There are only eight living species of bear and are found in the continents of North America, South America, Europe, and Asia. However, the polar, black and grizzly varities are deadliest. Bears will trample, maul and generally savage their prey. It is also not uncommon for a bear to stalk its prey before attacking it. Although bears have a fearsome reputation, statistically you are more likely to survive a bear attack than being a meal. It is estimated 5-10 fatalities are from bear attacks.
Though there are more than 2,700 species of snake, 450 of which are venomous, only 250 are deadly enough to kill humans. Although snakes such as the python and anaconda do not have venom, they use their massive and powerful bodies to constrict their prey to death for a nice happy meal. Snakes are found in all continents except for Antarctica. Venomous snakes such as the cobras and vipers, use venom to immobilize or kill their prey. The venom is delivered through sharp fangs directly into the bloodstream. The victim will usually feel the effects of the venom within minutes of the bite. Some snakes such as the King Cobra can spit venom! Snakes are responsible for an estimated 50-125,000 fatalities a year.
The four big cats are the lions, tigers, leopards and jaguars. These are definitely not your typical house cats. Lions can be found throughout Africa, tigers in Asia, leopards in Africa and Asia, and jaguars in the Americas. Of the big cats, the tiger is the largest and strongest of the four. A male tiger can reach up to 13 ft in total length and weighing up to 660 pounds. Not to mention the ability to climb up trees and capable of jumping to almost twice its height. Tigers typically stalk their prey before charging in for the kill with their sharp claws and powerful jaws. Tigers may kill such formidable predators as leopards, pythons and even crocodiles. The African male lion is the second-largest living cat after the tiger which can weigh up to 550 pounds. Lions typically live and travel in prides, compared to tigers who are usually solitary animals. Regardless of its species, big cats mean business. They are responsible for an estimated 800 fatalities a year.
With two claws and a stinger, what can go wrong? The scorpion is a highly deadly insect that carries a potent venom in its stinger. There are about 2,000 species of scorpions worldwide but only around 25 are regarded dangerous. Just be hopeful that you don't get stung by one of these 25. Scorpions paralyze their prey by injecting deadly venom through its stinger at the end of their tails. The fat-tail scorpion of Africa, which is one of the most dangerous groups of scorpion species in the world. They are responsible for the most human deaths. Scorpions are responsible for an estimated 800-2,000 fatalities a year.
Sharks have been seens as killers of the sea thanks to movies like Jaws. Out of the 360 species, only four are known killers: great white, tiger, oceanic whitetip and bull sharks. These killer sharks can be found in all parts of the ocean but typically around the United States, Australia, Hawaii and South Africa. To attack its prey, sharks lunge with their razor sharp teeth and easily grip it in their powerful jaws. Great Whites are the largest known predatory fish with a biting pressure of 800 pounds per square inch. With a single bite, a great white can take in up to 31 lbs of flesh. Although there are high incidents of shark attacks, the actual fatalities are fairly low. Shark attacks are responsible for an estimated 100 fatalities a year.
Any creature that resembles prehistoric dinosaurs is definitely not a good thing. Crocodiles are known as fearsome and deadly animals lurking beneath the water stalking and waiting for its prey. The saltwater crocodiles are the most dangerous and largest. They can be found throughout the tropics in Africa, Asia, the Americas and Australia. Crocodiles have extremely powerful jaws with a bite force more than 5,000 pounds per square inch, by far the strongest bite of any animal. On land, crocodiles can sprint in short distances very fast, and launch themselves out of the water to grab a hold of their prey by its powerful jaws. It is estimated 600-800 fatalities are a result from crocodile attacks.
Being the largest animal on land definitely has its advantages. They have no natural predators besides humans. Elephants are unpredictable yet intelligent creatures. There are three living species of elephants: the African Bush, African Forest and the Asian Elephant. The average elephant weighs over 6 tons. They trample with their huge size and gore using their fearsome ivory tusks. Elephants usually travel in packs so the chance of actually surviving an elephant attack is pretty much bleak. They're responsible for an estimate 300-500 fatalities a year.
At first glance, they may seem as gentle giants but this is one animal you don't want to get close to. Hippos are responsible for an estimated 100-150 fatalities a year. They can open their mouth with an amazing gap measuring four feet wide with large ivory canine teeth. Despite their large frame, hippos can outrun a human on land. Hippos will charge, trample and gore victims. Although they are herbivores, this won't stop them from eating on their victims. They're known to be very aggressive and territorial and are considered one of the most dangerous of African animals. I suppose it's a good thing they're only found wild in Africa.
Just when you thought you only had to worry about sharks in the ocean, think again! The jellyfish is one of the most dangerous and deadliest marine creatures with a sting that can kill a fully grown adult within minutes. Most fatalities are by getting in contact with the jellyfish's tentacles which can be as long as several feet with a very potent venom. Preys are usually paralyzed and in humans, a cardiac arrest occurs sealing their fate. About 100 fatalities a year is estimated from jellyfish attacks. For a brainless animal, the jellyfish isn't something you want to come across since they can be found in all parts of the ocean with over hundreds of its species.
Anything that looks scary and creepy must be dangerous right? Well, in this case, certain species of spiders such as the venemous spiders are quite dangerous. There are about 40,000 species worldwide and some pack quite a punch of venom. Although over the years, fatalities from spider bites have dropped significantly. Deaths from spiders are exremely uncommon since most spiders will only bite humans in self-defense and their venom is not very potent from those you would find from snakes although some may cause serious tissue damage if left untreated.