Travel Magazine

Big Vs. Small Animals – Does Big Mean Powerful?

By Frontiergap @FrontierGap
Sometimes, reading about the animal kingdom is like having the superhero talk. What power would you have, who would win out of a villain and a hero, and of all their powers, which one comes down to be the best one? Animals, however, don’t need to squeeze themselves into a slick spandex, or establish a secret identity – They find ways to adapt, outsmart their prey and repeatedly surprise us humans with their amazing skills and strengths. Small or big – Animals have and build features that are only endemic to their own species, and it turns out, big is not always allied to be the most  powerful one. 
Let’s begin with strength; The African Elephant VS. Rhinoceros Beetle
Big vs. small animals – does big mean powerful? Image courtesy of Derek Keats The African Elephant is the world’s largest land mammal; it is admired by many and has a great cultural status. In brute strength, elephants are the strongest mammals and the strongest land animals. Because of its size, they are extremely heavy and can weigh up to 6,350kg and carry up to 9,000kg. That’s the weight of 130 adult humans! Big vs. small animals – does big mean powerful? Image courtesy of Geoff Gallice Rhinoceros Beetles can lift something 850 times their own weight. Quite impressive for a bug - if the mighty elephant had equal strength to the rhinoceros beetle it would be able to carry 850 elephants on its back!  Knife sharp teeth or venomous spews? Deathliest bite; Nile crocodile VS. The Inland Taipan snake!
Big vs. small animals – does big mean powerful? Image courtesy of Julian Mason Having Dinosaurs as ancestors is not the only cool feature of being a crocodile; their bite is considered as the deadliest in the world. You wouldn’t want to get caught in the jaw of this beast – without some duck tape in handy. They have extremely powerful jaws that bite down with their 68 blades of teeth and snap shut their mouth with a force around 1,700kg – that makes them almost twice as strong as a great white shark! Crocodiles have evolved their muscles to grip onto prey and hold it there tight and secure. Their jaws are, however, opened with a surprisingly weak set of muscles, which means that if you hold its mouth shut, it will have a hard time opening it again. There’s your survival trick for the day!   Big vs. small animals – does big mean powerful? Image courtesy of Denise Chan From razor-sharp teeth to fangs filled with venom. Usually venomous snakes kill with a strike – one deadly bite. The Inland Taipan is different and delivers up to seven venomous bites in a single attack. Unlike other snakebites that affect the bloodstream, the Inland Taipan’s venom attacks and destroys the tissue immediately and there after the bloodstream and nervous system is slowly affected too. The venom from one single bite is enough to kill 100 fully grown men or 250,000 mice. Working your way up the food chain is not just about strength and the ability to kill with a rapid bite. It’s also about being smart, and knowing your enemy – a clever hunting technique is vital in the wild; Killer Whale (Orca) VS. The Portia Spider!
Big vs. small animals – does big mean powerful? Image courtesy of Kat Kellner All whales and especially dolphins have been scientifically proven to be some of the smartest animals on earth. Orcas are an exceptionally social mammal. They hunt with their pod, (a family group of Orcas) and use inventive techniques to hunt. Antarctic Orcas make waves to slide seals off floating ice, and thereafter catch in when is falls into the water. Another impressive strategy is the ‘karate chop’, they use to kill sharks with. Without touching the shark, the orca will use its tail to create a vortex to force it to the surface. Once the shark is at the surface, the orca lifts its tail out of the water and smacks down onto the shark like a karate-chop and the shark falls into a dazed state from the hit. The orcas then, flip the shark upside down, which is quite mind-blowing as it gives the impression that the orca knows shark biology. When sharks are quickly flipped upside down they enter a paralysed state, and smartly enough, the orcas have figured this out! Big vs. small animals – does big mean powerful? Image courtesy of Chun Xing Wong The Portia spider has proven that you don’t need a big body to carry a big brain. This particular spider has a strong memory which helps it develop several clever hunting techniques. They can remember the position of a prey for up to an hour after it has gone out of its sight. A Portia hunt other web spiders. It will pick and choose special technique depending on the pray. The Portia will for example place itself on one side of its prey’s web and mimics a struggling insect by wiggling the web with a leg, which lures the prey straight to it! Just like the Orcas, the Portia is extremely observant. It will mimic the mating ritual of other spiders to lure the females out, and then feast on them! By comparing these animals’ amazing abilities, we can conclude that size doesn’t matter. There are qualities to both big and small, and they are all unique in their own way! By Nanna Påskesen


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Big vs. small animals – does big mean powerful?


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