests of Hawaii to the frozen tundra of Alaska, the USA is home to some of the most amazing and impressive animals on the planet. But which ones are the heaviest?
Top 10 Heaviest Animals
Which animals can tip the scales at over a ton? In this article, we will explore the top 10 heaviest animals that live in the USA, based on their average and maximum weights. We will also learn some interesting facts about these magnificent creatures, and how they have adapted to their environments. Let’s begin!
10. Grizzly Bear – 800 pounds
The grizzly bear (Ursus arctos horribilis) is one of the most iconic animals of the American wilderness. These powerful predators can stand up to 8 feet tall and weigh up to 800 pounds, making them the heaviest land carnivores in North America. Grizzly bears are omnivorous, meaning they eat both plants and animals. They have a varied diet that includes berries, nuts, roots, fish, deer, elk, and even other bears. Grizzly bears are also known for their hibernation, which can last up to 7 months in colder regions. During this time, they rely on their stored fat reserves to survive.
Grizzly bears once roamed across much of the western half of the USA, but their population has declined due to habitat loss, hunting, and conflicts with humans. Today, they are mostly found in Alaska, Montana, Wyoming, Idaho, and Washington. There are about 1,500 grizzlies left in the lower 48 states, and about 30,000 in Alaska. Grizzly bears are protected by the Endangered Species Act, and conservation efforts are underway to restore their numbers and range.
9. Muskox – 900 pounds
The muskox (Ovibos moschatus) is a shaggy-haired animal that resembles a cow or a bison, but is actually more closely related to sheep or goats. These animals are adapted to live in the harsh and cold conditions of the Arctic tundra, where they form herds of up to 100 individuals. Muskoxen have thick fur coats that insulate them from the freezing temperatures, and long curved horns that they use for defense against predators like wolves or bears. Muskoxen are herbivorous, feeding on grasses, sedges, lichens, and mosses.
Muskoxen are native to Alaska, Canada, Greenland, and Siberia. They were once extinct in Alaska due to overhunting and disease but were reintroduced in the 1930s from populations in Greenland and Canada. Today, there are about 4,000 muskoxen in Alaska, and they are considered a valuable resource for subsistence hunting and tourism. Muskoxen are also famous for their wool, called qiviut, which is one of the finest and warmest natural fibers in the world.
8. American Bison – 2,000 pounds
The American bison (Bison bison), also known as the buffalo, is the heaviest land animal in North America. A mature bull can weigh up to 2,000 pounds and stand up to 6 feet tall at the shoulder. Bison have massive heads with short horns, humped shoulders with long fur, and muscular bodies with short legs. Bison are herbivorous grazers that feed on grasses and sedges in open plains and prairies. They can run up to 35 miles per hour and jump up to 6 feet high.
Bison are one of the most iconic animals of the American West. They once numbered in the tens of millions and roamed across most of the continent. However, they were nearly wiped out by commercial hunting and habitat destruction in the late 19th century. By 1900, only about 1,000 bison remained in the wild. Thanks to conservation efforts by Native Americans, ranchers, and government agencies, bison have made a remarkable comeback. Today, there are about 500,000 bison in North America, mostly on private ranches or protected reserves. The largest wild herd is found in Yellowstone National Park, where about 5,000 bison live. Bison are also the national mammal of the USA, symbolizing strength and resilience.
7. Walrus – 2,200 pounds
The walrus (Odobenus rosmarus) is a large marine mammal that belongs to the same group as seals and sea lions. Walruses have distinctive features that set them apart from other pinnipeds: long tusks that can grow up to 3 feet long; whiskers that help them detect prey in the murky water; and flippers that allow them to walk on land as well as swim. Walruses have thick blubber that insulates them from the cold and helps them float. Walruses are carnivorous, feeding mainly on clams, mussels, worms, and other invertebrates that they dig up from the ocean floor. They can also eat fish, crabs, seals, and even polar bears.
Walruses are found in the Arctic Ocean and adjacent seas, where they form large colonies on ice floes or rocky shores. They migrate seasonally, following the movement of the ice and their food sources. Walruses are social animals that communicate with grunts, barks, roars, and clicks. They can also be very aggressive, especially during the mating season, when males compete for females and territory. Walruses can weigh up to 2,200 pounds and measure up to 12 feet long. Females are smaller than males, but still impressive in size.
