Favorite non-extinct megafauna?

Posted by: PetersSmith

Here there be giants.

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13 Total Votes
1

Komodo dragon

The Komodo dragon, also known as the Komodo monitor, is a large species of lizard found in the Indonesian islands of Komodo, Rinca, Flores, Gili Motang, and Padar. A member of the monitor lizard family Varanidae, it is the largest living species of ... lizard, growing to a maximum length of 3 metres in rare cases and weighing up to approximately 70 kilograms.Their unusually large size has been attributed to island gigantism, since no other carnivorous animals fill the niche on the islands where they live. However, recent research suggests the large size of Komodo dragons may be better understood as representative of a relict population of very large varanid lizards that once lived across Indonesia and Australia, most of which, along with other megafauna, died out after the Pleistocene. Fossils very similar to V. Komodoensis have been found in Australia dating to greater than 3.8 million years ago, and its body size remained stable on Flores, one of the handful of Indonesian islands where it is currently found, over the last 900,000 years, "a time marked by major faunal turnovers, extinction of the island's megafauna, and the arrival of early hominids by 880 ka [kiloannums].   more
4 votes
1 comment
2

Seven-arm octopus

The seven-arm octopus is one of the two largest known species of octopus; based on scientific records, it has a maximum estimated total length of 3.5 m and mass of 75 kg. The only other similarly large extant species is the giant Pacific octopus, En... teroctopus dofleini.The genera Alloposina Grimpe, 1922, Alloposus Verrill, 1880 and Heptapus Joubin, 1929 are junior synonyms of Haliphron   more
2 votes
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3

Megamouth shark

The megamouth shark is an extremely rare species of deepwater shark, and the smallest of the three planktivorous sharks besides the whale shark and basking shark. Since its discovery in 1976, few megamouth sharks have been seen, with 59 specimens kn... own to have been caught or sighted as of June 2014, including three recordings on film. Like the other two filter feeders, it swims with its enormous mouth wide open, filtering water for plankton and jellyfish. It is distinctive for its large head with rubbery lips. It is so unlike any other type of shark that it is usually considered to be the sole extant species in the distinct family Megachasmidae, though suggestion has been made that it may belong in the family Cetorhinidae, of which the basking shark is currently the sole extant member. In addition to the living M. Pelagios, however, two extinct megamouth species — the Cretaceous M. Comanchensis and the Oligocene-Miocene M. Applegatei — have also recently been proposed on the basis of fossilised tooth remains   more
1 vote
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4

Siberian Tiger

The Siberian tiger, also known as the Amur tiger, is a tiger subspecies inhabiting mainly the Sikhote Alin mountain region with a small population in southwest Primorye Province in the Russian Far East. In 2005, there were 331–393 adult and subadult...  Amur tigers in this region, with a breeding adult population of about 250 individuals. The population had been stable for more than a decade due to intensive conservation efforts, but partial surveys conducted after 2005 indicate that the Russian tiger population is declining.The Siberian tiger and Bengal tiger subspecies rank among the biggest living cats. A comparison of data on body weights of Siberian tigers indicates that up to the first half of the 20th century both males and females were on average heavier than post-1970 ones. Today's wild Siberian tigers are smaller than Bengal tigers. Their reduced weight as compared to historical Siberian tigers may be due to a combination of causes: when captured, they were usually sick or injured and involved in a conflict situation with people   more
1 vote
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5

Mountain gorilla

The mountain gorilla is one of the two subspecies of the eastern gorilla. There are two populations. One is found in the Virunga volcanic mountains of Central Africa, within three National Parks: Mgahinga, in south-west Uganda; Volcanoes, in north-w... est Rwanda; and Virunga in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. The other is found in Uganda's Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. Some primatologists consider the Bwindi population in Uganda may be a separate subspecies, though no description has been finished. As of November 2012, the estimated total number of mountain gorillas is around 880   more
1 vote
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6

West Indian manatee

The West Indian manatee or "Sea Cow" is a manatee, and the largest surviving member of the aquatic mammal order Sirenia.The West Indian manatee is a species distinct from the Amazonian manatee and the African manatee. Based on genetic and morphologi... cal studies, the West Indian manatee is divided into two subspecies, the Florida manatee and the Antillean or Caribbean manatee. However, recent genetic research suggests that the West Indian manatee actually consists of three groups, which are more or less geographically distributed as: Florida and the Greater Antilles; Mexico, Central America and northern South America; and northeastern South America.Both the Florida manatee and the Antillean manatee are endangered and have been of great conservation concern to federal, state, private, and non-profit organizations in order to protect these species from natural and human-induced threats   more
1 vote
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7

Killer whale

The killer whale, also referred to as the orca whale or orca, and less commonly as the blackfish or grampus, is a toothed whale belonging to the oceanic dolphin family. Killer whales are found in all oceans, from the frigid Arctic and Antarctic regi... ons to tropical seas. Killer whales as a species have a diverse diet, although individual populations often specialize in particular types of prey. Some feed exclusively on fish, while others hunt marine mammals like pinnipeds, and even large whales. Killer whales are regarded as apex predators, lacking natural predators.Killer whales are highly social; some populations are composed of matrilineal family groups which are the most stable of any animal species. Their sophisticated hunting techniques and vocal behaviors, which are often specific to a particular group and passed across generations, have been described as manifestations of culture.The IUCN currently assesses the orca's conservation status as data deficient because of the likelihood that two or more killer whale types are separate species   more
1 vote
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8

