8 Amazing Animals With Big Feet (Foot Length & Facts)

Last updated on December 14th, 2023 at 08:27 pm

In the vast realm of the animal kingdom, diversity knows no bounds. Among the myriad unique creatures, some stand out with their distinct feature—big feet. Contrary to their sometimes amusing appearance, these animals with sizable feet possess remarkable adaptations that contribute to their survival and thriving in various environments.

From the grandeur of elephants to the grace of ostriches, some animals boast large feet that play a crucial role in their daily lives. Whether it’s about maintaining balance, achieving enhanced speed, or conquering challenging terrains, big feet are more than just a physical attribute.

From water to snow-covered landscapes, animals with big feet showcase specialized locomotion. Whether it’s swimming through aquatic environments or efficiently moving across snow and rough surfaces, these adaptations highlight the versatility of big feet.

Animals With Big Feet

1. Elephants

Animals With Big Feet

Image Source iStock

Scientific Name: Loxodonta
Type of Animal: Mammal
Foot Length: 15 – 19 inches

Elephants are the world’s largest and strongest land animals in Africa and Asia. African elephants, weighing 6,600 to 13,000 pounds, are larger than their Asian counterparts, which weigh about 2,000 pounds. Their impressive size requires big feet and powerful legs, with an average foot size ranging from 15 to 19 inches.

Facts Elephants consume up to 300 kg (660 lb) of food and drink 40 L (11 US gal) of water daily, often staying close to water sources.

2. Ostriches

Animals With Big Feet

Image Source iStock

Scientific Name: Struthio
Type of Animal: Bird
Foot Length: 15 – 21 inches

Ostriches, the largest flightless birds, inhabit African plains and woodlands. Adults weigh 140 to 309 pounds, have an average foot size of 15 to 21 inches, and can sprint at speeds up to 45 miles per hour.

Facts Ostriches are unique among birds, having two toes. The larger toe bears the bird’s weight, and the middle toe, resembling a hoof, provides balance during their remarkable sprints.

3. Kangaroos

Animals With Big Feet

Scientific Name: Macropodidae
Type of Animal: Mammal
Foot Length: 10 – 18 inches

Kangaroos, giant marsupials found in Australia and neighboring regions, thrive in various habitats like forests, woodlands, plains, and savannas. As the largest marsupials, they weigh up to 200 pounds, reaching heights of 8 feet. Renowned for their massive back legs and feet, kangaroos bound up to 30 feet, utilizing their large feet and toes for tasks like grabbing, grooming, eating, and fighting. Their smaller forearms serve in self-cleaning and distributing saliva for cooling purposes.

Facts Kangaroos, from the Macropod family, meaning “big foot,” are well-known for their substantial feet.

Read Also: Cowardly Animals

4. Jerboas

Animals With Big Feet

Scientific Name: Dipodidae
Type of Animal: Mammal
Foot Length: 1.2 – 1.9 inches

Jerboas, small creatures in hot regions of North Africa, Europe, and Asia, sustain themselves on desert vegetation. Despite their diminutive size, jerboas possess large hind feet, facilitating impressive jumps of up to 10 feet—almost 200 times their height. Nicknamed hopping desert rodents, these agile animals owe their leaping prowess to their giant feet and long legs.

Facts Jerboas sports a tuft of hair at the end of their tail, aptly named a bobble. This feature, growing longer with age, aids in balancing the jerboa while in motion.

5. African Jacanas

Animals With Big Feet

Scientific Name: Jacanidae
Type of Animal: Bird
Foot Length: 2.5 – 3 inches

The African jacana, a water bird, uses elongated toes to distribute its weight while walking on lily pads and floating vegetation. Found in swamps, shallow lakes, and lagoons across the Americas, Australia, Asia, and Africa, these big-footed birds boast up to 3-inch-long toes for balanced movement.

Facts Jacanas, nicknamed “Jesus birds” and “Lily trotters” due to their appearance of walking on water from afar, are colorful birds that can grow up to 12 inches tall.

6. Polar Bears

Scientific Name: Ursus maritimus
Type of Animal: Mammal
Foot Length: 10 – 12 inches

Polar bears, among the largest bears, are dangerous inhabitants of the Arctic. Standing up to 8 feet tall and weighing around 990 pounds, these white giants can reach speeds of 25 miles per hour, supported by their large feet. Similar to other bear species, polar bears have five toes on both front and hind paws.

Facts Polar bears have non-retractable claws, aiding in running, climbing, and hunting. Their paws double as snowshoes, spreading weight on ice and snow, with partial webbing for improved swimming and weight distribution.

7. Emus

Scientific Name: Dromaius novaehollandiae
Type of Animal: Bird
Foot Length: 8 – 12 inches

Emus, akin to ostriches, are flightless birds with three toes on each foot, each sporting a razor-sharp talon and growing up to 12 inches long. These large birds boast the strongest calf muscles among birds, reaching up to 1.9 meters in height. In danger, emus use their powerful legs for kicking and self-defense.

Facts Additionally, these powerful birds can reach up to 31 miles per hour. Remarkably, emus are skilled jumpers, covering seven feet per stride.

8. Snowshoe Hares

Scientific Name: Lepus americanus
Type of Animal: Mammal
Foot Length: 4.6 – 5.8 inches

Snowshoe hares, or varying hares, are common in North America and named for their large hind feet. Evolving to prevent sinking in snow, these hares are adept swimmers. Despite their big feet, they are agile, hopping at speeds up to 27 miles per hour and jumping as high as ten feet. In autumn, they shed brown fur for a white coat, aiding survival against predators like lynx and great-horned owls.

Facts Snowshoe hares possess a fascinating adaptation: they change fur color with each season. As spring arrives, they shed their white fur in favor of a brown coat.


And there you have it – the conclusion of our list of animals with big feet. From large creatures to smaller ones with disproportionately big feet, each species reveals unique adaptations. Ostriches claim the title for the biggest feet, while, in proportion to their bodies, jacanas boast the largest feet on the planet. Thank you for reading. If you enjoyed this article, here’s a recommended read: “Animals That Have Multiple Hearts.”


1. What animal has the most feet?

The millipede holds the record for the most feet among animals, with numerous pairs of legs ranging from a few dozen to several hundred.

2. What is the biggest animal ever in feet?

The blue whale is the largest animal ever, and its size is often measured in length rather than feet. Nevertheless, a blue whale can reach lengths of over 100 feet.

3. What bird has big feet?

Ostriches are known for having the biggest feet among birds. Their large and powerful feet contribute to their impressive speed and agility.


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