8 Record-Breaking Animals

Discover the fantastic feats of eight record-breaking animals whose unique skills set them apart.

Mar 21, 2023By Donna Hobson
record breaking animals

Take a look at the wildlife kingdom, and you'll see an amazing array of creatures with unique features and abilities. Each and every species of the animal kingdom possesses interesting curiosities for you to discover, but some have such extreme features or skills that they become record-breakers.

Discover some incredible record-breaking animals, from the basketball-playing bunny to a 6ft cow and an 80,000km journey.

The Largest Mouth on a Land Animal

hippo with wide open mouth
Credit: Image by MLBay on Pixabay

A hippopotamus is a large, semi-aquatic mammal that lives in sub-Saharan Africa. The word "hippopotamus" comes from the ancient Greek meaning "river horse." Hippos spend most of their day in water to keep cool, but they can walk on land for short distances. They are herbivores and eat mostly grasses, aquatic plants, fruit, and leaves.

These mighty animals hold the Guinness World Record for the largest mouth of all land animals; the ability to open their jaws almost 180 degrees means that the average gape reaches four feet. Hippos also possess an impressive set of teeth that measures around 28 inches! The largest recorded canine tooth on a hippo was a massive 48 inches!

Jonathan the Oldest Living Land Animal

Jonathan the worlds oldest tortoise
Image Source: World's oldest-ever tortoise turns 190 | CNN Travel

Jonathan the Tortoise began his life in the Seychelles as long ago as 1832; this age is a conservative estimate making him at least 190 years as of 2022. At his birth, the British King was William IV; Queen Victoria would not ascend to the throne until Jonathan was five years old. His remarkable life has spanned eight British monarchs, 40 US Presidents, and two world wars.

Jonathan's birth also predates the first photograph of a person, the first powered flight, and the completion of the Eiffel Tower. Since 1882, Jonathan has resided on St Helena - a remote island in the South Atlantic where he enjoys the lush grounds of a mansion alongside his tortoise companions.

Longest Migration by a Bird

arctic tern
Image Source: Arctic Tern - eBird

The Arctic tern is a small seabird that lives in the Arctic region. It has a white body, light gray wings, and a black cap. It breeds in colonies on islands or coastal cliffs of northern North America, Greenland, Iceland, Scandinavia, and northern Asia.

These birds migrate from the Arctic to Antarctica every year, following an annual migration pattern known as trans-equatorial migration. This trip covers an approximate distance of 80,467 km, giving them the world record for the longest bird migration.

The purpose of this journey is to enjoy the long summer offered by the southern hemisphere, and many birds make the journey over the sea so they can stop and feed along the way. Other terns, such as the Marsh tern, take land routes and fly over places such as the Sahara Desert.

Blossom the World's Tallest Cow

Blossom the worlds tallest cow
Image Source: Guinness Names Blosom the Holstein the World’s Tallest Ever Cow - ABC News (go.com)

Beloved pet cow blossom spent 13 happy and healthy years with her adoring owners in Illinois before her death in 2015. Despite her passing, Blossom will live forever in the pages of the record books for being the tallest of her species.

This mighty cow was born to two normal-sized animals but grew to a height of 190cm, which is over six feet tall. Towering above her owner, Blossom's favorite things were oats, chin rubs, and ear scratches. Perhaps, the happiest part of Blossom's story is just how loved and cared for she was in a family that treated her like one of their own.

The Largest Eyes on a Living Creature

giant colossal squid
Image Source: Everything you wanted to know about the giant squid | BBC Science Focus Magazine

The colossal squid is the largest of all cephalopods and is the heaviest known invertebrate. The colossal squid lives in deep waters or 1000 meters or more. It has rarely been observed alive in its natural habitat, making it one of Earth's most poorly understood large creatures.

And these large creatures possess a record-breaking feature; researchers estimate that they have the largest eyes in the animal kingdom. Each eye measures around 27cm, making it a similar size to a soccer ball, and it's thought that these large sensory organs help ensure the species' survival deep within the ocean.

Most Basketball Slam Dunks by a Rabbit

Bini the basketball dunking bunny rabbit
Image Source: Bini the slam-dunking bunny is better than you at basketball | Shropshire Star

Bini the bunny may well be the cutest thing you see today, and this adorable little rabbit is a record breaker holding the title for the most basketball slam dunks by a rabbit in 60 seconds. This unique talent earned Bini more than one million followers, and her videos have been featured on various TV shows, such as The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon.

Don't believe a rabbit can dunk a basketball? Check out the adorable footage at Guinness World Records. And sports aren't the only interest of this Holland Lop. Bini also has her own art store, selling paintings and books online. If you've fallen in love with Bini, check her out on Netflix series, The Hidden Life of Pets, or follow her Instagram @binithebunny to see what this talented little lady gets up to next.

The Deadliest Ant in the World

bulldog ant eating cockroach
Image Source: Nat Geo WILD on Twitter: "Even the ants in #WildAustralia are deadly. Six Australians died from bulldog ant stings in the last 20 years! http://t.co/kZynruub9t" / Twitter

Bulldog ants are tiny, black ants that live in the southwest of Australia. They were named bulldog ants because they are very aggressive and will attack any intruder. You'd be forgiven for thinking that these 20mm creatures, weighing in at only 0.015g, couldn't harm you. But you'd be wrong.

These small but powerful insects attack using their sting and jaws simultaneously, leading to at least three human fatalities since 1936. The ants display little fear and employ a quick succession of stings - injecting more venom with every bite.

Cassius The Largest Living Crocodile in Captivity

Cassius the crocodile
Image Source: https://www.9news.com.au/national/qld-monster-up-among-world-s-largest-crocs/528ca48f-3eac-4e7f-b7c1-3763bafd1d82

If you've ever watched a documentary about saltwater crocodiles, you'll know how big these reptiles can get. As the largest reptile on Earth, these sizable creatures reach lengths of 23 feet and can weigh over 2,200 lbs!

While many crocodile species are relatively harmless and would rather avoid them than attack, the saltwater crocodile is noted for its aggression towards humans, mainly due to its strong territorial instinct. In addition, this fearsome creature has the most substantial measurable bite in the world!

Although these creatures can grow to 7 meters, Cassius holds the record for the largest living crocodile in captivity, with a length of 17ft 11in or 5.48m. First captured in Australia in 1987, he was soon moved to the Marineland Melanesia wildlife park, where he resides today.

Donna Hobson
By Donna Hobson

Donna believes that keeping a pet is the key to a happy life. Over the years, many creatures have passed through her home - Sooty the cat, Millie the rabbit, Stuart (Little) the guinea pig, and Trixie the tortoise, alongside her pet goldfish, Zippy, who lived to the grand old age of 24 years! She currently resides with her black kitten Jinx and an aquarium full of fish and snails to entrance them both. When she is not looking after her pets, Donna enjoys researching and writing the answers to all your pet-related wonders.