Giant panda

The giant panda, or panda (Ailuropoda melanoleuca, literally meaning "black and white cat-foot") is a bear native to central-western and south western China. It is easily recognized by its large, distinctive black patches around the eyes, over the e... ars, and across its round body. Though it belongs to the order Carnivora, the panda's diet is 99% bamboo. Pandas in the wild will occasionally eat other grasses, wild tubers, or even meat in the form of birds, rodents or carrion. In captivity they may receive honey, eggs, fish, yams, shrub leaves, oranges, or bananas along with specially prepared feed. The giant panda lives in a few mountain ranges in central China, mainly in Sichuan province, but also in the Shaanxi and Gansu provinces. Due to farming, deforestation and other development, the panda has been driven out of the lowland areas where it once lived   more
1 vote
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9

African bush elephant

The African bush elephant is the larger of the two species of African elephant. Both it and the African forest elephant have usually been classified as a single species, known simply as the African elephant, but recent evidence has seen the forest e... lephant classified as a distinct species. Some authorities still consider the currently available evidence as insufficient for splitting African elephants into two species   more
1 vote
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10

Eunectes murinus

'This is a dope snake'Eunectes murinus, commonly known as the green anaconda, is a non-venomous boa species found in South America. It is the largest, heaviest, and second longest known extant snake species. The term anaconda often refers to this sp... ecies, though the term could also apply to other members of the genus Eunectes. Other common names include common anaconda and water boa   more
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11

Hoan Kiem turtle

The Hoàn Kiếm turtle is a controversial taxon of turtle from Southeast Asia, with one known living specimen in Hoàn Kiếm Lake in Hanoi, Vietnam. This individual is affectionately known as Cụ Rùa, meaning “great grandfather turtle” in Vietnamese. Alt... hough some Vietnamese scientists insist that the leloii is a distinct species from the Yangtze giant softshell turtle Rafetus swinhoei, most authorities classify it as synonymous with the latter species. If the two “forms” are to be considered identical, there are four living specimens left in the world   more
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12

Kodiak bear

The Kodiak bear, also known as the Kodiak brown bear or the Alaskan grizzly bear, occupies the islands of the Kodiak Archipelago in South-Western Alaska. Its name in the Alutiiq language is Taquka-aq. It is the largest subspecies of brown bear and o... ne of the two largest members of the bear family, the other being the polar bear   more
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13

Ostrich

The ostrich or common ostrich is either one or two species of large flightless birds native to Africa, the only living member of the genus Struthio, which is in the ratite family. Some analyses indicate that the Somali ostrich may be better consider... ed a full species separate from the Common Ostrich, but most taxonomists consider it to be a subspecies.The ostrich shares the order Struthioniformes with the kiwis, emus, rheas and cassowaries. However, phylogenetic studies have shown that it is the basal extant member of Palaeognathae and is thus equally closely related to flighted tinamous. It is distinctive in its appearance, with a long neck and legs, and can run at up to about 70 km/h, the fastest land speed of any bird. The ostrich is the largest living species of bird and lays the largest eggs of any living bird.The ostrich's diet consists mainly of plant matter, though it also eats invertebrates. It lives in nomadic groups of 5 to 50 birds. When threatened, the ostrich will either hide itself by lying flat against the ground, or run away. If cornered, it can attack with a kick of its powerful legs   more
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14

Tapir

A tapir is a large herbivorous mammal, similar in shape to a pig, with a short, prehensile snout. Tapirs inhabit jungle and forest regions of South America, Central America, and Southeast Asia. The five extant species of tapirs are the Brazilian tap... ir, the Malayan tapir, the Baird's tapir, the kabomani tapir, and the mountain tapir. The four species that have been evaluated have all been classified as endangered or vulnerable. Their closest relatives are the other odd-toed ungulates, including horses and rhinoceroses   more
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15

Ocean sunfish

The ocean sunfish or common mola, Mola mola, is the heaviest known bony fish in the world. It has an average adult weight of 1,000 kg. The species is native to tropical and temperate waters around the globe. It resembles a fish head with a tail, and...  its main body is flattened laterally. Sunfish can be as tall as they are long when their dorsal and ventral fins are extended.Sunfish live on a diet consisting mainly of jellyfish, but because this diet is nutritionally poor, they consume large amounts to develop and maintain their great bulk. Females of the species can produce more eggs than any other known vertebrate, up to 300,000,000 at a time. Sunfish fry resemble miniature pufferfish, with large pectoral fins, a tail fin, and body spines uncharacteristic of adult sunfish.Adult sunfish are vulnerable to few natural predators, but sea lions, killer whales, and sharks will consume them. Among humans, sunfish are considered a delicacy in some parts of the world, including Japan, Korea, and Taiwan. In the EU, regulations ban the sale of fish and fishery products derived of the Molidae family. Sunfish are frequently caught in gillnets   more
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16

Giraffe

The giraffe is an African even-toed ungulate mammal, the tallest living terrestrial animal and the largest ruminant. Its species name refers to its camel-like appearance and the patches of color on its fur. Its chief distinguishing characteristics a... re its extremely long neck and legs, its horn-like ossicones, and its distinctive coat patterns. It is classified under the family Giraffidae, along with its closest extant relative, the okapi. The nine subspecies are distinguished by their coat patterns.The giraffe's scattered range extends from Chad in the north to South Africa in the south, and from Niger in the west to Somalia in the east. Giraffes usually inhabit savannas, grasslands, and open woodlands. Their primary food source is acacia leaves, which they browse at heights most other herbivores cannot reach. Giraffes are preyed on by lions; their calves are also targeted by leopards, spotted hyenas, and wild dogs. Adult giraffes do not have strong social bonds, though they do gather in loose aggregations if they happen to be moving in the same general direction. Males establish social hierarchies through "necking", which are combat bouts where the neck is used as a weapon   more
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17

