The Nature has devised a food-web according to which various species belonging to the plant and animal kingdom depend on each other for survival. For instance, herbivores will eat plants and carnivores will eat herbivores whereas the decomposers will feed on all three. For this reason some animals have special features which enable them to be good attackers as well as defenders for example sharp claws, teeth, strength, or venom. The quality of being dangerous is dependent on multiple factors such as the population of animals, their aggressiveness, size, availability of an antidote for their toxins, etc. In this article we have given the most weight to an animal’s ability to fatally hurt humans as well as other animals. We have considered the term ‘animals’ in its scientific usage which includes not only land animals but also marine animals. Here is a list of top 10 most dangerous animals so you can beware in their company! Also, we have a surprise for you when you reach down the list to the number 1 most dangerous species belonging to the Kingdom Animalia!
10. Cape Buffalo
The 1.5 ton heavy African Cape Buffalo is dangerous especially due to its unpredictable nature. In addition, when it feels in danger, it uses its razor sharp horns to attack its enemy. It is listed as one of the five most dangerous animals to hunt (one of the Big Five Game) which makes it a special trophy for the most daring hunters. Due to its dangerous nature and the threat it poses to humans, it is also known as The Black Death in Africa where it is responsible for most deaths per year of the humans by an animal. Also, it is known to go after and attack the hunter who wounds it. Therefore, think twice before crossing the path of the Cape Buffalo!
9. Polar Bear
A Polar Bear is said to be the most carnivorous bear. Its diet mainly consists of ringed seals but it has also killed and fed upon bigger animals such as walruses and beluga whales. Its common hunting style is ‘still-method’ where it silently waits for its prey (the seal) and the moment it smells the seal’s breath, it uses its paw to drag the seal out and bite its head, crushing it. It is especially aggressive when its cubs are in danger and also when it encounters humans while hungry, it attacks viciously. Polar Bears can cut-off a person’s head with a single swipe of their paw. Do not let their cute look fool you!
Elephants are large mammals where the male African elephant is the largest terrestrial animal. Elephants can weigh around 16 tonnes and have large tusks which can be used as weapons. Although elephants are herbivores, they nevertheless pose a threat to the humans especially when they trample on their houses in the villages. Elephants are said to kill around 600 people every year mainly through stamping.
7. Australian Saltwater Crocodile
The Australian Saltwater Crocodile is the largest living reptile and the largest riparian predator. Its length can reach up to 23 feet. It is a terrifying predator with the strongest bite. It uses its bite to hold on to its prey while it uses its famous ‘death-roll’ to suffocate and drown its prey. It preys on not only fish but also birds, mammals, and other predators. It is said to kill about 2000 people every year.
6. African Lion
Lions are second largest cats after tigers. They are strong predators who preferably hunt in groups. They prey upon mammals mostly, including deers and buffaloes. Some male lions are said to hunt humans too where the most famous ones are the ‘Tasavo man-eaters’. These lions took away 28 railway works in Kenya (1898), spreading a wave of terror in the area. African lions are said to kill around 250 people each year.
5. Great White Shark
The Great White Shark looks like a formidable creature, reaching 20 feet in length. It is the largest predatory fish and is listed as number 1 for most attacks on humans. These sharks do not particularly target humans but most of their attacks are ‘test-bites’ where they are curious about how the human (an unfamiliar object for the shark) tastes. Since 1990, there have been 139 Great White Shark attacks on humans of which 29 proved to be fatal. Humans are not good for this shark’s digestive system so most of the human deaths occur due to blood loss.
4. Australian Box Jellyfish
The Box Jellyfish commonly refers to its most dangerous specie, Chironex fleckeri. It is known as the most venomous creature. Its 3 meter long tentacles have enough venom to kill 60 people. If untreated, its venom can cause death within a short time of 3 minutes. Often, the swimmers who get stung by this jellyfish have a cardiac arrest and drown before help can be found. However, there are hospitals and ambulances near the areas where these jellyfish are found so help should be called immediately in case of a stinging incident. It is said to have killed 5567 people since 1884.
3. Black Mamba
The Black Mamba is one of sub-Saharan Africa’s most feared snakes and the fastest land snake in the World (maximum speed is around 5.4 m/s). It is a highly aggressive snake especially when threatened and has very toxic venom. Its bite is fatal unless treated immediately and vigorously. Before the antidote was found, its bite was 100% fatal. After detecting a prey, a black mamba will freeze and then dash forward to inflict several bites, killing its prey. It not only preys on mammals and birds but also other snakes (such as Cape cobra).
The mosquito, even though, small, is very dangerous. It is the transmitter of the malaria parasite, causing around 2 million deaths every year. Other fatal diseases transmitted by mosquitoes include the yellow fever and the dengue fever. Prevention from these diseases is linked with effective eradication of mosquitoes. Mosquito repellants, insecticides, and clearance of stagnant water where mosquito larvae grow are some of the preventive methods.
1. Man (Referring to the human species in general)
Man, belonging to the kingdom Animilia, is the most dangerous species; foremost reason being its free-will and its agency. Man is not only responsible for destroying his environment (leading to global warming and destruction of habitats of various species), killing other animals, and killing fellow men, but most dangerously he is responsible for the heinous acts which no other species can commit. It is man who commits rape, who has devised ways of torture, who has committed genocide in the name of ethnic cleansing, and in addition, who has devised the atomic bomb. No other species seem to match the vast extent of atrocities that man has and is capable of committing; therefore, it is the most dangerous animal on this planet.