Monday, February 17, 2003

Dangerous animals

In terms of the number of human beings they kill every year, what are the 10 most dangerous animals? According to a show on the Travel Channel, they are:

10. Bears (6)
9. Sharks (8)
8. Hyenas (50)
7. Jellyfish (55)
6. Big cats (leopards, lions, tigers) (80)
5. Elephants (130)
4. Scorpions (500)
3. Crocodilians (2000)
2. Bees and wasps (10,000)
1. Snakes (100,000)

The numbers in parentheses are the worldwide death tolls per year.

Incidentally, acccording to the same program, road traffic kills around 1,000,000 per year. (I'm having a hard time buying that one - I'd figure the US would be a major contributor what with all the traffic and cars, but the last figure I remember was on the order of 40,000 per year).

They also said that for the following there were no recorded instances of kills of humans: wolves, tarantulas, piranhas, killer whales (orcas), and one other critter I don't recall.

For indirect killers through disease, the rankings were:

5. fleas
4. tsetse flies
3. parasitic worms
2. bedbugs
1. mosquitoes.

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