Massachusetts’ 10 Largest Animals Might Surprise You
Those of us reared in the concrete and steel cities of Massachusetts are accustomed to seeing wildlife. Critters such as squirrels, pigeons, seagulls, and an occasional bunny on the front lawn in the evening are common. Now and again, a rat might present itself near the trash dumpsters at the local drive-thru.
In recent years, turkeys, coyotes and even black bears have become a part of the urban landscape.
Tiny as it is, Massachusetts has quite a diverse landscape from oceanfront to mountain peaks, perfect for animals of many shapes and sizes to call home.
A-ZAnimals.com says water covers 25 percent of Massachusetts, and the Commonwealth has "approximately 3,000 lakes and 1,500 miles of coastline with various large bays along it," along with "wide coastal plains, river valleys, hills and forests."
Right at home in this diverse ecosystem are many forms of wildlife. A-Z Animals lists the 10 largest in Massachusetts.
The grey seal is a large mammal weighing up to 680 pounds. Grey seals eat fish, eel and lobster and are known to hang off Cape Cod.
The timber rattlesnake is the largest venomous snake in Massachusetts and can reach three to five feet long. The timber rattlesnake is considered an endangered species and is at home in the Blue Hills, Berkshire County and Connecticut River Valley.
The turkey vulture is one of the largest birds in Massachusetts, with a massive wingspan of five to seven feet. They can be found all over the state.
The Atlantic sturgeon reaches 15 feet long and can weigh 800 pounds, "easily one of the largest fish in Massachusetts." The Atlantic sturgeon is at home in the Merrimack and Taunton Rivers.
Two inches long with two three-inch antennae, the pine sawyer beetle is the largest insect in Massachusetts. These beetles prefer to live in elevations above 3,900 feet but are all over the state.
The largest land mammal in Massachusetts is the moose. Moose can stand as high as six-foot-11 at the shoulder and weigh 1,500 pounds. One of the best places to see them is the Quabbin Reservoir.
The bluefin tuna is "one of the most stunning fish around," at six to eight feet, weighing between 500 and 550 pounds. The largest ever recorded was 12 feet long, weighing 1,500 pounds. Bluefin tuna can be spotted off Cape Cod.
The black rat snake is the largest snake in Massachusetts, often exceeding eight feet in length.
"They have a varied diet which includes rodents, lizards, frogs, birds, and even other snakes," the site says.
This snake is home in Connecticut Valley and Worcester County.
The bald eagle, the largest bird in Massachusetts, has a wingspan of between five and seven feet. Plum Island and Newburyport are among the best spots to see a bald eagle, especially in winter.
The North Atlantic right whale is the largest whale to frequent Massachusetts waters. One of the world's most critically endangered animals, the North Atlantic right whale measures 42 to 53 feet long and can weigh up to 234,000 pounds. In recent years, the whales have been known to visit the waters off Plymouth.