A living organism is any creature that shows all the characteristics of living organisms that distinguish it from non-living creatures, as it breathes, feeds to obtain the energy needed for it, and is able to get rid of waste and toxins, as it grows, increasing the size and number of its constituent cells, and multiplying and producing new individuals, in addition to For its ability to sense and respond to various influences such as light, temperature, water, gravity, and chemicals, just as all living things move, even those whose movement mechanism cannot be distinguished, such as plants. According to the modern classification system , all living things belong to six kingdoms, namely:
- Ancient bacteria (in English: Archaebacteria).
- True bacteria (in English: Eubacteria).
- Protists (in English: Protista).
- Fungi (in English: Fungi).
- Plants (in English: Plantae).
- Animals (in English: Animalia).
The largest living organisms
The General Sherman tree (in English: General Sherman) located in Sequoia National Park is the largest living organism ever, and this tree belongs to the giant sequoia trees , with a base diameter of 31 meters, a total weight of 6167 tons, and a length of 83 meters, and despite the presence of trees A sequoia is taller than it, but its size is less than the size of a General Sherman tree . Sequoia trees belong to the family Cypress, so they are evergreen, and have a pyramidal shape, the color of its fibrous bark is reddish-brown, and it is resistant to naturally occurring fires required for the opening of cones, and it has scaly leaves that are almost parallel to the branches.
The largest aquatic animals
The blue whale is the largest whale, and the largest animal as well, and its length reaches approximately 30 meters, while its weight reaches 180 metric tons, and it is possible to imagine the extent of the enormity of the blue whale if we know that the weight of its tongue is equal to the weight of an elephant, and that it must eat 4-8 tons of plankton per day to be able to survive. The blue whale belongs to the baleen whales, as it has 320 pairs of baleen plates instead of teeth, and it uses these plates to filter the plankton that it feeds on. The blue whale can reach speeds of approximately 32 km per hour when needed, but it usually moves at a speed of 8 km per hour. Blue whales communicate with each other by issuing a group of divergent sounds, which can be heard by other whales approximately 1,600 km away. The blue whale breathes atmospheric air as it rises to the water’s surface using a pair of blowholes near the top of its head .And when exhaling, the air comes out in the form of a mist that can reach a height of (12-15) meters above the surface of the water.
The largest animals on land
The African elephant is the largest animal that lives on land, as it reaches a height of between (2.5-4) meters, and weighs between (2268-6350) kg. It is thus larger than the Asian elephant, which grows to a height between (2-3) meters. Its weight ranges between (2041-4990) kg, and the size of the elephant is commensurate with the amount of food it eats. The elephant can eat 136 kg of herbs, roots, fruits, and tree bark. Elephants live in groups consisting of mothers and their young, and the group is led by the older female, whose task is to teach the young elephants good behavior, such as greeting other elephants by extending the trunk, while the adult males wander away from the group of females. Baby elephants are born after a gestation period of approximately 22 months, weigh 91 kilograms at birth, are weaned after 2-3 years, reach puberty after 13-20 years, and can live from 30 to 50 years in the wild.
The largest of the birds
The wandering albatross (scientific name: Diomedea exulans ) is the largest living bird today, as the distance between its wings is (3.5 meters), and this is equal to half the distance between the wings of an extinct bird whose scientific name is (Pelagornis sandersi), while the heaviest bird is the ostrich, which His average weight is (111 kg).
The largest butterfly
The Queen Alexandra bird wing butterfly (scientific name: Ornithoptera alexandrae ) is the largest living butterfly, as the distance between the wings of brown females ranges between 28 to 31 centimeters, while males, which combine blue, yellow, black, and green, are smaller. In size, the distance between its wings ranges between (17-19 centimeters), and it is one of the rare butterflies , so the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) listed it as an endangered organism.
The largest of rodents
The water pig or capybara (scientific name: Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris ), which lives in South and Central America , is the largest rodent, with a length ranging from 100 to 130 centimeters, while its height at the shoulder reaches 50 centimeters, and its weight ranges between 27 to 79 kilograms, depending on gender.
The largest fish
The whale shark ( Rhincodon typus ) is the largest type of fish, and it is one of the types of sharks that live in the Atlantic Ocean and the Indian Pacific Ocean. It can reach a length of 12 meters and weigh 20.6 tons. Like whales, the whale shark feeds by filtering food, and it can be hunted; As it gets stuck in the nets of fishermen, or dies when colliding with marine vessels, so the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) listed it as an endangered animal.
The largest of the cystic mammals
The red kangaroo (scientific name: Macropus rufus ) is the largest living pouched or marsupial mammal in the world, and its body length reaches 1.6 meters without counting its tail, which is approximately one meter long, and its weight reaches approximately 90 kg, which is less than half the weight of The extinct kangaroo 15,000 years ago, known as the giant kangaroo with a small face (scientific name: Procoptodon goliah ), which weighed 240 kg, while the largest marsupial ever was an animal whose scientific name was Diprotodon optatum , and it became extinct 25,000 years ago and weighed 2,800 pounds. kg.
The largest of the lizards
The Komodo dragon (scientific name: Varanus komodoensis ) is the largest living lizard in the world, as the males are three meters long and weigh about (90 kg), while the females are (1.8 meters) long. These huge lizards feed on pigs and water buffaloes , and deer, and these lizards are also known for their ability to prey on humans, and are characterized by fast movement, good eyesight, and a strong sense of smell.
The largest frogs
The goliath frog (scientific name: Conraua goliath ) is the largest frog in the world, as it can be more than 32 centimeters long and weigh more than 3.3 kilograms. This huge frog can jump up to three meters in length, and is distinguished from the rest of the frogs as a silent frog that does not emit chirping.
The largest bats
The golden-capped bat , or golden-crowned bat (scientific name: Acerodon jubatus ), which belongs to a type of bat called flying foxes, is the largest type of bat; As the distance between its wings reaches (1.7 meters), and its weight is approximately (1.2 kilograms). The original home of this bat is the Philippines, and it is one of the animals at risk due to overfishing and the loss of its natural habitat.