Monkey

Quiz Monkey
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Science
Natural History
Superlatives

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Superlatives

This page is part of my campaign to restore the proper meaning of the word "superlative". This word has come to be used in the media – particularly in the sports media – for any word that suggests excellence (as in "I'm running out of superlatives").  I hope and trust, dear reader, that as a user of this website you will understand what I'm on about. If not, here's a hint: which three–letter suffix occurs at least once in virtually every item in the table below – usually in the first word?

(There is one exception, that I can see, and it's the one that starts with the word "Most" – there being no such word as "poisonousest".)

But to return to the matter in hand ... the following descriptions refer to the world's most (whatever) unless otherwise stated.

Largest nocturnal mammal – a member of the lemur family Click to show or hide the answer
Largest wingspan (bird) Click to show or hide the answer
Britain's largest carnivorous wild animal Click to show or hide the answer
Largest member of the grass family Click to show or hide the answer
Largest fish living off the British coast Click to show or hide the answer
Largest rodent found in Europe Click to show or hide the answer
Smallest bird (native to Cuba); also claims most other superlatives for smallness (smallest egg, fewest feathers, smallest nest - but see Vervain hummingbird) Click to show or hide the answer
Fastest snake Click to show or hide the answer
Largest living creature, now or ever Click to show or hide the answer
Heaviest bird capable of flight: Great (European) or Kori (African) variety of Click to show or hide the answer
Largest plant Click to show or hide the answer
Largest rodent Click to show or hide the answer
Fastest thing on four legs (over short distances) Click to show or hide the answer
Biggest invertebrate animal – even bigger than the giant squid! (One was accidentally caught in Antarctica in 2014) Click to show or hide the answer
Britain's smallest reptile Click to show or hide the answer
Heaviest flying bird, and largest bird of prey Click to show or hide the answer
Britain's largest freshwater crustacean: related to the lobsters (order Decapoda) Click to show or hide the answer
Most poisonous (not venomous) fish Click to show or hide the answer
Largest antelope Click to show or hide the answer
Longest gestation period (610 days – 1 year 8 months) Click to show or hide the answer
Largest seal Click to show or hide the answer
Largest penguin Click to show or hide the answer
Second largest flightless bird (after the ostrich) Click to show or hide the answer
Smallest horse (bred in Argentina) Click to show or hide the answer
The smallest type of fox (native to the Sahara) Click to show or hide the answer
Largest spider, by leg span (see also goliath birdeater) Click for more information Click to show or hide the answer
Largest (living) invertebrate; largest eye of any living creature (16" diameter) Click to show or hide the answer
Tallest mammal, and highest blood pressure Click to show or hide the answer
Britain's smallest native (i.e. regularly breeding) bird Click to show or hide the answer
Largest frog (native to Cameroon and Equatorial Guinea – named after a biblical character) Click for more information Click to show or hide the answer
Largest spider, by mass and body size (but see huntsman) Click to show or hide the answer
Britain's largest carnivore (trick question alert!) Click to show or hide the answer
Largest flatfish Click to show or hide the answer
Europe's smallest rodent (note: a shrew is not a rodent) Click to show or hide the answer
Most widely distributed mammal (found on all seven continents, including Antarctica) Click to show or hide the answer
Bird with the smallest egg – according to Guinness World Records (native to Jamaica) Click to show or hide the answer
Largest member of the cat family native to the Americas Click to show or hide the answer
Largest crab Click to show or hide the answer
Longest venomous snake (up to twenty feet) Click to show or hide the answer
Largest egg in proportion to the size of the adult; also the smallest ratite, but not the smallest flightless bird – the Inaccessible Island rail is smaller Click for more information Click to show or hide the answer
Largest lizard Click for more information Click to show or hide the answer
Largest member of the kingfisher family Click to show or hide the answer
Largest turtle (of 8 species) Click to show or hide the answer
Largest species of monkey; name means "man–ape" Click to show or hide the answer
Europe's smallest falcon (slightly larger than a blackbird) Click to show or hide the answer
Largest deer Click to show or hide the answer
Britain's largest native (i.e. regularly breeding) wild bird (also has most feathers!) Click to show or hide the answer
Britain's largest bat Click for more information Click to show or hide the answer
Closest relative of the giraffe Click to show or hide the answer
Fastest thing on two legs; tallest and heaviest bird; largest egg (bird) Click to show or hide the answer
Fastest living creature (when stooping) Click to show or hide the answer
Britain's smallest and commonest native bat Click for more information Click to show or hide the answer
Largest land carnivore (both the same size, and bigger than the grizzly) Click to show or hide the answer
Smallest rodent ("possibly" – Wikipedia) Click to show or hide the answer
Britain's smallest mammal Click to show or hide the answer
Largest member of the crow family Click to show or hide the answer
Britain's largest wild animal Click to show or hide the answer
Britain's fastest wild animal; Britain's smallest species of deer (excluding the artificially introduced muntjac) Click to show or hide the answer
Largest amphibian Click to show or hide the answer
Largest reptile Click to show or hide the answer
Largest member of the cat family (a.k.a. North China tiger, Amur tiger, Manchurian tiger, or Korean tiger) Click to show or hide the answer
Britain's largest reptile (excluding snakes) Click to show or hide the answer
Heaviest and most complex brain Click to show or hide the answer
The largest carnivore that ever lived (bigger than Giganotosaurus or Gigantosaurus) Click to show or hide the answer
Britain's largest beetle: Latin name Lucanus servus, now quite rare; typically 2" long, but can be up to 4.5" Click to show or hide the answer
Fastest bird in level flight: Guinness Book of Records is non–committal; Guinness Book of Lists 1999 says Click to show or hide the answer
Largest carnivorous marsupial, since the extinction of the thylacine or Tasmanian wolf (1936) Click to show or hide the answer
Largest fish Click to show or hide the answer
Britain's largest bird (wingspan) – lives on the west coast of Scotland Click to show or hide the answer
Largest land–based member of the weasel family; a.k.a. glutton or carcajou (giant otter is largest of all) Click to show or hide the answer

© Haydn Thompson 2017