Updated on May 26th, 2018
The world for a range of super-sized animals, from giant sunfish in Portugal to great white sharks off the coast of Mexico.
In New York state, Jim Kowalczik is dwarfed by his domesticated Kodiak bear Jimbo, who stands at 9ft tall and weighs over 1,400lbs.
Meanwhile, in Australia Cassius Clay is the biggest captive crocodile in the world, measuring 18ft in length and weighing a scale-busting 2,200lbs.
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There’s a big rat too – a 4ft monster discovered two years ago in east London. Scroll down to see a selection of huge creatures, highlighting the majesty of the animal kingdom
1. An enormous 20ft-long great white shark was photographed swimming through a school of mackerel off Guadalupe Island in Mexico, dwarfing a team of caged researchers. The photo was taken for a shark identification project by water safety specialist John Maher
2. A woman poses with a giant anaconda for a stock photography shot. The species of snake has been verified to grow up to 17.1ft long and weigh 215lbs
3. He is 9ft tall, weighs over 1,400lbs and can tear a man apart in minutes. But Jim Kowalczik has no fear as he larks about with the Kodiak bear he calls his ‘son’. The former prison officer and his wife, Susan, have cared for Jimbo for more than 20 years, since he first came to the couple’s upstate New York haven for injured or unwanted animals as a bottle-feeding cub
4. Cassius Clay is the biggest captive crocodile in the world, measuring 18ft in length and weighing 2,200lbs. The saltwater croc is believed to be at least 100 years old and has lived in Marineland Melanesia on Green Island in Australia for more than two decades. The photograph above shows the croc’s brave owner George Craig watching over his pool as it’s drained for a measuring session
5. Astonishing footage captured the moment deep sea divers came face-to-face with a giant sunfish basking in warm waters off the coast of Portugal. The video shows the sunfish – a creature renowned for its huge size and strange appearance – cruising through the ocean as the group of divers swim alongside it. Filmed by photographer Miguel Pereira, the footage was uploaded online and shared on YouTube
6. From his lofty position in the field, Duke has become used to looking down on his horse refuge friends. In fact the Shire horse stands so high at 19 hands and three inches (6ft 7in) that he is thought to be Britain’s biggest equine. He towers over his 5ft 5in owner Sara Ross, who runs The Horse Refuge in Finchingfield near Braintree in Essex
7. A scuba diver approaches two humpback whales in the deep blue. The adults range in length from 39ft to 52ft and weigh about 79,366lbs. The humpback has a distinctive body shape, with long pectoral fins and a knobbly head
8. The Andean condor is a South American bird found in the Andes mountains and adjacent Pacific coasts of western South America. It is the largest flying bird in the world by combined measurement of weight and wingspan. It has a maximum wingspan of 10ft 10 in. The condor pictured is called Veedor, who was born in Columbus Zoo
9. The enormous whale shark – the world’s largest species of fish – dwarfs a diver as it floats just below the surface in crystal clear waters. They typically grow to be bigger than a double-decker bus: between 20 to 52ft and more than 20 tons. Yet despite its hulking appearance, the whale shark has only tiny, almost useless teeth and is sometimes so docile that entire boatloads of people can swim alongside the enigmatic, spotted beast
10. An elephant seal gears up for feeding time at a Japanese Zoo, even holding his own bucket. The bulls can grow to be up to 16ft long and weigh over 6,000lbs. There are two types of elephant seal – the southern elephant seal and the smaller northern version. It is named after the males’ snout, which resembles the trunk of an elephant. They can hold their breath longer than any other cetacean animal, staying under water without air for up to two hours
11. Posting a picture with your massive cat became an online craze a few years back, with some of the felines twice the size of an ordinary house pet. They include the American Maine Coon breed, one of the largest breeds of domestic cat, which can grow to a length of up to 48in and weigh around 35lbs
12. Gas worker James Green with a rat found near Hackney Downs, east London, in 2016. The perspective of the photo makes it difficult to see the rat’s exact size, although the workers say it was 4ft in length
13. Meanwhile, pensioner Karl Szmolinsky, who raises a breed of rabbits called giant grays, shows two-year-old Robert, an 8.5kg giant grey who is 74cm long and has ears 25.5cm long, in the backyard of his house on January 15, 2006, in Eberswalde, Germany
14. Goliath groupers, which typically grow to around 400lb, are primarily found in shallow tropical waters among coral and reefs across the Florida Keys, the Bahamas, the Caribbean and elsewhere. The world record for a grouper is 680lb, which was caught off Florida in May 1961
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