What Animal Eats the Most? 7 Most Hungry Animals That Eat a Lot of Food

Last updated on November 4th, 2022

What animal eats the most? I’m sure that this question has crossed your mind at least once.

Has it ever happened when an intriguing question started you on research that helped you discover new facts? It occurred to me when my students began asking questions about the animal kingdom, but first, here is a quick overview of what you are looking for.

Animals that eat a lot of food:

  • Hippos
  • African Elephants
  • Blue Whales
  • Pigs
  • Sharks
  • Bears
  • Giraffes
  • Buffalos
  • Rhinos

Second and third-graders are pretty curious about the world around them, and some of my third-grade students came up with the notion that herbivores are fat!

I didn’t understand what they meant, so I asked and they said that they’ve found several animals that eat a lot of food, many of which are herbivores.

Soon I understood it was their trick to avoid eating vegetables, and it made me laugh. But it got me thinking about several hungry animals that eat a lot of food.

List of animals that eat the most food:

1. Hippos

animals that eat grass  hippo 24 07 2021

Hippopotamuses are one of the largest animals to roam the earth. But these animals usually spend most of their time in the water.

You’ll see hippos lying in water bodies with their noses just above the surface of the water. Most of us associate hippos as being herbivores, but they’re omnivores.

Hippos prefer a plant-based diet and will avoid any animal-based food unless necessary.

This river horse usually scavenges for animal-based food if it’s unable to gather any foliage.

A Hippo eats nearly forty kilograms of food or grass each day, accounting for only 1.5 to 2 percent of its body weight.

Since a hippo spends most of its day in the water, it prevents itself from getting sunburnt.

Therefore, it has to go out at night in search of food. Its favorite food is a type of grass often called ‘hippo grasses’.

This is a short creeping grass that has both shoots and reeds. A hippo can clear a vast region of such a cluster of grass in a single night.

2. African Elephants

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If you observe the behavior of African elephants, you’ll find that these creatures spend most of their time eating.

An African bush elephant is the largest land mammal, and it needs to consume sufficient food to maintain its body weight.

It’s said that an African elephant can consume nearly three hundred pounds of food daily. However, the elephant doesn’t digest all the food that it consumes.

Instead, it can digest only thirty to sixty percent of the food that it consumes. 

3. Blue Whales

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Blue whales are the largest mammal on earth, and these giant cetaceans need to consume a substantial amount of food to fulfill their energy requirement.

A blue whale can reach up to a length of thirty meters and weigh around four hundred thousand pounds.

Now imagine such a massive creature that spends all its time swimming in the ocean, which means it must exhaust a large amount of energy.

To supplement the power loss, the whale has to consume a large amount of food, i.e. krill. These are small crustaceans that resemble shrimps.

A fully grown blue whale can consume four tonnes of krill every day and the enormous size of the whale makes it necessary to consume a large amount of food regularly.

Therefore, it’s essential to maintain body weight and ensure that the creature gets sufficient energy.

4. Pigs

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If you have observed the eating behavior of pigs, you’ll find that the creature is always grunting and is in search of food.

Pigs are omnivores as they eat plants and small animals. In the wild, pigs will act as scavengers as well.

But whether the creature is domesticated or is growing in the wild, you’ll always find that the pig eats a lot of food.

One of the main reasons for the appetite of pigs is that the animal grows very fast. Compared to the growth rate of other mammals, the growth of pigs is much higher.

As a result, the animal needs to consume significantly more food to provide energy for its high growth rate.

Studies have shown that pigs eat as much as four times the amount of carbohydrates that a human does.

They need food to fuel their high metabolism. They don’t follow any particular diet in the wild, but pigs need to be provided good food and in sizeable amounts when domesticated.

5. Sharks

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Almost all sharks are carnivores, and they are cold-blooded creatures.

However, that doesn’t mean that sharks don’t need to consume a large amount of food to maintain their body weight or maintain their temperature.

Sharks are excellent swimmers. They use a lot of energy in swimming and this needs to be supplemented.

Sharks usually increase this by consuming a significantly large amount of food.

Although it’s common knowledge that there are certain phases when sharks can go without food, they’ll consume food continuously when they enter the eating phase.

It has been estimated that a shark can consume thirty kilograms of food every day.

The metabolic rate of sharks is significantly higher than other cold-blooded animals, which is another reason a shark needs to consume a large amount of food daily.

6. Bears

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Bears are omnivores which means they can follow a plant and an animal-based diet.

Therefore, bears are expected to consume a lot of food and can also be excellent hunters if necessary.

But one of the reasons why a bear speeds up its consumption is before the onset of winter.

Certain species of bears like the grizzly bear hibernate during winter, which means it needs to store fat to help them survive through winter.

To build the necessary layer of fat, the bear needs to consume a significantly higher amount of food.

So before hibernation, you’ll find some bears going in search of fat-rich food to help them build the necessary stock of fat to survive the winter months.

Even the bears that don’t hibernate often consume a significantly higher amount of food.

This is necessary to maintain the body weight of the animal and ensure that its energy levels are reduced.

7. Giraffes

giraffe reaching for leaves on tree branch

Giraffes are large herbivorous creatures which means that they depend on the leaves of trees to help them maintain their body weight.

They also need to ensure that their body generates sufficient energy to support their movement.

For all of these, a giraffe needs to consume nearly thirty-four kilograms of leaves every day.

An adult giraffe can weigh anywhere between five hundred and fifty to one thousand and two hundred kilograms.

To maintain this massive weight, the giraffe needs to consume food regularly. This is why you’ll see that a giraffe is constantly foraging for food and chewing on leaves.

The favorite food of a giraffe is the leaves of the acacia plant. The giraffe will travel quite a distance to find the leaves of the plant. 

Which animals eat the most?

The most common animals that eat a lot of food are hippos, African elephants, blue whales, pigs, sharks, bears, giraffes, buffalos, and rhinos.

What animal spends the most time eating?

Pigs, sharks, hippos, elephants, and whales are known for spending the most time eating because their hunting instincts or survival mode is always on.

What land animal eats the most in a day?

Elephants eat the most in a day because they are known to consume an average of 340 pounds of foliage on land daily.

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