Have you ever wondered what the strongest animal in the world is? Whilst some animals possess a strength that far surpasses humans, the truth is that different animals have different types of strength.
For example, is an African bush elephant stronger than a dung beetle? That depends, of course, on how you measure strength. Some animals have pure brute strength, meaning they can lift or drag enormous weights Some smaller animals have incredible power relative to their size – allowing them to lift many times their body weight. And some animals have jaws that can perform incredibly strong and powerful bites.
In this article on the strongest animals in the world, we look at the total, relative, and bite strength of all species. So read on below for a list of the very strongest animals alive today:
The strongest animals in the world by pure strength
African Bush Elephant
African bush elephants are the world’s largest land animals, and the strongest mammals, able to carry up to 9,000 kg – the weight of 130 humans!
It’s not just their size (up to 4.5 meters tall and 12 tons) that makes them so strong – their trunks contains 4,000 muscles and tendons, and can carry 200 kg. On top of this strength African bush elephants are known for their long tusks, growing to over 2 meters and used for digging, defending themselves from predators and fighting with other males.
Gorillas are the largest apes, known for their impressive strength. Weighing up to 200 kg, Gorillas can lift almost 2,000 kg – 10 times their body weight.
Compared to human beings, the arms of gorillas are particularly large, long, and strong – with an arm span of up to 2.5 meters. Their lifestyle of climbing and knuckle-walking strengthens their arms, and it’s estimated a gorilla is around 15 times stronger than the average human.
Tigers are the largest and strongest species of the cat family. Of the ten sub-species found across Asia, the Siberian tiger is the largest at almost 2.5 meters long and around 300kg.
Tigers are known to be able to carry kills up to twice their own body weight – not only along the ground but many meters up a tree.
Grizzly bears are found across Canada and the Northwest United States, often living in close proximity to humans. They’re amongst the largest land animals in the world, reaching heights of 2.5 meters when standing on their hind legs, and weigh up to 770 kg.
Their size, and muscular bodies, allows them to lift up to 80% of their body weight. In addition to their strength, grizzly bears are easily irritated and can be aggressive, particularly if they feel their cubs are threatened.
The eagle is the strongest bird by some way, able to lift and fly with close to four times their own body weight, perfect for their preferred prey of deer, monkey, foxes, and wildcats. Their power to fly with such heavy prey is achieved by a combination of size, wingspan and powerful feet with sharp talons.
Eagles fly at heights of up to 4,000 meters and can glide for hours without rest, using their strong vision to spot prey from long distances before tracking and swooping.
Oxen (also known as bullock) are the largest and strongest breed of cattle, and have been domesticated and bred by humans for at least the last 6,000 years to pull carts and ploughs.
They weigh up to 650 kg, and are able to double their own body weight, using their incredible stamina to work for hours on end. It’s for these reasons that oxen are considered a symbol of strength, stability, and determination in many cultures.
There are four sub-species of anacondas in South America, with the largest being the green anaconda, coming in at up to 250 kg and 10 meters long. Anacondas can constrict, kill, and eat prey up to their own body weight, allowing them to take on large prey such as caimans, wild pigs, and even jaguars. They make this list of world’s strongest animals due to their power of being able to squeeze and crush such large animals – some people believe that an anaconda would win a fight with a gorilla!
The anaconda’s body design allows them to swallow their dead prey in one and digest the entire meal in just a few days, with a metabolism that means they can go for months without eating.
The strongest animals in the world relative to size
Dung beetles are the world’s strongest insect, and when looking at strength relative to bodyweight they are the strongest animal in the world. A male dung beetle is able to lift objects a whopping 1,1,00 times its own weight – the equivalent of a human carrying 80 tons (or six double-decker buses loaded with people!).
Found on every continent except Antarctica, the male dung beetles need their strength to fight other males to compete for a mate, and to maneuver the balls of animal dung they use to either eat or to live in.
Rhinoceros beetles are the largest group of beetles in the world, reaching up to 15 cm long. This size helps them claim the position of the second strongest insect, and the second strongest animal in the world when measuring strength related to weight.
These large beetles can lift around 850 times their own weight, an incredible achievement. If a human had equivalent strength they would be able to lift a 65 ton object!
The 2 cm long leafcutter ant is the third strongest insect, with the ability to lift and carry something 50 times its own weight in its jaws. Not only this, but they have the stamina to carry these objects over long distances back to their nest. The equivalent would be a human lifting a truck with its teeth and walking a few kilometers with it.
The strongest animals in the world by bite power
The saltwater crocodile is found in salt and brackish waters in parts of Asia, Australia, and India., and has the most powerful bite of any animal. Its top recorded bite strength is 2.6M kg per m², which is estimated to be even more powerful than a Tyrannosaurus Rex.
The jaguar has the strongest bite of all the cat family. With a bite-force 1.4M kg per m² its bite is twice as strong as a lion’s.
The hippo has the strongest bite of any herbivore, at a whopping 1.28M kg per m². No wonder it’s one of the most dangerous animals in Africa!
These medium-sized safari animals are known for having a ferocious bite. In fact, with a bite strength of 0.75M kg per m² hyenas can actually bite at twice the power of a grizzly bear.
And that’s your lot for our pick of the world’s strongest animals. What do you think – did any surprise you? Please let us know your thoughts or any experiences you have of seeing these animals in the wild in the comments section below!
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