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The largest living animal in the world is the blue whale (Balaenoptera musculus), a beast measuring upwards of 100 feet (30 meters) long. But enough about the whale. What is the largest bird, butterfly or marsupial? Live Science found 15 of the largest animals of their kind. Read on to find out who they are.
Largest birdSlide 2 of 31
With a wingspan measuring up to 11.5 feet (3.5 meters) long, the wandering albatross (Diomedea exulans) is the largest living bird on Earth.
The largest bird species on record (Pelagornis sandersi) is now extinct. Its wingspan measured between 20 and 24 feet (6.1 and 7.3 m), twice as long as the modern wandering albatross's wingspan, said Daniel Ksepka, a paleontologist and curator of science at the Bruce Museum in Greenwich, Connecticut.
The heaviest living bird is the ostrich, which weighs an average of 244 lbs. (111 kilograms). The heaviest extinct bird is either the elephant bird (Aepyornis maximus) or the moa (Dinornis robustus). While the science community is split, "if you put a gun to my head, I would say Aepyornis maximus and go with 500 kg [1,100 lbs.] as the likely mass," Ksepka said. "They were, of course, flightless."Slide 3 of 31
Biggest butterflySlide 4 of 31
The Queen Alexandra's birdwing (Ornithoptera alexandrae) wins first place for largest living butterfly. Its wingspan is almost 1 foot (0.3 m) across.
However, O. alexandrae is rare — it lives in the rainforests of Papua New Guinea — and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) lists this butterfly as endangered.
Females of the species are brown and have a wingspan of 11 to 12 inches (28 to 31 centimeters), while the yellow, green, black and blue males are slightly smaller, with wingspans of 6.7 to 7.4 inches (17 to 19 cm) long, Live Science previously reported.Slide 5 of 31
Largest rodentSlide 6 of 31
The capybara (Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris) is the king of rodents. It stands about 2 feet (60 cm) tall at its shoulders, making it the largest living rodent on Earth, according to the San Diego Zoo.
The capybara is larger than its living relatives, cavies and guinea pigs. It can be found on land or wallowing in the water, where it can swim with its slightly webbed feet. The enormous rodents are native to South America.Slide 7 of 31
Largest bivalveSlide 8 of 31