The Top 5 Heaviest Land Mammals on Earth

  Mammal Location Weight IUCN Red List Status
1 African Elephant Africa 7,000 kgs
(14,432 lbs)
(pop.trend: Increasing)
2 White Rhinoceros Africa 3,600 kgs
(7,937 lbs)
Near Threatened
(pop.trend: increasing)
3 Hippopotamus Africa 2,500 kgs
(5,512 lbs)
(pop.trend: decreasing)
4 Giraffe Africa 1,600 kgs
(3,527 lbs)
Least Concern
(pop.trend: decreasing)
5 American Bison North America 1,000 kgs
( 2,205 lbs)
Near Threatened
(pop.trend: stable)
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 Special Report
  1. In researching this list, Top 5 of Anything has found a debate among sources about which land mammal is the second largest on earth. Many sources list the White Rhino as second on the list whereas other sources list the Hippopotamus as the second largest land mammal. Top 5 of Anything is with the African Elephant on this one (see below).
  2. Belonging to the suborder Suiformes, the hippopotamus is a close relative to the pig. The name "hippopotamus" is Greek for "river horse" although the ancient Egyptians called it a more correct "river pig". The hippo is considered to be one of the world's most dangerous animals because of its extremely aggressive and unpredictable nature. It also seems to be unafraid of humans and has been even known to decapitate a person with one bite. The hippo is considered to be the most lethal animal in Africa, killing more people each year than lions, crocodiles, and elephants.
  3. The largest elephant ever officially recorded was 4 meters tall and weighed 12,000 kilograms (or nearly 26,500 lbs). It was shot in Angola in 1974. Its body is now on display at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, Washington DC.
  4. Much like human fingerprints, each giraffe's coat is a unique pattern. A newborn giraffe calve is born by falling 6 feet to the ground. Steven Jay Gould once said about the evolution of the long-necked giraffe: "No data from giraffes then [in Darwin's time] existed to support one theory of causes over another, and none exist now." "…ancestral species are relatively short necked, and the spotty evidence gives no insight into how the long-necked modern species arose."
  5. The bison is the heaviest land animal in North America and can run up to 65 kilometers per hour (40 miles an hour). During the 19th century American settlers killed up to 50 million bison causing their near extinction (they were hunted for various reasons, among them was that their tongue was considered a delicacy). Today their numbers are around 200,000 animals.
Tags: Animals & Nature, Top 5 Heaviest

Sources:  Top 5 of Anything research 2014. IUCN Red List Status updated March, 2014.

List Notes: Data is the top 5 heaviest land mammals on Earth in Kilograms.
Heaviest Land Mammals on Earth

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