Sperm whale

The sperm whale, or cachalot, is the largest of the toothed whales and the largest toothed predator. It is the only living member of genus Physeter, and one of three extant species in the sperm whale family, along with the pygmy sperm whale and dwar... f sperm whale of the genus Kogia.Mature males average at 16 metres in length but some may reach 20.5 metres, with the head representing up to one-third of the animal's length. The sperm whale feeds primarily on squid. Plunging to 2,250 metres for prey, it is the second deepest diving mammal, following only the Cuvier's beaked whale. The sperm whale's clicking vocalization, a form of echolocation and communication, may be as loud as 230 decibels underwater, making it the loudest sound produced by any animal. It has the largest brain of any animal on Earth, more than five times heavier than a human's. Sperm whales can live for more than 60 years.The sperm whale can be found anywhere in the open ocean. Females and young males live together in groups while mature males live solitary lives outside of the mating season. The females cooperate to protect and nurse their young   more
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18

Giant squid

The giant squid is a deep-ocean dwelling squid in the family Architeuthidae. Giant squid can grow to a tremendous size due to deep-sea gigantism: recent estimates put the maximum size at 13 m for females and 10 m for males from the posterior fins to...  the tip of the two long tentacles. The mantle is about 2 m long, and the length of the squid excluding its tentacles is about 5 m. Claims of specimens measuring 20 m or more have not been scientifically documented.The number of different giant squid species has been debated, but recent genetic research suggests that only one species exists.In 2004 Japanese researchers took the first images of a live giant squid in its natural habitat, and in July 2012 a live adult was first filmed in its natural habitat off Chichi-jima   more
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19

Leatherback sea turtle

The leatherback sea turtle, sometimes called the lute turtle, is the largest of all living turtles and is the fourth-heaviest modern reptile behind three crocodilians. It is the only living species in the genus Dermochelys. It can easily be differen... tiated from other modern sea turtles by its lack of a bony shell. Instead, its carapace is covered by skin and oily flesh. D. Coriacea is the only extant member of the family Dermochelyidae   more
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20

Giant forest hog

The giant forest hog is native to wooded habitats in Africa and generally is considered the largest wild member of the Suidae pig family; a few subspecies of the wild boar can reach an even larger size. Despite its large size and relatively wide dis... tribution, it was first described only in 1904. The specific name honours Richard Meinertzhagen, who shot the type specimen in Kenya and had it shipped to the Natural History Museum in England   more
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21

Water buffalo

The water buffalo or domestic Asian water buffalo is a large bovid found on the Indian subcontinent to Vietnam and Peninsular Malaysia, in Sri Lanka, in the Philippines, and in Borneo.The wild water buffalo native to Southeast Asia is considered a d... ifferent species but most likely represents the ancestor of the domestic water buffalo.Two extant types of water buffalo are recognized based on morphological and behavioural criteria – the river buffalo of South Asia and further west to the Balkans, Egypt and Italy, and the swamp buffalo, found from Assam in the west through Southeast Asia to the Yangtze valley of China in the east. The origins of the domestic water buffalo types are debated, although results of a phylogenetic study indicate that the swamp type may have originated in China and domesticated about 4,000 years ago, while the river type may have originated from India and was domesticated about 5,000 years ago. Water buffaloes were traded from the Indus Valley Civilisation, in modern Pakistan, to Mesopotamia, in modern Iraq, 2500 BC by the Meluhhas. The seal of a scribe employed by an Akkadian king shows the sacrifice of water buffaloes   more
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22

Polar bear

The polar bear is a carnivorous bear whose native range lies largely within the Arctic Circle, encompassing the Arctic Ocean, its surrounding seas and surrounding land masses. It is a large bear, approximately the same size as the omnivorous Kodiak ... bear. A boar weighs around 350–700 kg, while a sow is about half that size. Although it is the sister species of the brown bear, it has evolved to occupy a narrower ecological niche, with many body characteristics adapted for cold temperatures, for moving across snow, ice, and open water, and for hunting the seals which make up most of its diet. Although most polar bears are born on land, they spend most of their time at sea. Their scientific name means "maritime bear", and derives from this fact. Polar bears hunt their preferred food of seals from the edge of sea ice, often living off fat reserves when no sea ice is present.The polar bear is classified as a vulnerable species, with eight of the nineteen polar bear subpopulations in decline. For decades, large scale hunting raised international concern for the future of the species but populations rebounded after controls and quotas began to take effect   more
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23

