Kruger National Park

Small five – The Gentle Giant

Most of us think of a large mammal when we hear “strongest animal”, definitely not insects. You will be surprised to hear that the Rhino Beetle – pound for pound – is one of the strongest animals in the world. Why do you ask?
An adult elephant can lift about 25 times its own weight but this large beetle can lift 850 times its own body weight. Cool, right?
These nocturnal gentle giants feed mostly on rotting fruits, tree sap, and wood from decaying trees. They are also kept as pets – mostly in Asia (How’s that for “something different”).

Over 300 species of Rhino Beetles are known to man and the Hercules Beetle being in this category can reach 6 inches (15 cm) in length. It is known to be the largest beetle in the world and it definitely deserves the title.
These ginormous beetles are part of the Scarab Beetle family and have two sets of wings which allow them to fly, but don’t worry! They are totally harmless to humans… unless one flies into you.

These beetles can be found almost anywhere in the world but I believe that they should be given more credit for how remarkable they really are.


Written by: Tersha van Staden