Whether you’ve been on an African safari, strolling through a zoo, or just browsing science fiction books, you probably know that there are several animals on this planet that are tall – much taller than us humans! But which animals are the tallest and how tall are they? Keep reading and you will learn about some of the tallest land animals on our planet.
# 8 Tallest animals: American bison
If you’re looking for tall animals, check out the American bison. Their height can range from 5’6 “to 6’1” when measured to the top of their shoulders. Aside from their height, Bison in general are simply big; they can weigh up to 2000 pounds.
While American bison were once plentiful in parts of North America due to hunting, viruses, and other threats, their population declined significantly in the 19th century. Although their conservation status is still threatened with extinction, the American bison population is increasing slightly. There are more than 30,000 people in various reserves and national parks in the United States. The American bison even became the national mammal of the United States in 2016 when Barack Obama signed into law the National Bison Heritage Act.
You can find American bison at a variety of zoos, including the Minnesota Zoo, Oakland Zoo, and Buffalo Zoo.
# 7 Tallest Animals: Shire Horse
While most of the horses you’ll come across are relatively tall, the Shire’s are the tallest. They can be about 5 feet 7 inches high to the shoulder blades, also called the withers. If you’re familiar with the height of a horse, that’s about 17 palms. Don’t forget there is also extra headroom behind the shoulder blades, with the horse’s head and neck. Shire horses usually weigh between 1870 and 2430 pounds.
Shire horses were descendants of the English big horse. These great horses, used in battle to transport people in full armor, were very powerful. It’s the same with the mighty Shay horse.
Unfortunately, there are not many Shire horses left and their breed has a critical conservation status for livestock conservation. You can visit the Shire horse at several zoos, including the Saginaw Children’s Zoo and the Colchester Zoo.
6. Tallest animals: dandelion camel.
Camels can also be surprisingly tall. The one-humped camel, also known as the Arabian camel, is the tallest of the camel species. These camels have only one hump compared to their two-humped cousins. Males of this species can grow from 6 feet to 6 feet and 6 inches when measured to the shoulders. Add a little extra height from the hump and they can be even taller!
One-day camels weigh between 660 and 1320 pounds. Domesticated camels are semi-domesticated; they are extinct in the wild, but are usually kept under the supervision of shepherds or used by humans for travel or other needs. Want to see a dandelion camel in person? Plan a visit to the San Diego Zoo or Louisville Zoo.
# 5 tallest animals: Alaskan moose
As if the first few animals on our list weren’t tall enough, now we get to the really tall animals. Alaskan Elk can reach 7.5 feet in height when measured to the shoulders. Then you still need to add the height of the neck, head and, of course, the horns.
No wonder the Alaskan elk is so big; he can eat up to 70 pounds of food every day and weighs up to 1600 pounds. However, even with its large size, the Alaskan moose is a vegetarian and eats only moss, cones, aquatic plants and bushes. The number of Alaskan moose in the wild is declining and, unfortunately, they are endangered. You can see moose in person at various zoos across the country, including the Columbus Zoo and the Minnesota Zoo.
# 4 Tallest animals: brown bear
You’ve probably heard people say that they don’t want to meet face to face with a bear. And for good reason, when it stands on four legs, the brown bear reaches about five feet tall at the shoulders. However, they are even tall when they stand up and can reach heights of 8 to 9 feet! These large animals usually weigh between 500 and 900 pounds. However, the largest bear ever weighed over 2,500 pounds!
Brown bears are also called grizzly bears, especially in North America. They can also be found in areas of Eurasia. Currently, this species is not endangered and has the least dangerous conservation status. Visit the Maryland Zoo, Alaska Zoo, or other zoos around the country to see how tall a brown bear really is.
# 3 Tallest animals: ostrich
You probably won’t be surprised to see Ostrich making it to this list. They are known for their very long legs and long neck. Adult ostriches can grow from 7 to 10 feet tall. Their long legs not only make them the tallest birds on the planet; they also allow them to run at 40 miles per hour, which makes them slower than just a cheetah!
Ostriches are found in many countries in Africa, Asia and Australia. They are currently not endangered and have the least dangerous conservation status. Ostriches can be found in many zoos, including the Atlanta Zoo and the San Diego Zoo.
# 2 Tallest animals: African bush elephant
We turn to the second tallest land animal – the African bush elephant. African bush elephants range in height from 10 feet 6 inches to 13 feet! Unsurprisingly, they are quite heavy and weigh around 13,400 pounds!
These large animals can live up to 70 years and, due to their large size, do not have many predators when fully grown. Unfortunately, however, African bush elephants are still hunted by poachers. This, coupled with the fact that the gestation period lasts about 22 months, means that the population is not replenishing fast enough and African bush elephants currently have a critically endangered conservation status. See an African elephant at the Auckland Zoo or Atlanta Zoo.
# 1 Tallest Animals: Giraffe
You knew that giraffes are tall, but did you know that they are the tallest land animals? The neck of a giraffe alone can reach almost 7 feet in height! Their total height is usually between 14 and 19 feet. They are also very heavy animals and can weigh between 1,750 and 2,800 pounds!
The giraffe uses its long neck to eat leaves in tall trees. Their long necks are also very useful as they help them scan the ground and spot predators. Giraffes have a vulnerable conservation status. You can find them in many zoos around the country and around the world, including the National Zoo in Washington DC and the Columbus Zoo.
Wow! There are indeed really tall animals here on Earth! Which one impressed or impressed you the most? How do you think you will feel when you come face to face with one of the tall and majestic creatures on this list?
Next: Extinct Animals: 12 Species That Have Gone Forever