Przewalski's horse

Przewalski's horse or Dzungarian horse, is a rare and endangered subspecies of wild horse native to the steppes of central Asia. At one time extinct in the wild, it has been reintroduced to its native habitat in Mongolia at the Khustain Nuruu Nation... al Park, Takhin Tal Nature Reserve, and Khomiin Tal. The taxonomic position is still debated, and some taxonomists treat Przewalski's horse as a species, Equus przewalskii.Common names for this equine include Asian wild horse, Przewalski's wild horse, Mongolian wild horse, and takhi. Historical but obsolete names include true tarpan and Mongolian tarpan. The horse is named after the Russian geographer and explorer Nikolai Przhevalsky.Most "wild" horses today, such as the American Mustang or the Australian Brumby, are actually feral horses descended from domesticated animals that escaped and adapted to life in the wild. In contrast, Przewalski's horse has never been domesticated and remains the only truly wild horse in the world today. Przewalski's horse is one of three known subspecies of Equus ferus, the others being the domesticated horse Equus ferus caballus, and the extinct tarpan Equus ferus ferus   more
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24

Capybara

The capybara is the largest rodent in the world. Its closest relatives are guinea pigs and rock cavies, and it is more distantly related to the agouti, chinchillas, and the coypu. Native to South America, the capybara inhabits savannas and dense for... ests and lives near bodies of water. It is a highly social species and can be found in groups as large as 100 individuals, but usually lives in groups of 10–20 individuals. The capybara is not a threatened species and is hunted for its meat, hide and also for a grease from its thick fatty skin which is used in the pharmaceutical trade   more
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25

Giant golden-crowned flying fox

The giant golden-crowned flying fox, also known as the golden-capped fruit bat, is a rare megabat and one of the largest bats in the world. The species is endangered and is currently facing the possibility of extinction because of poaching and fores... t destruction. It is endemic to forests in the Philippines   more
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26

Nomura's jellyfish

Nomura's Jellyfish is a very large jellyfish, in the same size class as the lion's mane jellyfish, the largest cnidarian in the world. It is edible but not considered high quality.
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27

Japanese spider crab

The Japanese spider crab, Macrocheira kaempferi, is a species of marine crab that lives in the waters around Japan. It has the largest leg span of any arthropod, reaching up to 3.8 metres and weighing up to 19 kilograms. It is the subject of small-s... cale fishery which has led to a few conservation measures   more
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28

Nile perch

The Nile perch is a species of freshwater fish in family Latidae of order Perciformes. It is widespread throughout much of the Afrotropic ecozone, being native to the Congo, Nile, Senegal, Niger, and Lake Chad, Volta, Lake Turkana, and other river b... asins. It also occurs in the brackish waters of Lake Maryut in Egypt. Originally described as Labrus niloticus, among the marine wrasses, the species has also been referred to as Centropomus niloticus. Common names include African snook, Victoria perch, and a large number of local names in various African languages, such as the Luo name mbuta or mputa. In Tanzania, it is called sangara, sankara or chenku. In Francophone African countries, it is known as capitaine and in Egypt/Sudan as am'kal. Its name in the Hausa language is giwan ruwa, meaning "water elephant".Lates niloticus is silver in colour with a blue tinge. It has distinctive dark-black eyes, with a bright-yellow outer ring. One of the largest freshwater fish, it reaches a maximum length of nearly 2 m, weighing up to 200 kg. Mature fish average 121–137 cm, although many fish are caught before they can grow this large   more
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29

Dalmatian pelican

The Dalmatian pelican is a massive member of the pelican family. It breeds from southeastern Europe to India and China in swamps and shallow lakes. The nest is a crude heap of vegetation.No subspecies are known to exist over its wide range, but base... d on size differences, a Pleistocene paleosubspecies, Pelecanus crispus palaeocrispus, has been described from fossils recovered at Binagady, Azerbaijan   more
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30

Whale shark

The whale shark is a slow-moving filter feeding shark and the largest known extant fish species. The largest confirmed individual had a length of 12.65 m and a weight of more than 21.5 metric tons, and unconfirmed reports of considerably larger whal... e sharks exist. Claims of individuals over 14 m long and weighing at least 30 mt are not uncommon. The whale shark holds many records for sheer size in the animal kingdom, most notably being by far the largest living nonmammalian vertebrate, rivalling many of the largest dinosaurs in weight. It is the sole member of the genus Rhincodon and the family, Rhincodontidae, which belongs to the subclass Elasmobranchii in the class Chondrichthyes. The species originated about 60 million years ago.The whale shark is found in tropical and warm oceans and lives in the open sea, with a lifespan of about 70 years. Whale sharks have very large mouths, and as filter feeders, they feed mainly on plankton. The BBC program Planet Earth filmed a whale shark feeding on a school of small fish   more
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31

Black rhinoceros

The black rhinoceros or hook-lipped rhinoceros is a species of rhinoceros, native to eastern and central Africa including Kenya, Tanzania, Cameroon, South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe, and Angola. Although the rhinoceros is referred to as black, its co... lors vary from brown to grey.The other African rhinoceros is the white rhinoceros. The word "white" in the name "white rhinoceros" is a misinterpretation of the Afrikaans word wyd, itself derived from the Dutch word wijd for wide, referring to its square upper lip, as opposed to the pointed or hooked lip of the black rhinoceros. These species are now sometimes referred to as the square-lipped or hook-lipped rhinoceros.The species overall is classified as critically endangered, and one subspecies, the western black rhinoceros, was declared extinct by the IUCN in 2011   more
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32

Southern elephant seal

The southern elephant seal is one of the two extant species of elephant seals. It is both the largest pinniped and member of the order Carnivora living today, as well as the largest Antarctic seal. The seal gets its name from its great size and the ... large proboscis of the adult males, which is used to make extraordinarily loud roaring noises, especially during the mating season. Rather larger at average than the male northern elephant seal and male walrus, the adult bull southern elephant seal is without rival the largest carnivoran alive. An average adult male southern elephant seal weighs six to seven times more than the largest terrestrial carnivorans, the polar bear and Kodiak bear   more
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33

