9. Giant Pandas
People commonly view giant pandas (Ailuropoda melanoleuca) as cuddly gentle giants, and this misconception is partially due to their adorable little faces, and roly poly ways, plus cartoons and movies make them even cuter! Even watching them in captivity they seem to be nothing but nice.
Perhaps best known for their long beaks and enormous pouch in their throat, pelicans are pretty big birds! The brown pelican is the largest pelican species. With wingspans of up to almost 10 feet (3 meters), these skilled hunters swoop down to the water from great heights and scoop up fish using their enormous mouths.
Hope this isn’t too scary for you! Dolphins have a friendly reputation, thanks largely to their use for entertainment in aquatic theme parks. Many of these establishments offer visitors -- including children -- the opportunity to interact or even swim with dolphins.
Seals Another animal that looks adorable and friendly, but should be approached with caution -- or, actually, not at all -- is the leopard seal. Native to the Southern Ocean, it’s the only known seal species that regularly hunts and kills warm-blooded prey.
5. Cone Snails
Snails don’t seem like dangerous creatures, for the obvious reason that most of them are tiny -- so small, in fact, that we often don’t even notice them around us as we go about our day. And, even if we notice them, we tend not to feel particularly threatened by them.
There are only two bird species known to be a very real and dangerous threat to humans: ostriches and cassowaries. Distantly related to emus, cassowaries are large, flightless birds native to tropical habitats of Australia and Southeast Asia. There are three species of cassowary, and they vary in size, with the largest specimens standing as tall as 6 feet, 6 inches (2 meters) and weighing up to 132 pounds (60 kg).
Elephants are quite obviously massive, so it’s easy to understand that they are certainly capable of inflicting great damage. But they’re vegetarians who do not attack animals for their food, and they also have a widespread reputation as gentle giants, both in the wild and in captivity, so at the same time, it’s difficult to picture an elephant wanting to cause harm, let alone actually doing it.
You’re probably familiar with the bird species known as a roadrunner based on the Looney Tunes cartoon. You know, the one that always outsmarted Wile E Coyote. Formally known as the greater roadrunner (Geococcyx californianus), these birds don’t really look like the cartoon, but they can run at up to 20 miles per hour (32 km/hr), making them one of few avian species that are fast enough to catch and kill a rattlesnake!
1. Giant Anteater
Native to the highlands of Central and South America, giant anteaters are insectivores, and they also have no teeth, as well as bad hearing and vision; so, even if they do grow up to seven feet (2.1 meters) long, they seem pretty harmless.