Whales and Elephants
Giants of modern times
Discover the largest animals of modern times and their ancestors.
The 21-meter-long skeleton of a fin whale – the second-largest animal in the world after the blue whale – impressively shows how large living animals can become even today. The fin whale and all its relatives evolved from land-dwelling mammals. The Ambulocetus from the Eocene (about 50 million years ago) is considered a transitional form of this development of whales to life in the water.
But true giants are also found on land. With a weight of up to 6.5 tons and a shoulder height of almost 4 meters, African elephants are the largest land-living animals of our time. In addition to a full-grown bull, you will also find extinct ancestors such as the American mastodon or the small dwarf elephants, which give an insight into the diverse family history of elephants.