Manta ray

Manta rays are large eagle rays belonging to the genus Manta. The larger species, M. Birostris, reaches 7 m in width while the smaller, M. Alfredi, reaches 5.5 m. Both have triangular pectoral fins, horn-shaped cephalic fins and large, forward-facin... g mouths. They are classified among the Elasmobranchii and are placed in the eagle ray family, Myliobatidae.Mantas are found in temperate, subtropical and tropical waters. Both species are pelagic; M. Birostris migrates across open oceans, singly or in groups, while M. Alfredi tends to be resident and coastal. They are filter feeders and eat large quantities of zooplankton, which they swallow with their open mouths as they swim. Gestation lasts over a year, producing live pups. Mantas may visit cleaning stations for the removal of parasites. Like whales, they breach, for unknown reasons.Both species are listed as vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. Anthropogenic threats include pollution, entanglement in fishing nets, and direct harvesting for their gill rakers for use in Chinese medicine. Their slow reproductive rate exacerbates these threats   more
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34

Cassowary

The cassowaries are ratites in the genus Casuarius and are native to the tropical forests of New Guinea, nearby islands, and northeastern Australia. There are three extant species. The most common of these, the southern cassowary, is the third talle... st and second heaviest living bird, smaller only than the ostrich and emu.Cassowaries feed mainly on fruit, although all species are truly omnivorous and will take a range of other plant food including shoots, grass seeds, and fungi in addition to invertebrates and small vertebrates. Cassowaries are very shy, but when provoked they are capable of inflicting injuries, occasionally fatal, to dogs and people   more
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35

Giant anteater

The giant anteater, also known as the ant bear, is a large insectivorous mammal native to Central and South America. It is one of four living species of anteaters and is classified with sloths in the order Pilosa. This species is mostly terrestrial,...  in contrast to other living anteaters and sloths, which are arboreal or semi-arboreal. The giant anteater is the largest of its family, 182–217 cm in length, with weights of 33–41 kg for males and 27–39 kg for females. It is recognizable by its elongated snout, bushy tail, long fore claws, and distinctively colored pelage.The anteater can be found in multiple habitats, including grassland and rainforest. It forages in open areas and rests in more forested habitats. It feeds primarily on ants and termites, using its fore claws to dig them up and its long, sticky tongue to collect them. Though giant anteaters live in overlapping home ranges, they are mostly solitary except during mother-offspring relationships, aggressive interactions between males, and when mating. Mother anteaters carry their offspring on their backs until weaning them.The giant anteater is listed as Vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature   more
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36

Great white shark

The great white shark, also known as the great white, white pointer, white shark, or white death, is a species of large lamniform shark which can be found in the coastal surface waters of all the major oceans. The great white shark is mainly known f... or its size, with mature individuals growing up to 6.4 m in length. This shark reaches its maturity around 15 years of age and was previously believed to have a life span of over 30 years. The true lifespan of great white sharks is far longer; now estimated to be as long as 70 years or more, making it one of the longest lived cartilaginous fish currently known. Great white sharks can accelerate to speeds that exceed 56 km/h.The great white shark has no natural predators other than the Orca. The great white shark is arguably the world's largest known extant macropredatory fish, and is one of the primary predators of marine mammals. It is also known to prey upon a variety of other marine animals, including fish and seabirds. It is the only known surviving species of its genus Carcharodon, and is ranked first in having the most attacks on humans   more
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37

Chinese giant salamander

The Chinese giant salamander is the largest salamander and largest amphibian in the world, reaching a length of 180 cm, although it rarely—if ever—reaches that size today. It is endemic to rocky, mountain streams and lakes in China. It also occurs i... n Taiwan, probably as a result of introduction. It is considered critically endangered due to habitat loss, pollution, and overcollection, as it is considered a delicacy and used in traditional Chinese medicine. It has been listed as one of the top 10 "focal species" in 2008 by the Evolutionarily Distinct and Globally Endangered project. The Chinese giant salamander is considered to be a “living fossil.” This species is classified as Critically Endangered in the IUCN Red List because of a massive population decline of more than 80% since the 1950s   more
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38

Flemish Giant rabbit

The Flemish Giant is a breed of domestic rabbit known for its large size.
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39

Mekong giant catfish

The Mekong giant catfish, Pangasianodon gigas, is a very large, critically endangered species of catfish in the shark catfish family, native to the Mekong basin in Southeast Asia and adjacent China. In Thai folklore, this fish is regarded with rever... ence, and special rituals are followed and offerings are made before fishing it   more
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40

Bactrian camel

The Bactrian camel is a large, even-toed ungulate native to the steppes of Central Asia. Of the two species of camel, it is by far the rarer. The Bactrian camel has two humps on its back, in contrast to the single-humped dromedary camel. Its populat... ion of two million exists mainly in the domesticated form. Some authorities, notably the International Union for Conservation of Nature, use the binomial name Camelus ferus for the wild Bactrian camel and reserve Camelus bactrianus for the domesticated Bactrian camel. Their name comes from the ancient historical region of Bactria.The domesticated Bactrian camel has served as a pack animal in inner Asia since ancient times. With its tolerance for cold, drought, and high altitudes, it enabled travel such as the caravans of the Silk Road. The wild form has dwindled to a population estimated at 800 in October 2002 and has been classified as critically endangered on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Its range in the wild is restricted to remote regions of the Gobi and Taklamakan Deserts of Mongolia and China, migrating from the desert to rivers in Siberia during winter   more
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41

