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Is the lion the real King of the Jungle?

21st February 2013 Print

The lion has been sitting on its laurels for a long time. Often called ‘The King of the Jungle’ we wonder if there isn’t a better contender for this title, seeing as lions live on African savannahs, not in the rainforest! Doesn’t really make sense, when you think about it, does it?

Lions, it’s time for you to abdicate your crown. Now let us introduce the heirs to the jungle throne:

Poison Dart Frog

This brightly coloured frog certainly has the bravado to draw attention to itself; and with a good reason too. Poison Dart Frogs got their name because their toxic fluids were used to tip weapons back in the day, making them exceptionally deadly for enemies. The poison is secreted through the skin, so they can pretty much do what they want.

Predators are few and far between, excluding the Amazon ground snake which has developed immunity to their toxins. Watch out for the phyllobates terribilis ‘golden poison frog.’ These little guys are the most poisonous frogs in the entire species. Trust us, you really don’t want to strike gold in the Amazon.

Bengal Tiger

Largest members of the cat family, these massive felines are famous for their power and strength. Hunted for trophies, these princes of the jungle could take on a full grown lion, but unfortunately not the brutality of poachers. Currently endangered, these lone beasts generally avoid humans but can eat up to 60 pounds in one night!

Green Anaconda

Somehow, this 22 foot long reptile can weigh as much as a Bengal tiger and pretty much eats whatever it wants: deer, croc…anything that it can wrap its huge body around. Not a good snake to mess around with - you’ve seen the film ‘Anaconda,’ right?


Cat-lovers will enjoy another kitten on the block. Well, ‘kitten’ might be going a bit too far. The jaguar is the third largest cat after the lion and tiger, and it’s got some nasty moves too.

A jaguar’s favourite attack is a skull-crushing bite to the head. The jaguar will pretty much kick off with anything or anyone.

Giant Anteater

This cuddly – if slightly odd-looking – creature looks harmless; how dangerous can an animal be that snacks on ants all day? Turns out that this mammal has lethal, four inch claws that can KO a human being in one fell swipe. Anteaters can even take on big jungle cats…and win! Usually they won’t hurt a fly though, as long as you don’t threaten its territory.


But they are so little! Well, these macroscopic insects are easy to kill, but not before the damage is done. Disease carriers, they can infect you with a wide range of potentially lethal infections; malaria being the most common. And you may not believe it, but mosquitos can kill in their own right.

Here’s something for a horror story: in the Australian outback and south of the Sahara desert, mosquitos find excellent conditions for breeding.

Once all the larvae hatch, they will start travelling in swarms of more than one billion insects. This mosquito mob will attack anyone, draining them completely of blood in less than ten minutes. Mosquitos are seriously creepy crawlies.

Zoe is a lifestyle blogger and freelance writer, who has composed this post for Knowsley Safari Park in England.