What Is The Tallest Animal That's Ever Existed?

Animals come in all shapes and sizes. For proof, just look at the massive difference between you and a daddy long-legs. However, if there's one factoid that any science-crazed kid will tell you, it's that Earth used to host a lot more giant beasts than it does today, and even today's everyday animals were terrifyingly big in prehistoric times

Now, it's easy enough to compare the sheer size and weight differences between animals, to figure out which one was the biggest in history (and if you're curious about that competition, well, National Geographic gives the award to the blue whale). However, it's a bit trickier to narrow down which creature was the tallest. Because while animals can't cheat the system with vanity height floors or radio antennas, unlike skyscrapers, most of the super-tall ones are now just fossils, meaning that this whole shebang is something of a guessing game. 

Giraffes are the tallest creatures alive

First off, though, what's the tallest animal alive today? 

On that count, nothing comes close to giraffes. Giraffes are blessed with proportions every bit as tall and skinny as that one groovy dude in your junior high who was already 6'2", albeit, with much longer necks. According to Live Science, male giraffes grow up to 18 feet, while females shoot for 14. A newborn giraffe pops out of the womb at a starting height of six feet (!), and they can grow up to an inch a day. Much of a giraffe's height comes from its crazy neck, of course, but fascinatingly enough, a 2015 study points out that, long ago, giraffes used to have much smaller necks. Weird. The second tallest animals alive today are elephants, according to Business Insider, which can grow to 13 feet tall. 

That said, how do these modern day goliaths stack up next to their prehistoric competition?

Compared to this dude, the giraffe was a shrimp

The tallest creature to ever pound its massive feet into Earth's soil was, obviously, a dinosaur. But which one? 

Dino newbies might say Brontosaurus, while more informed ones would go for Brachiosaurus or Diplodocus, but in reality, none of these colossal creatures were the tallest. According to the BBC, the tallest dinosaur yet discovered was a creature named Sauroposeidon proteles, pictured above, which is believed to have stood around 55 feet tall. Yeah, it would tower over your house, and yeah, with a name like Sauroposeidon, you know it was one tough mofo.  

To be clear, that height estimate is just that — an estimate — because there's not a lot of fossil evidence around for these guys. Intriguingly enough, while Sauroposeidon was possibly the tallest dinosaur of them all, it definitely wasn't the longest: On that count, the 111-foot Supersaurus has it beat. The reason that Sauroposeidon holds the record in height, for now, is because of its ridiculously oversized neck.