Hippopotamus

The hippopotamus, or hippo, is a large, mostly herbivorous mammal in sub-Saharan Africa, and one of only two extant species in the family Hippopotamidae. The name comes from the ancient Greek for "river horse". After the elephant and rhinoceros, the...  hippopotamus is the third-largest type of land mammal and the heaviest extant artiodactyl. Despite their physical resemblance to pigs and other terrestrial even-toed ungulates, their closest living relatives are cetaceans from which they diverged about 55 million years ago. The common ancestor of whales and hippos split from other even-toed ungulates around 60 million years ago. The earliest known hippopotamus fossils, belonging to the genus Kenyapotamus in Africa, date to around 16 million years ago.Hippos are recognizable by their barrel-shaped torsos, enormous mouths and teeth, nearly hairless bodies, stubby legs and great size; adults average 1,500 kg and 1,300 kg for males and females respectively. Despite its stocky shape and short legs, it is capable of running 30 km/h over short distances   more
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42

Saola

The Saola, Vu Quang ox or Asian biocorn, also, infrequently, Vu Quang bovid, is one of the world's rarest mammals, a forest-dwelling bovine found only in the Annamite Range of Vietnam and Laos. Cousin to cattle, goats, and antelopes, the species was...  defined following a discovery of remains in 1992 in Vũ Quang Nature Reserve by a joint survey of the Ministry of Forestry and the World Wide Fund for Nature. The team found three skulls with unusual, long, straight horns kept in hunters' houses. In their article, the team proposed "a three month survey to observe the living animal", but more than 20 years later, still no sighting of a saola in the wild had been reported by a scientist. However, a living saola was photographed in the wild in September 2013 by a camera trap set by the World Wide Fund for Nature and the Vietnamese government’s Forest Protection Department. Van Ngoc Thinh, the WWF's Vietnam country director, said, "This is a breathtaking discovery and renews hope for the recovery of the species."In late August 2010, a saola was captured by villagers in Laos, but died in captivity before government conservationists could arrange for it to be released back into the wild   more
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43

Giant muntjac

The Giant Muntjac sometimes referred to as the Large-Antlered Muntjac is a species of muntjac deer. It is the largest muntjac species and was discovered in 1994 in Vũ Quang, Hà Tĩnh Province of Vietnam and in central Laos. During inundation of the N... akai Reservoir in Khammouane Province of Laos for the Nam Theun 2 Multi-Purpose Project, 38 giant muntjac were captured, studied and released into the adjacent Nakai-Nam Theun National Protected Area. Subsequent radio-tracking of a sample of these animals showed the relocation was successful. The species is also located in parts of eastern Cambodia, as well as the Trường Sơn Mountains. The giant muntjac is commonly found in evergreen forests and weighs about 66–110 lb. It has a red brown coat and is an even-toed ungulate. Due to slash-and-burn agriculture, combined with hunting, the giant muntjac is considered endangered. It is preyed upon by animals such as the tiger and leopard. It is most closely related to the Indian muntjac   more
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44

Beluga

The beluga or European sturgeon is a species of anadromous fish in the sturgeon family of order Acipenseriformes. It is found primarily in the Caspian and Black Sea basins, and occasionally in the Adriatic Sea. Heavily fished for the female's valuab... le roe—known as beluga caviar— the beluga is a huge and late-maturing fish that can live for 118 years. The species' numbers have been greatly reduced by overfishing and poaching, prompting many governments to enact restrictions on its trade. The most similar to the Huso huso beluga is the Huso dauricus kaluga, also referred to as the "river beluga".The common name for the sturgeon, as for the unrelated beluga whale, is derived from the Russian word белый, meaning "white"   more
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45

Red kangaroo

The red kangaroo is the largest of all kangaroos, the largest terrestrial mammal native to Australia, and the largest extant marsupial. It is found across mainland Australia, avoiding only the more fertile areas in the south, the east coast, and the...  northern rainforests   more
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46

Grizzly–polar bear hybrid

A grizzly–polar bear hybrid is a rare ursid hybrid that has occurred both in captivity and in the wild. In 2006, the occurrence of this hybrid in nature was confirmed by testing the DNA of a strange-looking bear that had been shot near Sachs Harbour... , Northwest Territories on Banks Island in the Canadian Arctic.Possible wild-bred polar bear-grizzly bear hybrids have been reported and shot in the past, but DNA tests were not available to verify the bears' ancestry.Analyses of DNA sequences of bears have recovered multiple instances of introgressive hybridization between various bear species, including introgression of polar bear DNA into brown bears during the Pleistocene   more
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47

Bison

Bison, sometimes erroneously called buffalo, are large, even-toed ungulates in the genus Bison within the subfamily Bovinae.Two extant and four extinct species are recognized. Of the four extinct species, three were North American: Bison antiquus, B... . Latifrons, and B. Occidentalis. The fourth, B. Priscus, ranged across steppe environments from Western Europe, through Central Asia, and onto North America.Of the two surviving species, the American bison, B. Bison, found only in North America, is the more numerous. Although sometimes referred to historically as a "buffalo", it is only distantly related to the true buffalo. The North American species is composed of two subspecies, the plains bison, B. B. Bison, and the wood bison, B. B. Athabascae, which is the namesake of Wood Buffalo National Park in Canada. The European bison B. Bonasus, or wisent, is found in Europe and the Caucasus, reintroduced after being extinct in the wild.While all bison species are usually grouped into their own genus, they are sometimes included in the closely related genus Bos, together with cattle, gaur, kouprey, and yaks, with which bison have a limited ability to interbreed   more
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48

