A carnivore is an animal that gets food from killing and eating other animals. The world’s largest carnivores generally eat herbivores, but can also eat omnivores, and occasionally other carnivores.
As the top of the food web, carnivores keep the populations of other animals in check. If a carnivore population is wiped out by plague, drought, human intervention or other factors, an area can experience an overpopulation of other creatures lower in the food chain.
The following list is made up of some of the largest carnivores creatures on Earth that eat other creatures:
10. Siberian Tiger (Amur Tiger)
Scientific name: Panthera tigris altaica.
Weight: Up to 465 Kg (1,025 lb.)
The Siberian Tiger is the largest of all of the wild cats in the world. Almost all Siberian tigers live the Southeast corner of Russia in the Sikhote-Alin mountain range east of the Amur River.
Siberian tigers are distinguishable by their striped fur. Similar to people’s unique fingerprints, no two tigers have the same striped pattern. Siberian tigers are also solitary animals, marking their scent on trees to keep other tigers away. The territory of a male Siberian tiger can take up to 100 square kilometers, and sometimes up to 500 square kilometers.
They stalk their prey, which includes elk (wapiti), wild boar, bears, and roe and musk deer until they are close enough to pounce. Because tigers are not always successful in their hunts, they need to hunt often. They can eat up to 30 kg (66 lb.) If they are very hungry, but generally, they eat about 9 kg (20 lb.) of meat in one sitting.
9. Colossal squid
Scientific name: Mesonychoteuthis hamiltoni.
Weight: Up to 495 Kg (1,092 lb.)
The colossal squid, sometimes called the Antarctic squid or giant cranch squid, is the largest squid species in terms of mass. It can be up to 46 feet in length. This also classifies it as the largest known invertebrate in the world.
It was first identified in 1925 after two tentacles were found in the stomach of a sperm whale. Until this catch, no male had been landed intact. Its habitat extends from Antarctica to the southern extremities of South America, South Africa, and New Zealand, but very few have been sighted.
Colossal Squid can live at depths of more than 7,000 feet. They are aggressive hunters of large fish and other squids for prey, and due to their enormous size, the Colossal Squid consumes a big volume of large fish in the open seas. It is believed that they often fight Sperm Whales when they are going to be eaten by them.
8. Giant Freshwater Stingray
Scientific name: Himantura chaophraya.
Weight: Up to 600 Kg (1,320 lb.)
The giant freshwater stingray is the largest freshwater species on Earth. At half the length of a bus, and more than half a ton in size, giant stingrays have been known to pull boats up and down rivers and even underwater.
They are known to prowl river systems in Thailand, Borneo, New Guinea, and northern Australia. Being a carnivore, its main diet consists of crabs, squid, crustaceans, fish, sea snails, shrimp, and prawns.
They are brown to gray in color, wide and flat in form, and they sport a long, whiplike tail. Though giant stingrays do not readily attack humans, they are one of the few megafishes that can pose a real danger to those who handle them.
7. Polar Bear
Scientific name: Ursus maritimus.
Weight: Up to 1,000 kg (2,200 lb.)
Polar bears are the largest land carnivores in the world, rivaled only by the Kodiak brown bears of southwestern Alaska. They are actually categorized as marine mammals and spend much of their time on Arctic Ocean sea ice.
Polar bears travel great distances in search of prey. They feed primarily on the fat of ice-dependent seals and also known to eat walrus, beluga whale, and bowhead whale carcasses. The remains of these mammals provide food for many other Arctic wildlife species, giving polar bears a vital role in their ecosystem.
The World Conservation Union (IUCN) estimates that there are between 20,000-25,000 polar bears in the world. However, climate change is melting their habitat and making them an endangered species.
6. Pacific Walrus
Scientific name: Odobenus rosmarus.
Weight: Up to 1,800 kg (4,100 lb.)
The Pacific walrus is a large Arctic marine mammal with flippers, a broad head, short muzzle, small eyes, tusks, and whiskers. They are mostly found in the Bering, Chukchi, Laptev, and East Siberian Seas.
Pacific Walruses prefer several kinds of bivalve mollusks such as clams. Adults Walruses may eat as many as 3,000 to 6,000 clams in a single feeding session.
They also eat many other kinds of benthic invertebrates including worms, gastropods, cephalopods, crustaceans, sea cucumbers, and other soft-bodied animals. Pacific walruses may occasionally prey on fishes such as polar cod.
5. Saltwater Crocodile
Scientific name: Crocodylus porosus.
Weight: Up to 2,000 Kg (4,400 lb.)
The saltwater crocodile is the largest reptile on the planet and is a formidable predator throughout its range.
Saltwater crocodiles are capable of eating just about any animal that strays too close and is particularly adept at drowning terrestrial creatures like birds and mammals.
Named for its ability to survive in full salinity seawater, saltwater crocodiles typically live in brackish (low salinity) water near the coast.
4. Southern Elephant Seal
Scientific name: Mirounga leonina.
Weight: Up to 5,000 Kg (11,000 lb.)
Southern elephant seals are the largest of all seals and are named after the large proboscis (nose) of the adult males, which is used to make loud roaring sounds, especially during the mating season.
They are big and cumbersome on land but are superb swimmers and divers, and regularly going down to 300-500m for a duration of 20-30 minutes.
They mainly feed on squid, but also fish. Males and females tend to feed separately with males going further south pursuing bottom-dwelling (benthic) prey, females don’t go so far south and fish for prey in the mid-water (pelagic) zone.
3. Orca Whale
Scientific name: Orcinus orca.
Weight: Up to 9,900 Kg (22,000 lb.)
The killer whale or orca is a toothed whale belonging to the oceanic dolphin family, of which it is the largest member. Orca whales have a diverse diet, although individual populations often specialize in particular types of prey.
They are one of the world’s most powerful and fastest predators and are known to grab seals right off the ice and they also eat fish, squid, and seabirds.
2. Whale Shark
Scientific name: Rhincodon typus.
Weight: Up to 23.52 tons (47,000 lb.)
Whale sharks are the largest shark, and indeed the largest of any fishes alive today. They travel large distances to find enough food to sustain their huge size, and to reproduce.
The whale shark is a filter feeder – one of only three known filter-feeding shark species in the world. It feeds on plankton including copepods, krill, fish eggs, Christmas Island red crab larvae and small nektonic life, such as small squid or fish.
1. Blue Whale
Scientific name: Balaenoptera musculus.
Weight: Up to 209. 4 tons (418,877 lb.)
The blue whale is the largest animal ever known to have existed and is simply enormous with most ranging in length from 24-30 m. The largest ever recorded was a gargantuan 33.5 m long. Females are up to 10 m longer than males.
The blue whale’s heart is the size of a small car and its beat can be detected two miles away. But that’s nothing compared to their calls. Blue whales are the loudest animals on earth and their calls are louder than a jet engine: reaching 188 decibels, while a jet engine hit ‘just’ 140 decibels.
A blue whale’s stomach can hold one tonne of krill and it needs to eat about four tonnes of krill each day – which amounts to around 40 million krill each day in the summer feeding season. To eat, the blue whale expands its throat plates and takes in water and krill, then it pushes the water out through its baleen plates, swallowing the krill that has stayed inside its mouth.