Have you ever been so hungry that you were sure you could swallow your lunch whole? There are some animals who are capable of doing just that, others eat so much that they need their teeth replaced at different intervals in their lifetime. We’ve put together a list of animals that could take a bite out of you in our list of top 10 animals with the largest mouths.
Snakes are known for being able to open their mouths up to 150 degrees. Contrary to popular belief, snakes don’t actually ᴅɪsʟᴏᴄᴀᴛᴇ their jaws when they eat larger prey, instead the lower jaws exist in two parts that are connected by a stretchy ligament, these two jaws are not attached to the sᴋᴜʟʟ but rather to two pivots on either side of the sᴋᴜʟʟ. Anacondas are known to eat capybara – the world’s largest rodents, and in some cases, white tailed deer.
The Australian Pelican
The Australian Pelican has the largest bill of all birds in the world. At 6 feet, the pelican’s bill can hold up to 13 litres of water. Pelicans generally catch their prey by scooping fish into their bills, then tipping forward to drain the water before swallowing the fish whole. However, some pelicans wrestle or trick other birds into dropping their prey and then catching them in their bills.
The Deep Sea Angler Fish
These luminescent fish are able to ᴅɪsᴛᴇɴᴅ their jaws and stomachs thanks to the flexibility of their bones. They are capable of eating things that are up to twice their own size. Living at approximately 3000 feet, with round bodies that are shaped much like basketballs they are at least 5 inches in size.
The Basking Shark
This rare, gigantic fish grows up to 40 feet and has a 3-foot-wide mouth. The basking shark feeds much like a whale by opening its mouth and filtering large amounts of plankton in as it sends the water back out. Though it travels in large groups and in all temperate oceans, this shark is extremely elusive and has only been tagged a total of 3 times in the entire pacific.
The African Elephant
At 13 feet tall, it comes as no surprise that the African Elephant would need to eat at least 250 kilograms of food a day. The elephant’s 2 meter wide mouth has 4 of the largest teeth in the world. Chewing through that much food has a definite effect on elephant’s teeth which get worn down and replaced approximately six times in their lifetimes.
Often nicknamed the “vampire” fish due to its 6 inch long fangs on its lower jaw, the payara fish feeds on piranha! Native to the Amazon basin these fish grow up to 4 feet and weigh around 17 kilograms. The payara impale their prey before swallowing them whole and their “vampire” teeth have special “slots” on the top of their jaw so that theydon’t s.ᴛ.ᴀ.ʙ themselves in the in the face every time they close their mouth.
The Argentinian Horned Frog
Also known as the Argentinian wide mouthed frog, these ᴀɢɢʀᴇssɪᴠᴇ creatures are known to eat or at least try to eat, almost anything that crosses their path – no matter how big. Growing up to 6 inches and having mouths that grow almost half the size of that the horned frog, oddly, makes for a popular pet. Feeding mostly on live locusts in captivity, in the wild, they eat everything from insects to rodent’s, lizards and even small birds.
These somewhat adorable water dwelling mammals are gifted with some truly ᴛᴇʀʀɪꜰying mouths. 2 feet wide at the lip, 36 razor sharp teeth with 2 foot long tusks and the capability of opening their jaws like snakes at 150 degrees, I’d definitely not want to be in the way of a hungry, hungry hippo.
The Saltwater Crocodile
The largest croc species and largest living reptile, Saltwater crocs grow up to 20 feet. Crocodile jaws have at least 24 teeth that they use for gripping and crushing but not chewing – instead, crocodiles swallow stones to help grind food in their digestive tracts. Crocodiles also sweat through their mouths, so the next time you see one on a riverbed with its mouth open, you better give that guy some air.
The Bowhead Whale
Holding the Guinness world record and our number one spot for largest mouth is the Bowhead Whale. This dorsal fin-lacking whale grows up to 60 feet with a mouth that is 13 feet wide, 16 feet long and opens up to 8 feet. With a tongue that weighs roughly 1 ton, the Bowhead consumes up to 2 tons of plankton a day.