Fatness is not unique to us humans. There are plenty of supersized animals out there.
But determining which animal is the fattest isn’t as straightforward as it may appear.
But if we look at things proportionally, you might be surprised by some of the world’s full-fat species.
We’ll begin with blubber, the fat rich tissue belonging to marine mammals that has myriad benefits for streamlining, buoyancy, defence, insulation and energy storage.
Among the whales with the thickest blubber are the so-called right whales. They are popularly thought to have earned this common moniker during the bloody era of whale hunting in the 19th Century.
“They are slow and fat and when harpooned they float for easier retrieval. Most other whales sink.” says Dr Sam Ridgway, president of the National Marine Mammal Foundation.The whales float because they have a high percentage of lipids, or fat, in their blubber. There are three species of right whale, found in the North Atlantic, North Pacific and Southern Oceans.
Walruses might look chubby, but measurements of adult females in Greenland found they were 18% blubber and 44% muscle.
Likewise, hippos are known for their dumpy appearance, but 18% of their impressive 1.5 tonne weight is actually skin. Beneath this 5cm thick hide hippos have a relatively thin layer of fat.
Their distinctive humps are not full of water but are actually nutritional stores of fat that can weigh up to 35kg. Overall though, camels are lean animals, with most of their body fat concentrated into their humps.
Moths are known in the prairies of the western US where their mass emergence in spring can cause an agricultural nuisance. Around June they migrate to alpine climates where they feed on the nectar of wildflowers. The moths fatten up over the summer to an extraordinary extent,reaching a whopping 72% body fat by the autumn.