The 7 Largest Land Mammals in the World

In fact, the Blue Whale is the largest animal that ever existed, but they live in the sea and are not included in this list.

Most of the land mammals on this list are extinct, but some are still alive today.

Extinct land mammals have extant descendants that are quite large, but they do not come close to their ancestors.

Habitat: South America

Time period lived in: Early Pliocene to late Pleistocene (5 million to 8,000 years ago)

Scientific name: Different species but the most popular is Megatherium americanum

Source: Wikimedia Commons via Ballista

Unlike their modern counterparts, which weigh only about 5 kilograms (11 pounds), Megatherium weighed between 3 and 4 metric tons (6,613.87 and 8,818.49 pounds).

When Megatherium stood on its hind legs, it was 3.5 meters (12 feet) long.

There were several different species of Megatherium, but the only species we know more about is Megatherium americanum, which lived in South America, mainly in what is now Argentina, Uruguay, and Bolivia.

Our ancestors may have eaten Megatherium as scientists have discovered fossils with cut marks on them, which were most likely made by human tools and weapons.

Time Period Lived: Late Pliocene to Early Pleistocene (2.6 million to 39,000 years ago)

Scientific name: Elasmotherium sibiricum

Source: Wikimedia Commons via DiBgd

Elasmotherium sibiricum is an extinct species of horned rhinoceros known as the “Giant Siberian Unicorn” because of its prominent horn.

Elasmotherium sibiricum was almost as large as a woolly mammoth and is estimated to have weighed up to 4.5 metric tons (9920.8 pounds).

Also like the woolly mammoth, Elasmotherium sibiricum was covered in long hair.

For many years, scientists believed that Elasmotherium sibiricum died out between 100,000 and 200,000 years ago, but a skull discovered in 2016 was dated to only 29,000 years ago.

This means that Elasmotherium sibiricum was alive at the same time as Neanderthals and early modern humans.

Elasmotherium sibiricum was one of the 250 species of rhinoceros alive at the time.

Source: Wikimedia Commons via Vpad236

Asian elephants are the closest living relatives of the Woolly Mammoth, but they are not as large.

However, Asian Elephants are still some of the largest extant mammals in the world and can weigh between 2.25 and 5.5 metric tons (4,960.4 to 12,125.4 pounds).

On average, Asian Elephants stand 6 to 12 feet (1.8 to 3.8 meters) tall at the shoulder.

Asian elephants are fairly easy to tame and have been used by humans for thousands of years.

People use Asian Elephants to move heavy objects, to transport people and goods, and even to wage war.

Unlike African elephants, Asian elephants tend to have smaller tusks, which are called tusks.

Only a few Asian male elephants develop large, prominent tusks like their African counterparts.

African Bush Elephant

Habitat: Sub-Saharan Africa (Kenya, Tanzania, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Namibia and Angola)

Time period lived in: present

Time period lived in: present

Source: Wikimedia Commons via Gorgo

The African Bush Elephant is currently the largest living land mammal in the world and is the larger of the two African Elephant species.

African Bush Elephants weigh between 4 and 7 metric tons (8818.5 to 15432.4 pounds).

Male African bush elephants can reach up to 3.5 meters (11.5 feet) in height while females can be up to 3 meters (9.8 feet).

African Bush Elephants live in sub-Saharan Africa, mainly in Kenya, Tanzania, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Namibia and Angola.

Along with their large bodies, African Bush Elephants have massive tusks that are 2.5 meters (8.2 feet) in length and weigh between 50 to 100 pounds (22.7 to 45.36 kilograms).

Woolly mammoth

Habitat: Northern Asia, many parts of Europe and northern North America

Source: Wikimedia Commons via Flying Puffin

The famous Woolly mammoth was the smallest of all known mammoths, but it was still a massive animal.

Woolly mammoths weighed up to 6 metric tons (13,227.7 pounds) and were 4 meters (13 feet) tall.

In the past, woolly mammoths were numerous and roamed the Earth from northern Asia to the northern parts of North America.

Although woolly mammoths lived a long time ago, they became extinct only about 4,000 years ago.

In recent years, the scientific community has discovered that they may be able to revive the Woolly Mammoth from extinction.

Mammoth hair can reach a length of 1 meter (3 feet).

Steppe mammoth

Time period lived in: Pleistocene (600,000 – 370,000 years ago)

Time period lived in: Pleistocene (600,000 – 370,000 years ago)

Source: Wikimedia Commons via Altes

The Steppe mammoth was the largest of the known mammoth species and weighed between 9 and 14.3 metric tons (19,841.6 to 31,526 pounds).

The Steppe mammoth is the ancestor of the more famous woolly mammoth and lived in the cold parts of ancient Eurasia.

Not only was the Steppe Mammoth very heavy, it was also tall and stood between 4 and 4.5 meters (13.1 to 14.8 feet) tall.

In 2015, scientists discovered a nearly complete skeleton of a Steppe Mammoth in Russia.

The steppe mammoth is estimated to be over 100,000 years old and was a male that died at around 45 years of age.

Steppe Mammoth tusks were 2.5 meters (8.2 feet) long, and a pair discovered in 2015 weighed a total of 150 kilograms (330.69 pounds).

Habitat: Plains of Eurasia

Time period lived in: Oligocene (35 – 20 million years ago)

Scientific name: Paraceratherium transouralicum

Source: Wikimedia Commons via ABelov2014

Indricotherium or Paraceratherium is an extinct species of hornless rhinoceros believed to be the largest land mammal that ever lived.

Living on the plains of Eurasia between 20 and 35 million years ago, Indricotherium is estimated to have weighed between 15 and 20 metric tons (33,000 to 44,000 lbs).

In addition to being quite heavy, Indricotherium was also tall, standing about 40 feet (12.2 meters) long.

Unlike modern rhinoceroses, Indricotherium had a relatively long neck and slender legs.

When Indricotherium fossils were first discovered, paleontologists believed it was much larger, up to 60,000 pounds (27.2 metric tons).

However, scientists mostly agree that Indricotherium could not have weighed more than 44,000 pounds (20 metric tons).

Scroll to Top