6. Polar Bear – 2,200 pounds
The polar bear (Ursus maritimus) is the largest living bear and the largest land carnivore in the world. A male polar bear can weigh up to 2,200 pounds and measure up to 10 feet long. Females are about half the size of males. Polar bears have white fur that camouflages them in the snow and ice, and black skin that absorbs heat from the sun. Polar bears have large paws with fur-covered pads and sharp claws that help them walk on slippery surfaces and catch their prey. Polar bears are apex predators, meaning they have no natural enemies. They feed mainly on seals, which they hunt by waiting near breathing holes or breaking through the ice. They can also eat fish, birds, eggs, berries, and carrion.
Polar bears are found in the circumpolar Arctic region, where they roam across sea ice, islands, and coasts. They are highly adapted to cold and harsh environments, with a thick layer of fat and a dense coat of fur that keeps them warm. Polar bears are solitary animals that only come together for mating or sharing food. They do not hibernate but can enter a state of reduced activity called walking hibernation when food is scarce. Polar bears are threatened by climate change , which is shrinking their habitat and reducing their food availability. There are about 25,000 polar bears left in the wild, and they are listed as vulnerable by the IUCN Red List.
5. Giraffe – 2,600 pounds
The giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis) is the tallest living animal on land. A male giraffe can stand up to 18 feet tall and weigh up to 2,600 pounds. Females are slightly smaller than males. Giraffes have long necks that can measure up to 6 feet long, allowing them to reach high branches that other animals cannot. Giraffes also have long tongues that can extend up to 18 inches long, which they use to strip leaves from thorny acacia trees. Giraffes are herbivorous browsers that feed on leaves, flowers, fruits, and buds. They can go for weeks without drinking water, as they get most of their moisture from their food.
Giraffes are native to Africa, where they live in savannas, woodlands, and grasslands. They are social animals that form loose groups called herds, which can consist of up to 50 individuals. Giraffes communicate with each other through vocalizations, body language, and chemical signals. Giraffes have a complex and unique pattern of spots on their fur, which helps them blend in with their surroundings and identify each other.
Giraffes are not native to the USA, but they can be found in zoos, wildlife parks, and private ranches across the country. There are about 1,500 giraffes in captivity in North America, and about 111,000 giraffes in the wild. Giraffes are classified as vulnerable by the IUCN Red List, due to habitat loss, poaching, disease, and civil unrest.
4. Hippopotamus – 4,000 pounds
The hippopotamus (Hippopotamus amphibius) is the heaviest land animal after the elephant. A male hippo can weigh up to 4,000 pounds and measure up to 15 feet long. Females are smaller than males. Hippos have barrel-shaped bodies with short legs and large heads with powerful jaws. Hippos have thick skin that is gray or brown in color, with sparse hair. Hippos have no sweat glands, but they secrete a reddish fluid that acts as a sunscreen and an antibiotic. Hippos are semi-aquatic animals that spend most of their time in rivers, lakes andamps. They can hold their breath for up to 5 minutes and swim up to 19 miles per hour. Hippos are herbivorous grazers that feed on grasses and aquatic plants at night. They can consume up to 80 pounds of food per day.
Hippos are native to Africa, where they live in sub-Saharan regions. They are social animals that form groups called pods, which can consist of up to 150 individuals. Hippos are territorial and aggressive, especially during the dry season when resources are scarce. Hippos communicate with each other through grunts, snorts, roars, and splashes. Hippos have a long lifespan of up to 50 years in the wild.
Hippos are not native to the USA, but they can be found in zoos, wildlife parks, and private ranches across the country. There are about 300 hippos in captivity in North America, and about 125,000 hippos in the wild. Hippos are classified as vulnerable by the IUCN Red List, due to habitat loss, poaching, conflict with humans, and drought.
3. White Rhinoceros – 5,000 pounds
The white rhinoceros (Ceratotherium simum) is the largest and heaviest of the five rhino species. A male white rhino can weigh up to 5,000 pounds and measure up to 13 feet long. Females are smaller than males. White rhinos have two horns on their noses, made of keratin, the same material as hair and nails. The front horn can grow up to 4 feet long, and the back horn can grow up to 2 feet long. White rhinos have gray or brown skin that is thick and wrinkled. White rhinos have wide mouths that are adapted for grazing on grasses and herbs.
White rhinos are native to Africa, where they live in savannas and grasslands. They are social animals that form groups called crashes, which can consist of up to 14 individuals. White rhinos are generally peaceful and calm, but they can be aggressive when threatened or provoked. White rhinos communicate with each other through vocalizations, body language, and scent marking. White rhinos have a long lifespan of up to 50 years in the wild.
