03/04/2012 10:39 am ET

Biggest, Fastest, Deadliest: World's Most Extreme Animals (PHOTOS)

Among animals, the blue whale is the biggest and the cheetah is the fastest runner— most of us have known this since grade school. But many of the extremes of the animal kingdom aren't so majestic, and some are downright creepy. Did you know the coconut crab, the world's largest invertebrate on dry land, can catch rats and is thought to have scavenged Amelia Earhart's body? How about the giant tortoise Adwaita, who was older than the United States when he died in 2003? We asked the experts at the Smithsonian National Zoological Park for more extreme animals. Keep clicking for 12 their picks.

World's Most Extreme Animals


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