Competitive Eaters: You Won’t Believe How Much These Animals Consume
A human will get crowned a champ if he inhales 68 hot dogs in 10 minutes. But that's nothing compared to these champion — and, in some cases, rather intrepid — eaters in the animal kingdom.
These cuddly bears can ingest between 20 to 40 pounds of bamboo per day — during mealtimes that can last up to 16 hours!
Although they can pack on up to 200 tons, blue whales live entirely on a diet of tiny marine invertebrates called krill, so they've got to eat a lot of them. Translation: They can consume four tons in a single day!
Human eating competitors may seem fast — but they're not nearly as quick as the chameleon. When this bright green critter's sticky tongue shoots out to snatch prey, it accelerates from 0 to 20 feet per second . . . in just 20 milliseconds.
In the animal kingdom, there's no size requirement for a champion eater: The brown bat is only about four inches long, and weighs less than an ounce, but he can eat 1,000 mosquitoes in a single hour.
For some critters, eating is a team sport. A single locust can consume his weight in foliage — but when they gather in swarms of up to 80 million insects, they can ingest over 4 million pounds of plant material in a day.
Spicy foods can be a competitive eater's worst nightmare — in Scotland, a hot curry competition sent two people to the hospital. But fiery foods aren't an issue for birds: Their pain receptor cells are insensitive to capsaicin, the active ingredient in peppers that brings on that mouth-burning sensation.
The strongest biter alive is the crocodile. The saltwater croc, for example, can chomp down with a force of 3,700 pounds. Their ancestors were champions as well — scientists have calculated that extinct crocodiles were able to bite twice as hard as a Tyrannosaurus rex.