Home Animals 10 Animals With Big Feet (Pictures & Foot Length Included)

10 Animals With Big Feet (Pictures & Foot Length Included)

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African Elephant vs. Giraffe

The animal kingdom is filled with a plethora of fascinating creatures, each with its own distinct physical features. While some animals boast oversized ears or large noses, others have developed unusually large feet. 

While some animals have large feet simply because of their overall sizes, like elephants and ostriches, others have disproportionately large feet in relation to their body size. Here are some amazing animals with big feet to get acquainted with.

List of Animals With Big Feet

    Elephants

    elephant-Vs-hippo

    Scientific Name: Loxodonta
    Type of Animal: Mammal
    Foot Length: 15 – 19 inches

     Found in Africa and Asia, elephants are the largest land mammals on Earth. While both species are similar, the Asian elephant is smaller in size, weighing approximately 2,000 pounds, compared to the African elephant, which can weigh up to 13,000 pounds.

    To support their massive bodies, elephants have powerful legs and big feet that measure between 15 to 19 inches long. However, what may appear to be a small foot size for an animal of their size, their foot circumference is more than four feet, almost the same height as a young child.

    Elephants’ feet feature five toes, but not every toe has a nail. The purpose of the nails is to protect the fatty tissue within their feet. In addition, elephants have cushion pads in their feet, which help distribute their enormous weight.

    Interestingly, elephants use their feet to communicate with each other. By stomping on the ground, they can send vibrations to their nearby family members.

    Ostriches

    Scientific Name: Struthio
    Type of Animal: Bird
    Foot Length: 15 – 21 inches

    The African plains and woodlands are home to the largest flightless bird on the planet – the ostriches. These birds have an average weight of 140 to 309 pounds and can run at a top speed of 43 miles per hour. Ostriches have unique running abilities due to their springy steps, which generate twice the human power, thanks to elastic energy stored in their tendons. 

    Their massive feet, in addition to their long legs, allow them to grip comfortably on uneven terrain, enhancing their running efficiency. Surprisingly, ostriches are the only birds that have two toes, with the larger toe supporting their weight, and the smaller one balancing them during running.

    Jacanas

    Jacanas

    Scientific Name: Jacanidae
    Type of Animal: Bird
    Foot Length: 2.5 – 3 inches

    The jacana has proportionally large feet thanks to its elongated toes. These water birds are commonly found in swamps, shallow lakes, and lagoons across the Americas, Australia, Asia, and Africa. Their toes can measure up to 3 inches in length, which is crucial for their ability to walk on lily pads and distribute their weight evenly on the surface. 

    Jacanas spend most of their time hunting for insects and fish in the water, and their unique adaptation helps them move with ease. They are also known as “Jesus birds” and “Lily trotters” because they appear to be walking on water from a distance.

    Polar Bears

    strongest-bear-species

    Scientific Name: Ursus maritimus
    Type of Animal: Mammal
    Foot Length: 10 – 12 inches

     Polar bears are one of the largest bear species that inhabit the Arctic region and are well-known for their dangerous nature. These creatures can grow up to 8 feet tall and weigh around 990 pounds. Despite their size, they can reach speeds of 25 miles per hour, thanks to their large and sturdy feet that support their massive body weight.

    Like other bear species, Polar bears have five toes in their front and hind paws. Their paws act as snowshoes, distributing their weight as they move across snow and ice. Their partially webbed feet also aid in swimming and better weight distribution. Furthermore, Polar bears have non-retractable claws, which assist them in running, climbing, and catching prey.

    Jerboas

    Scientific Name: Dipodidae
    Type of Animal: Mammal
    Foot Length: 1.2 – 1.9 inches

     Jerboas are tiny rodents found in hot regions of North Africa, Europe, and Asia, surviving on desert vegetation. Despite their small size of up to 5.9 inches, jerboas possess disproportionately large feet and long legs, earning them the nickname “hopping desert rodents.” 

    With their massive feet, they can jump up to 10 feet, almost 200 times their body height, making them fast movers and able to avoid potential threats. Their front legs may look useless at first glance, but they play a vital role in balancing the animal while jumping, along with their long tails.

    Kangaroos

    how strong are kangaroos

    Scientific Name: Macropodidae
    Type of Animal: Mammal
    Foot Length: 10 – 18 inches

    Kangaroos are enormous marsupials that reside in various regions of Australia, Tasmania, and adjacent islets. They inhabit diverse habitats, such as forests, plains, woodlands, and savannas.

    Kangaroos are the most prominent species in the marsupial family, and they can weigh up to 200 pounds and stand as tall as 8 feet.

    Out of all the animals on the list, kangaroos are the most recognized for their significant feet. They are part of the Macropod family, which means “big foot” in translation. Their feet are a crucial adaptation for hopping or bouncing from one place to another. They can jump as high as 30 feet due to their remarkable physical traits.