Bigfin squid

The bigfin squids are a group of rarely seen cephalopods with a distinctive morphology. They are placed in the genus Magnapinna and family Magnapinnidae. Although the family is known only from larval, paralarval, and juvenile specimens, some authori... ties believe the adult creature has also been seen; several videos have been taken of animals nicknamed the "long-arm squid", which appear to have a similar morphology. Since none of the adult specimens have ever been captured or sampled, it remains uncertain if they are the same genus, or only distant relatives   more
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49

Okapi

The okapi, also known as the forest giraffe or zebra giraffe, is a giraffid artiodactyl mammal native to the Ituri Rainforest, located in the northeast of the Democratic Republic of the Congo in Central Africa. Although the okapi bears striped marki... ngs reminiscent of zebras, it is most closely related to the giraffe. The okapi and the giraffe are the only living members of the family Giraffidae.The animal was brought to prominent European attention by speculation on its existence found in popular press reports covering Henry Morton Stanley's journeys in 1887. Remains of a carcass were later sent to London by the English adventurer and colonial administrator Harry Johnston and became a media event in 1901. A 2013 study determined that there are 10,000 okapis remaining in the wild, down from 40,000 a decade ago. The same year, the okapi was reclassified as an endangered species   more
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50

Saltwater crocodile

The saltwater crocodile, also known as saltie, estuarine or Indo-Pacific crocodile, is the largest of all living reptiles, as well as the largest terrestrial and riparian predator in the world. The males of this species can reach sizes of up to 6.7 ... m and weigh as much as 2,000 kg. However, an adult male saltwater crocodile is generally between 4.3 and 5.2 m in length and weighs 400–1,000 kg, rarely growing larger. Females are much smaller and often do not surpass 3 m. As its name implies, this crocodile can live in salt water, but usually resides in mangrove swamps, estuaries, deltas, lagoons, and lower stretches of rivers. They have the broadest distribution of any modern crocodile, ranging from the eastern coast of India, throughout most of Southeast Asia, stretching south to northern Australia, and historically ranging as far west as just beyond the eastern coast of Africa and as far east as waters off the coast of Japan.The saltwater crocodile is a formidable and opportunistic hypercarnivorous "apex" ambush predator capable of taking almost any animal that enters its territory, including fish, crustaceans, reptiles, birds and mammals, including other predators   more
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51

Blue whale

The blue whale is a marine mammal belonging to the baleen whales. At 30 metres in length and 190 tonnes or more in weight, it is the largest existing animal and the heaviest that ever existed.Long and slender, the blue whale's body can be various sh... ades of bluish-grey dorsally and somewhat lighter underneath. There are at least three distinct subspecies: B. M. Musculus of the North Atlantic and North Pacific, B. M. Intermedia of the Southern Ocean and B. M. Brevicauda found in the Indian Ocean and South Pacific Ocean. B. M. Indica, found in the Indian Ocean, may be another subspecies. As with other baleen whales, its diet consists almost exclusively of small crustaceans known as krill.Blue whales were abundant in nearly all the oceans on Earth until the beginning of the twentieth century. For over a century, they were hunted almost to extinction by whalers until protected by the international community in 1966. A 2002 report estimated there were 5,000 to 12,000 blue whales worldwide, located in at least five groups. More recent research into the Pygmy subspecies suggests this may be an underestimate   more
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52

Gaur

The gaur, also called Indian bison, is the largest extant bovine and is native to South Asia and Southeast Asia. The species is listed as vulnerable on the IUCN Red List since 1986, as the population decline in parts of the species' range is likely ... to be well over 70% during the last three generations. Population trends are stable in well-protected areas, and are rebuilding in a few areas which had been neglected.The gaur is the tallest species of wild cattle. The Malayan gaur is called seladang, and the Burmese gaur is called pyoung ပြောင်.The domesticated form of the gaur Bos frontalis is called gayal or mithun   more
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53

Myanmar snub-nosed monkey

The Myanmar snub-nosed monkey or Burmese snub-nosed monkey is a critically threatened species of colobine monkey discovered in 2010 in northern Burma. It was formally described as a novel species of Primate in 2011 based on its fur, beard and tail. ... A group of the species was discovered in China in 2011.The species is known in local dialects of Lisu people as mey nwoah and Law Waw people as myuk na tok te, both of which mean "monkey with an upturned face". Rain allegedly causes it to sneeze due to the short upturned nasal flesh around its nostrils. People from the area report that it sits with its head directed downwards, hiding its face between its knees when it rains   more
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54

Python reticulatus

Python reticulatus, also known as the reticulated python, is a species of python found in Southeast Asia. Adults can grow to 6.95 m in length but normally grow to an average of 3–6 m. They are the world's longest snakes and longest reptile, but are ... not the most heavily built. Like all pythons, they are nonvenomous constrictors and normally not considered dangerous to humans. Although large specimens are powerful enough to kill an adult human, attacks are only occasionally reported.An excellent swimmer, Python reticulatus has been reported far out at sea and has colonised many small islands within its range. The specific name, reticulatus, is Latin meaning "net-like", or reticulated, and is a reference to the complex color pattern   more
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55

