Top 10: Strongest animals in the world

A strong person can lift about 1.5 times their own body weight. How does that compare to the strongest animals out there?

What is the strongest animal in the world? A critical question, especially if you’re moving house and can’t afford a human removal company.

But, let’s say an animal could help you move: which should you pick? What animal is the most powerful? Who can lift the most weight? 

To help answer this most crucial question, we’ve put together a list of the strongest animals on the planet today. Brace yourself for a journey through the realm of brute force, marvelling at some surprisingly strong birds, muscle-packed polar bears, and oxen that pack a serious punch.

10. Harpy eagle – can lift 18kg (twice their own body weight)

Big eagle carrying prey with tail

The female harpy eagle is the strongest bird in the world. The female is stronger than the male and can lift up to 18kg, which is approximately double its own weight. This comes in handy when selecting prey, and can mean a lot more variety of animals are available for dinner.

It is an apex predator, which means it is at the top of the food chain. And with strength like this, we can see why.

9. Leopard – can lift 125kg (approximately twice their body weight)

Leopard in a tree

The average male leopard weighs somewhere between 30 and 70kg, and the largest ones are capable of lifting a hefty 125kg using their strong jaw muscles and powerful legs and claws.

Leopards need this strength to pull their larger prey up into trees once they have hunted to keep it safe from rivals, as they are not as powerful as rivals like tigers and lions. This ability also helps them to store food out of reach for consumption later.

8. Polar bear – can lift 450Kg (approximately 0.7 times their body weight)

underwater polar bear bites camera

Adult male polar bears can grow to be anywhere between 300 and 700kg, while females are generally smaller at between 150-350kg. They have very powerful jaws for hunting, although they aren't particularly good at catching seals – their preferred prey.

Polar bears aren't naturally afraid of humans which makes them very dangerous. However, as we will see, they aren't the most powerful bears on our list.

7. Lion – can lift 450kg (approximately twice their body weight)

male lion drags Wildebeest through water

Perhaps the epitome of a strong animal, the lion is synonymous with power and hunting ability. And for very good reason.

Size-wise, fully-grown male lions can weigh between 150 and 250kg, and females are slightly smaller at between 120 and 180kg. Their powerful jaws and leg muscles mean they can drag larger animals over short distances.

6. Grizzly bear – can lift 500Kg (0.8 times their body weight)

grizzly bear carrying fresh salmon prey

Thanks to a combination of leg strength and power, the grizzly bear is an impressive hunting machine. But the most powerful bear species on our list isn't just muscle. They are highly intelligent, mapping territories of up to 800km and forming social hierarchies with each other.

A fully-grown adult can lift 227kg with just one paw and has the strength of five strong humans. With all this in mind, it wouldn't surprise anyone to know that the grizzly has no natural predators.

5. Tiger – can lift 550Kg (twice their own body weight)

Tiger jumps on prey and pulls it down

Perhaps surprisingly, the tiger is the most powerful big cat on our list. More agile and faster than a lion, a tiger is capable of bringing down prey twice its size. They are also incredibly muscular and are capable of running at speeds up to 65km/h in short bursts.

Their impressive power doesn't stop there. The strength of a paw swipe from a tiger is such that it could kill a human being instantly.

4. Musk ox – can lift 900kg (about 1.5 times their body weight)

Musk ox looking at camera eye contact

Think you are as strong as an ox? That would be a proud boast indeed, and perhaps not achievable for most humans. Using their strong muscles, they are able to pull vast weights for long distances.

An adult musk ox can range from 180 to 410kg and likes to engage in a spot of head-butting when fighting off predators. Their powerful head and neck muscles can deliver a mighty blow, and those horns can do some serious damage too.

3. White rhino – can lift 800kg (approximately half their body weight)

two white rhinos fight in cloud of dust

Because they are known as herbivores, it might be easy to assume that a rhino is all show. But that would be a very dangerous mistake to make.

Adult male rhinos can weigh between 1,800 and 2,500kg, and females 1,800 to 2,000kg, which is more than your average family car. It's hard to measure how strong a white rhino is, but it is estimated that one can pull a weight of between 800 and 1100kg.

2. Gorilla – can lift 815Kg (approximately four times their body weight)

Strong gorilla looks agressive

Gorillas have massively strong arms from essentially giving themselves a constant workout. They use them to walk, climb and swing from trees daily, keeping those huge muscles toned.

Males are bigger than females and can weigh up to 200kg when fully grown. However, they don't need all this power to hunt – they live on a diet of plants and fruit. But still, probably best that you don't challenge one to an arm wrestle.

1. African bush elephant – can lift 6000kg

male elephant looks up at tree

The strongest animal in the world is the African bush elephant, which is capable of lifting 6,000kg, its own body weight from lying down. Even their trunks can lift over 200kg, thanks to over 40,000 muscles. For context, an adult humans have just over 600 muscles in their entire bodies.

The average weight for a fully-grown bull is just over 6000kg, making it the largest land animal in the world.

What is the strongest relative to its size: The Dung beetle (Over 1100 times its own body weight)

Dung beetle on large dung ball

So pushing a big pile of poo around all day is not perhaps the most glamorous of tasks. But the humble dung beetle deserves a huge amount of respect for its strength.

Thanks to its strong legs and sheer determination, a dung beetle can push a weight of up to 20kg. Considering that the average dung beetle weighs just 2g, this is pretty incredible.

So, how do these amazing creatures reward themselves? By eating the poop they have collected, or hollowing out their balls of poo to use them as a mating chamber.

Check some Guinness world records of all time here: World Records. Do you have any question or feedback about the world record above? If so please let us know here: Contact Us

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