VOICE OVER: Peter DeGiglio WRITTEN BY: Garrett Alden
You don't want to tangle with these deadly creatures. For this list, we'll be looking at animals that are known to be the most hostile on Earth…besides humans, that is. Our countdown includes Tasmanian Devil, Black Mamba, Wolverine, and more!
Top 10 Most Aggressive Animals in the World
Welcome to WatchMojo and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the top 10 most aggressive animals in the world.
For this list, we’ll be looking at animals that are known to be the most hostile on Earth…besides humans, that is.
If there’s an intimidating creature we forgot, no need to get aggressive… just tell us about it in the comments!
#10: Tasmanian Devil
When an animal inspires a famous cartoon character best described as a slobbering tornado of chaos, chances are that said creature is intimidating in real life too! Tasmanian devils are carnivorous marsupials native primarily to the island of Tasmania off the coast of Australia. While they aren’t particularly aggressive towards humans, amongst themselves and other animals, they can be incredibly fierce—especially when competing for mates and food.Their powerful smell and blood-curdling howls should be enough to scare other creatures away. But if not, it’s worth noting that they also have one of the strongest bite forces relative to total body mass in the animal kingdom.
#9: Black Rhinoceros
Black rhinos may seem laidback at first glance, but they can put those impressive horns to deadly use. Nervous and aggressive when threatened, black rhinos typically respond to threats by charging straight at them. It’s something that more than a few tourists have learned firsthand. These big mammals can move surprisingly fast too, up to 35 miles per hour! Black rhinos are known to lock horns with one another come mating season. They actually have one of the highest death rates from combat amongst all mammals; approximately half of all males and a third of all females die fighting one another throughout their lifespan.
#8: Saltwater Crocodile
So it turns out that these huge reptiles that can grow up to 20 feet long, weigh over a ton and have huge mouths full of teeth are rather aggressive – go figure! Native to the coastlines and islands of southeast Asia and Northern Australia, the saltwater crocodile might look lethargic for much of the time, but when they’re active, watch out! They have the most powerful bite force of any living animal and can move with surprising speed. They’re also highly territorial and won’t hesitate to attack anything that encroaches on their turf, including humans.
#7: Least Weasel
Found all over the Northern Hemisphere, least weasels are small carnivores that typically measure less than a foot in length. But despite their small size, these weasels are very aggressive – it’s honestly essential to their survival. They need to eat 30 to 50% of their body weight every day, which leads them to most of the potential prey they come across, even if it’s several times their size. Even having a full stomach won’t stop least weasels from attacking, their bloodlust is that ingrained. While they generally don’t attack humans, anything smaller than the average dog is a target for these wily little hunters.
One of the largest living birds after ostriches and emus, the cassowary mostly eats fruit (and the occasional small animal). But it’s still considered one of the deadliest birds on Earth. Native to the islands of Oceania and Australia, cassowaries look like living dinosaurs and they’re almost as dangerous. Although generally non-confrontational, if they feel provoked or threatened, they will attack with their powerful legs and sharp claws, which can easily cause lethal wounds. Given how fast they are, you won’t be able to outrun them—so keep your distance! Thankfully, they tend to inhabit deep rainforests, where their coloring makes them stand out.
#5: African Buffalo
When it comes to the most dangerous animals in Africa, the African Buffalo (or cape buffalo) is probably not the first one that comes to mind. Yet these large, horned herd animals are reportedly responsible for hundreds of deaths a year! They’re nicknamed “the black death,” and like a plague, they can attack without warning. Their distinctive horns can kill just as easily as a rhino’s and they’re also quite quick on their hooves when the mood takes them.These buffalos are also said to hold a grudge; if you injure or threaten them, they may even remember you later on—or so the stories go. These impressive creatures have even been known to kill lions.
Hippos are semi-aquatic mammals that, while soft and non-threatening in appearance, are still one of the deadliest mammals in Africa. Their huge jaws and massive teeth can easily prove lethal to humans and any other animals they attack. Although their diet doesn’t usually include meat and they tend to be more placid on land, hippos are prone to overturning boats on rivers; attacking passengers who fall out of them. They’re estimated to be responsible for somewhere between 500 and 3000 deaths annually. Hippos’ large size and tremendous bite also makes them more than a match for most predators. Basically, don’t go near them unless you’re willing to risk being chomped!
#3: Black Mamba
Venomous snakes, in general, tend to be pretty trigger happy with those lightning-fast weapons embedded in their mouths. But black mambas are especially dangerous. Although, like most animals, they won’t attack unless provoked or threatened, black mambas’ venom is an extremely potent neurotoxin. When they strike humans, the neurotoxin can result in symptoms within minutes and death within a matter of hours. This timeline is shorter if they strike multiple times—which is all too common. Their attacks on animals are far more frequent, and they have few predators. Animals that target black mambas tend not to live very long…except our top pick.
A relative of the weasel, wolverines are the size of dogs and are famous for their ferocity. Native to the far north worldwide, wolverines are generally scavengers. Still, in a cold climate there is plenty of competition among predators and they have been known to stand up to larger foes, like wolves and bears. Wolverines will eat anything and everything – seriously, they’re not above eating bones and teeth. They’re also known to attack prey many times their size, like deer and moose. Thankfully, they aren’t known for killing humans, but we’d still be wary about approaching one.
Before we get to our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions:
These Big Pigs Can Attack & Gore You with Surprising Speed If Threatened
Small but Fiercely Territorial, The Mammals Have Even Attacked Pets & Humans
Africanized Bee [aka “Killer Bee”]
Honey Bees That Sting in Greater Numbers & Follow You Farther? No, Thanks!
Their Noses Seem Silly, But These Huge Seals Engage in Deadly Fights Come Mating Season
These Sharks Can Survive in Freshwater, Leading to Greater Numbers of Attacks Up Rivers
#1: Honey Badger
If there’s one animal that punches above its weight class, it’s the honey badger. While only a few feet long, honey badgers are known to fight off huge predators, like lions and leopards. That aggressive behavior and complete lack of fear is probably due to how well-adapted the honey badger’s body is. Its skin is both loose and incredibly durable, allowing it to escape uninjured from the jaws of larger animals. Honey badgers are also remarkably resistant to snake venom and insect stings. Like the memes say, honey badgers don’t give a-…what do you mean we can’t say that word? But seriously, honey badgers are little badasses.