Varanus salvadorii

Varanus salvadorii is a monitor lizard found in New Guinea. It is also known by the common names Salvadori's monitor, crocodile monitor, Papua monitor, and artellia. The largest monitor lizard in New Guinea, it is believed to be one of the longest l... izards in the world, verified at up to 244 cm, and in rare cases it may rival or exceed the length of the world's largest lizard, the Komodo dragon. It is the sole member of the subgenus Papusaurus. V. Salvadorii is an arboreal lizard with a dark green body and yellowish bands, a blunt snout and a very long tail. It lives in mangrove swamps and coastal rainforests in the southeastern part of the island, where it feeds on birds, small mammals, eggs, and carrion in the wild, using teeth better adapted than those of most monitors for seizing fast-moving prey. Like all monitors, it has anatomical features that enable it to breathe more easily when running than other lizards can, and V. Salvadorii may have greater stamina than most monitors. Little is known of its reproduction and development, as the species is very difficult to breed in captivity   more
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56

Coelacanth

The coelacanths constitute a now rare order of fish that includes two extant species in the genus Latimeria: the West Indian Ocean coelacanth and the Indonesian coelacanth. They follow the oldest known living lineage of Sarcopterygii, which means th... ey are more closely related to lungfish, reptiles and mammals than to the common ray-finned fishes. They are found along the coastlines of the Indian Ocean and Indonesia. Since there are only two species of coelacanth and both are threatened, it is the most endangered order of animals in the world. The West Indian Ocean coelacanth is a critically endangered species.Coelacanths belong to the subclass Actinistia, a group of lobed-finned fish related to lungfish and certain extinct Devonian fish such as osteolepiforms, porolepiforms, rhizodonts, and Panderichthys. Coelacanths were thought to have gone extinct in the Late Cretaceous, but were rediscovered in 1938 off the coast of South Africa   more
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57

Chacoan peccary

The Chacoan peccary or tagua is a species of peccary found in the Gran Chaco of Paraguay, Bolivia, and Argentina. About 3000 exist in the world. It is believed to be the closest living relative to the extinct genus Platygonus.The Chacoan peccary has...  the unusual distinction of having been first described in 1930 based on fossils and was originally thought to be an extinct species. In 1971, the animal was discovered to still be alive in the Chaco region, in the Argentine province of Salta. The species was well known to the native people, but it took a while for scientists to rediscover its existence. It is known locally as the tagua   more
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58

Burchell's zebra

Burchell's zebra is a southern subspecies of the plains zebra. It is named after the British explorer and naturalist William John Burchell. Common names include: Bontequagga, Burchell's Zebra, Damara Zebra, and Zululand Zebra.Burchell's zebra is the...  only sub-species of zebra which may be legally farmed for human consumption in the UK   more
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59

Mountain nyala

The mountain nyala or balbok is an antelope found in high altitude woodland in a small part of central Ethiopia. Mountain nyala were named for their similarity to the nyala, but they are now considered closer relatives of the kudu.Mountain nyala sta... nd 90-135 cm at the shoulder and weigh 150 to 300 kilograms, males being considerably larger than females. Mountain nyala have grey-brown coats sometimes with poorly defined white stripes and splotches, their coats darken as they age, the underside is lighter than the rest of the coat. Males have horns that twist one or two times and average slightly less than a metre in length.Mountain nyala are endemic to the Ethiopian highlands southeast of the Rift Valley, between 6°N and 10°N. Their former range was from Mount Gara Muleta in the east to Shashamene and the northern Bale Zone to the south; currently, the main area of distribution is the Bale Mountains National Park. Within this range, the mountain nyala prefer woodland, heath, and scrub at altitudes of at least 2000 metres above sea level sometimes wandering as high as 4000 metres. Mountain nyala mainly eat herbs and shrubs   more
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60

Colossal squid

The colossal squid, sometimes called the Antarctic or giant cranch squid, is believed to be the largest squid species in terms of mass. It is the only known member of the genus Mesonychoteuthis. It is known from only a few specimens, and current est... imates put its maximum size at 12–14 m long, based on analysis of smaller and immature specimens, making it the largest known invertebrate   more
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61

Bonobo

The bonobo, Pan paniscus, formerly called the pygmy chimpanzee and less often, the dwarf or gracile chimpanzee, is an endangered great ape and one of the two species making up the genus Pan; the other is Pan troglodytes, or the common chimpanzee. Al... though the name "chimpanzee" is sometimes used to refer to both species together, it is usually understood as referring to the common chimpanzee, whereas Pan paniscus is usually referred to as the bonobo.The bonobo is distinguished by relatively long legs, pink lips, dark face and tail-tuft through adulthood, and parted long hair on its head. The bonobo is found in a 500,000 km² area of the Congo Basin in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Central Africa. The species is omnivorous and inhabits primary and secondary forests, including seasonally inundated swamp forests. Political instability in the region and the timidity of bonobos has meant there has been relatively little field work done observing the species in its natural habitat.Along with the common chimpanzee, the bonobo is the closest extant relative to humans   more
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62

Kouprey

A kouprey, is a wild, forest-dwelling bovine species found mainly in northern Cambodia, but also believed to exist in southern Laos, western Vietnam, and eastern Thailand. It became known to zoologists in 1937.
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