White rhinos are not native to the USA, but they can be found in zoos, wildlife parks, and private ranches across the country. There are about 200 white rhinos in captivity in North America, and about 18,000 white rhinos in the wild. White rhinos are classified as near threatened by the IUCN Red List , due to habitat loss , poaching, disease, and civil unrest.
2. Elephant Seal – 8,800 pounds
The elephant seal (Mirounga angustirostris) is the largest and heaviest of all seals. A male elephant seal can weigh up to 8,800 pounds and measure up to 20 feet long. Females are much smaller than males. Elephant seals have dark brown or gray fur that molts annually. Elephant seals have large noses that resemble trunks, which they use for vocalizing, breathing, and fighting. Elephant seals have blubber that insulates them from the cold and helps them dive deep. Elephant seals are carnivorous, feeding on fish, squid, octopus, and crustaceans.
Elephant seals are found in the Pacific Ocean, where they breed on islands off the coasts of California, Mexico and Chile. They spend most of their time at sea, traveling thousands of miles and diving up to 5,000 feet deep . They come ashore only once a year for breeding, molting, or resting. Elephant seals are social animals that form colonies on beaches or rocky shores . Elephant seals have a complex hierarchy based on size and strength . Males compete for females and territory by fighting with their tusks. Females give birth to one pup per year and nurse it for about a month .
Elephant seals are not native to the USA , but they can be found on some islands off the coast of California , where they are protected by law . There are about 150,000 elephant seals in the wild , and they are classified as least concern by the IUCN Red List .
1. Blue Whale – 200,000 pounds
The blue whale (Balaenoptera musculus) is the largest and heaviest animal that ever lived on Earth . A blue whale can weigh up to 200,000 pounds and measure up to 100 feet long . Blue whales have smooth skin that is blue-gray or blue-black in color , with light spots or mottles . Blue whales have a long body with a broad head and a small dorsal fin . Blue whales have baleen plates instead of teeth , which they use to filter krill , small crustaceans that are their main food source . Blue whales can consume up to 8,000 pounds of krill per day .
Blue whales are found in all oceans of the world , where they migrate seasonally between feeding and breeding grounds . They prefer cold and temperate waters , where they feed on dense concentrations of krill . They travel in small groups or alone , communicating with each other through low-frequency sounds that can travel for hundreds of miles . Blue whales are the loudest animals on Earth , producing sounds up to 188 decibels , louder than a jet engine .
Blue whales are not native to the USA , but they can be seen off the coasts of California , Oregon , Washington , Alaska , and Hawaii , where they are protected by law . There are about 10,000 to 25,000 blue whales in the wild , and they are classified as endangered by the IUCN Red List .
These are the top 10 heaviest animals that live in the USA , either natively or in captivity . They are all amazing and impressive creatures that deserve our respect and admiration . They also face various threats and challenges that endanger their survival and well-being . We hope that this article has increased your knowledge and appreciation of these animals , and inspired you to learn more about them and support their conservation .
10 Most Asked Questions and Answers
Q: What is the heaviest animal in the world ? A: The blue whale is the heaviest animal in the world , weighing up to 200,000 pounds and measuring up to 100 feet long .
Q: What is the heaviest land animal in the world ? A: The African elephant is the heaviest land animal in the world , weighing up to 13,000 pounds and measuring up to 24 feet long .
Q: What is the heaviest bird in the world ? A: The ostrich is the heaviest bird in the world , weighing up to 350 pounds and measuring up to 9 feet tall .
Q: What is the heaviest reptile in the world ? A: The saltwater crocodile is the heaviest reptile in the world , weighing up to 2,200 pounds and measuring up to 23 feet long .
Q: What is the heaviest fish in the world ? A: The whale shark is the heaviest fish in the world , weighing up to 41,000 pounds and measuring up to 40 feet long .
Q: What is the heaviest insect in the world ? A: The goliath beetle is the heaviest insect in the world , weighing up to 3.5 ounces and measuring up to 4.5 inches long .
Q: What is the heaviest dog in the world ? A: The English mastiff is the heaviest dog in the world , weighing up to 343 pounds and measuring up to 36 inches tall .
Q: What is the heaviest cat in the world ? A: The Siberian tiger is the heaviest cat in the world , weighing up to 660 pounds and measuring up to 13 feet long .
Q: What is the heaviest plant in the world ? A: The giant sequoia is the heaviest plant in the world , weighing up to 2.7 million pounds and measuring up to 275 feet tall .
Q: What is the heaviest human in the world ? A: The heaviest human ever recorded was Jon Brower Minnoch , who weighed up to 1,400 pounds and measured up to 6 feet 11 inches tall .