    Furthermore, kangaroos use their massive feet as their primary weapon against predators and to fight with other kangaroos. They have smaller and less developed front legs, primarily used for cleaning.

    Emus 

     Animals With Big Feet

    Scientific Name: Dromaius novaehollandiae
    Type of Animal: Bird
    Foot Length: 8 – 12 inches

     The emu, like its relative the ostrich, is a flightless bird with large toes, but it has some distinct features. Unlike ostriches, emus have three toes on each foot, with sharp claws on each toe. Their feet are also relatively large, measuring up to 12 inches in length.

    Interestingly, emus have the strongest calf muscles among all bird species. They can use their powerful legs and sharp toes to kick and defend themselves from predators. Emus can also run at speeds up to 31 miles per hour and jump up to 7 feet per stride.

    Snowshoe Hares

    Snowshoe Hares

    Scientific Name: Lepus americanus
    Type of Animal: Mammal
    Foot Length: 4.6 – 5.8 inches

     Snowshoe hares, also known as varying hares, are commonly found in North America. Their large, long hind feet enable them to walk on top of the snow, which earned them the name “snowshoe.” It also makes them excellent swimmers. Despite their big feet, snowshoe hares are agile animals that can hop at speeds of up to 27 miles per hour. Their powerful legs and feet allow them to jump as high as ten feet.

    Snowshoe hares also have the ability to change the colour of their fur every season, shedding their white fur in the spring and growing brown fur for the summer. As autumn arrives, their brown fur starts shedding in preparation for the growth of their white coat. This adaptation is helpful for their survival against predators such as lynxes and great-horned owls.

    Water-Running Basilisks

    Water-Running Basilisks

    Scientific Name: Basiliscus basiliscus
    Type of Animal: Reptile
    Foot Length: N/A

     The water-running basilisk, also called the basilisk lizard, is a remarkable reptile that is capable of walking on water. These lizards are found in the tropical forests of Mexico and South America. Due to their unique skill, they are also called “Jesus Christ lizards.” The long toes in their hind feet are responsible for this incredible ability. 

    These toes have fringes of skin that allow the water to spread out and increase the surface area of the foot as soon as it touches the water. Basilisk lizards don’t walk on water, instead, they slap their feet on the surface of the water. However, they can only travel for several yards on the water before they sink underwater.

    American Coots

    American Coots

    Scientific Name: Fulica americana
    Type of Animal: Bird
    Foot Length: N/A

     American coots, aquatic birds, are another fascinating species with sizable feet. They typically inhabit large ponds, lakes, and sluggish rivers, mostly located in lower elevations. Although they have full-black feathers and white beaks, when they swim, they resemble ordinary ducks.

    American coots possess toed feet that do not have webbing, which may appear unusual. Nonetheless, this adaptation allows them to traverse different surfaces, such as mud, grass, and ice. Unlike the previously mentioned birds, American coots have four toes, with three in front and one in the back.

    FAQs

    Which animal has big feet?

    The Kangaroo

    What bird has big feet?

    African Jacanas

    Why do some animals have big feet?

    The enormous size of large animals requires substantial foot padding to cushion the impact of their weight. Based on the size of their footprints, sauropod dinosaurs – herbivorous giants – had massive feet that were fleshy, tough-skinned, and cushioned with thick pads, similar to the feet of present-day elephants.

    What animal has the longest toe?

    Aye-Aye

    Final Words

    We have reached the end of our compilation of animals with big feet. While some of these creatures are generally big, others have relatively large feet when compared to their body size.

    Although there are numerous animals with large feet, ostriches hold the record for having the largest feet of all. However, when it comes to body size proportion, jacanas possess the largest feet of any animal on earth.

    Reference:

    Author Profile
    Zahra Makda
    Wildlife Enthusiast | Explorer at Animals Research

    Growing up enjoying the beauty of my village, a good passion for nature developed in me from childhood. Following my passion for the natural world, I have chosen zoology for my graduation, during my undergraduate degree, I participated in many nature trails, bird watching, rescues, training for wildlife conservation, workshop, and seminars on biodiversity. I have a keen interest in invertebrate biology, herpetology, and ornithology. Primary interests include studies on taxonomy, ecology, habitat and behavior.

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    Growing up enjoying the beauty of my village, a good passion for nature developed in me from childhood. Following my passion for the natural world, I have chosen zoology for my graduation, during my undergraduate degree, I participated in many nature trails, bird watching, rescues, training for wildlife conservation, workshop, and seminars on biodiversity. I have a keen interest in invertebrate biology, herpetology, and ornithology. Primary interests include studies on taxonomy, ecology, habitat and behavior.

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