10 Strongest Animals on the Land
There are over 70 species of eagles found on Earth, and these large birds of prey are all powerfully built. The strength of eagles has been admired by many nations throughout history, as evidenced by its use in many national symbols. The eagle is featured on the coat of arms of many different countries, and, of course, the bald eagle is a proud symbol of the United States. The bald eagle, which is native to North America, was adopted as the United States National emblem is 1782, chosen because of its majestic beauty, long life and immense strength.
Most eagles are larger than other raptors. They have heavy heads with large, hooked beaks that are well-suited for tearing flesh from their prey. Their massive talons are sharp enough to kill prey as large as deer and monkeys.Eagles’ eyes are also extremely powerful, allowing them to spot their prey from incredibly long distances, even when they are well-camouflaged. Studies suggest that some eagles can spot an animal the size of a rabbit from up to two miles away!
Due to their immense power, eagles are ranked at the top of their food chain. The bald eagle has been recorded as flying while carrying the heaviest load verified to be carried by any flying bird. Astonishingly, this particular bird carried a mule deer fawn who weighed 15 pounds. Imagine seeing that duo flying through the air!
Eagles strike an impressive backdrop against the sky. They can have a length of over 3 feet, a median wingspan of over 7 feet, and a body mass up to 15 pounds. When defending their territories from other eagles or trying to attract a mate, the birds will display amazing aerial acrobatics and death-defying swoops, locking talons and free-falling in an intense spiral.
Anacondas are members of the boa family. The green anaconda from South Africa is the largest snake on earth, pound for pound. Anacondas can grow to 550 pounds and over 29 feet. They are a truly frightening sight to see. They typically spend their time in swamps and marshes. Since their nasal openings are located on the top of their head, they are able to hide from prey while staying almost completely submerged underwater. Because of their immense weight, they can move quicker in water than they can on land.
Anacondas feed on a diet of birds, turtles, wild pigs, deer, jaguars, and capybaras, the world’s largest rodent. They catch their prey by biting with their extremely sharp teeth. An anacondas teeth are rear-facing, acting as a trap to prevent prey from wriggling away. Anacondas do not contain venom like some other snakes do. Instead, they kill their prey by coiling their bodies around them and squeezing until they suffocate. Every time the caught animal exhales, the anaconda is able to squeeze tighter. Their incredible jaws have stretchy ligaments that allow them to swallow their prey completely whole, regardless of its size.
Even the digestive enzymes and gastric juices in an anaconda are powerful. After an animal is eaten whole, the anaconda’s stomach and small intestine will begin the digestion process and absorb the nutrients. This process can take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks. After the largest meals, anacondas can survive for months without food.
To witness the amazing feat of an anaconda devouring its prey, you can check out this National Geographic videoof a green anaconda attacking a capybara. Be warned that viewer discretion is highly advised.
8. Grizzly Bear
Grizzly bears are the largest species of bear and are native to North America. The average length of a grizzly is 6.5 feet and the average shoulder height is over 3 feet. Adult males weigh 400-790 pounds on average, although some have been recorded with staggering weights up to 1,500 pounds. Grizzly bears have powerful front claws that measure 2-4 inches in length and can tear with ease. Despite their large size, they are capable of running up to 35 miles per hour. In 2013, the second largest grizzly ever documented was taken down by a hunter. It had a massive skull which measured over 27 inches.
Grizzly bears can hibernate for 5-7 months each year, during which time they do not eat, defecate or urinate. In preparation for hibernation, they consume an immense amount of food. They have been known to prey on moose, elk, caribou, sheep, bison, deer, fish, birds and even black bears. Grizzly bears will also approach feeding predators to steal their kill. It is common for most species to relent their kill to an approaching grizzly bear in order to avoid a confrontation that they likely couldn’t win. Grizzly bears can easily overpower any animal that is in its natural territory. However, it doesn’t often turn to a physical fight. Usually, a grizzly bear only has to display its large teeth and claws through posturing, growling, and roaring, and the other animal will back down. It often isn’t necessary for a grizzly bear to actually attack.
Since grizzly bears are too large to escape danger by climbing trees like black bears can, they stand their ground and fight with increased aggressiveness. While grizzly bears normally avoid interaction with humans, they will attack when surprised at close range or when protecting offspring or a food supply. When a human encounters a grizzly bear, his or her best bet is to make a lot of noise and avoid running.
Oxen are particularly powerful animals, and humans have used their power to our advantage for centuries. It is believed that they were first put to work for humans around 4,000 BC. Oxen are commonly used to plow fields, pull carts, haul wagons, trample grain for threshing and power machines. Their brute strength makes them ideal for a variety of tasks. Oxen typically work side by side, being attached with a specially-fitted yoke. When two oxen of similar size and speed are yoked together, their strength is increased significantly. They can pull extremely heavy loads in a slow and steady manner. Many farmers today are returning to animal labor over machines to help with farming. Not only do oxen not need fossil fuels or electricity to operate, but they have other benefits to farms too. Their hooves aerate the soil as they walk, which helps to preserve the soil’s microbial layers, and their droppings help to fertilize the soil.
The term “as strong as an ox” is quite fitting, considering an ox is powerful enough to pull one and a half times its body weight across rugged terrain. When yoked together properly and used in pairs, they can pull more than double the combined weight that two single oxen could pull. For a short burst of 6-8 feet, a team of oxen areable to pull up to 13,000 pounds! The success of a team of oxen depends on how well they are trained to work together. They are able to work long hours, and typically have a long life span.
The tiger is the largest cat species, reaching up to 670 pounds, 4 feet in height at shoulder, and 13 feet in length. They have muscular bodies which feature powerful limbs, immense heads and long tails. They have sharp, stout teeth that can rip through flesh easily. Their curved canine teeth can have a crown height of up to 3.5 inches. Tigers are apex predators, however their numbers are in steep decline due to habitat destruction and poaching. Tigers have always been praised for their strength and unique markings. They feature prominently in ancient folklore, mythology, literature and modern films. They are often incorporate into symbols of national pride, and sporting teams often use tigers as their mascots.
Tigers are strong swimmers with an affinity for water. They can cross rivers over 4 miles across and are capable of swimming up to 18 miles in one day. They can even capture and carry prey through the water. When running on land, tigers can run in short bursts of speed that reach up to 40 miles per hour. Tigers are known to prey on such large animals as deer, wild boars, buffalo, bears, antelopes and monkeys. They have even been known to occasionally attack and kill fully grown elephants and rhinoceros. They are mainly nocturnal predators who ambush their prey by overpowering them and knocking them off balance. At that point they latch onto the throats of their prey with their teeth.
After a kill, tigers will usually drag their meal to a concealed space by pulling it with their mouths. Once, a tiger was observed dragging a huge carcass of an adult guar over a distance of 39 feet. Afterwards, 13 men worked together to try and drag the same carcass. They were unsuccessful at moving it. Tigers have also been known to carry twice their own body weight ten feet up a tree.