Measuring Large

There are some huge living things in this world. How huge? Well, the world's biggest animal is 30 meters long. How big is that? It just might be fun to see. Here is what to do.

Choose an area where you can measure out some large living things. This could be a sidewalk, a driveway, a long hall, or the gym at school. Get a meter stick or a tape measure marked in metric units plus some chalk or masking tape to mark the distances on the floor or ground. Since these are big distances to measure, you might want to get someone to help you. Then measure and mark just how big some of the living things listed below really are.

African Elephant (largest land animal) 3 meters tall
Coastal Redwood Tree (tallest tree) 112 meters tall 
(This is 19 meters taller than the Statue of Liberty)
Giant Sequoia Tree (most massive tree) 33 meters around at base
Giant Squid (biggest invertebrate - animal without bones) 18 meters long
Giraffe (tallest land animal) 5.8 meters tall
Great Blue Whale (largest animal) 30 meters long
New York State champion Eastern Sycamore 34.7 meters tall
New York State champion White Pine 48 meters tall
Reticulated Python (longest snake) 9.8 meters long
Saltwater Crocodile 6.2 meters long
Wandering Albatross (bird with longest wings) 3.6 meter long wings
Whale Shark 12.6 (longest fish) meters long

If you look into the past, there were some very large living things long ago which scientists have discovered from fossils. For example, the dinosaur Apatosaurus was 21 meters long and was 4.5 meters tall at the shoulder. Tyrannosaurus rex was 12 meters long and 6 meters tall. Some other dinosaurs were even bigger. I'm glad they aren't around any more!

Do you have a favorite dinosaur or other kind of animal or plant? Look it up at the library or on the Internet to find out its size. Then measure it out on the floor or pavement. Of course, size is just one property of a living thing. Try to find out where it lives, how it gets food, how it protects itself, how it has young. Before you know it, you could be an expert on your favorite plant or animal. Have fun!

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