Sep 6

Feeling quizzical? Here’s some fun facts from the natural world to impress your friends and family with. The theme this week is big!

Biggest eyes

Tarsiers, like the Philippine tarsier, have the biggest eyes, relative to body weight, of any mammal. They are also able to turn their head by almost 360 degrees, so few insects can sneak past! The largest eye on earth belongs to the colossal squid – at 28 centimetres across, it is bigger than the Philippine tarsiers entire body.

Philippine tarsier photo

Biggest insect

The predatory bush cricket is the largest insect in Europe at a whopping 15 centimetres long. That’s big, but a long way off the world’s longest insect, measuring in at over half a metre. Yikes.

Predatory bush cricket photo

Biggest egg (in relation to body size)

Spare a thought for the female kiwi. Egg laying must not be a pleasant experience with the largest egg to body size ratio, reaching up to 15 percent of the females total body weight.

Great spotted kiwi photo

Biggest mammalian claws

The giant anteater holds the record for largest claws of any mammal. Its other claim to fame is having the lowest body temperature of any land mammal, reaching 32 degrees Celcius (in comparison, we average a balmy 37 degrees Celcius).

Photo of female giant anteater and young

Biggest penis (in relation to body size)

The sedentary nature of barnacles, like the acorn barnacle, makes reproduction a difficult affair, as they can’t leave their shells to mate. To overcome this, barnacles have evolved the longest penis size relative to body length – at eight times longer than the body.

Photo of acorn barnacle feeding

Biggest wingspan

The wandering albertross has the largest wingspan for any bird. Reaching up to 3.5 metres, this would dwarf the tallest human by a metre! 

Photo of wandering albatross pair displaying

 Lauren Pascoe, ARKive Media Researcher