Animals are astonishing, from the tiniest insects to the largest ocean creatures. The wide world of wildlife is filled to the brim with reasons to be amazed.
The folks at the Guinness Book of World Records are just as fascinated as we are and each year they devote themselves to showcasing record-breaking members of the animal kingdom.
This year they've added some very special creatures to their Hall of Fame for 2013:
Largest Living Cat: Hercules, an adult male tiger-lion hybrid, weighs in at an astonishing 922 pounds. (That's about half the weight of a car!) He stands 49 inches tall and measures 131 inches long. Hercules resides in a South Carolina wildlife reserve.
Shortest Living Dog: Milly the Chihuahua measures a mere 3.8 inches tall. Smaller than a shoe, she lives in Puerto Rico with her owner Vanesa Semler.
Shortest Donkey: Cute as a button and shorter than many dogs, KneeHi the miniature Mediterranean donkey measures a whopping 25.29 inches at the shoulder.
Fastest Tightrope Crossing…By a Dog: Most humans can't cross a tightrope, but Ozzy the Border Collie/Kelpie mix is a pro. This phenomenal dog crossed a regulation-size tightrope in a mere 18.22 seconds.
We can't forget the all-stars of 2012 either! These animals hold unbroken records from last year:
Big Jake, the tallest living horse measures 82.75 inches (or 20 hands 2.75 inches/ 210.19 centimeters) without shoes.
Cupcake the world's smallest service dog chalks up at a mere 6.25 inches tall. This tiny Chihuahua assists her mobility-limited owner.
Oklahoma Sam the tallest donkey gives KneeHi a run for his money with a measurement of 5 feet 1 inch (15.3 hands or 155.45 centimeters).
Trouble the tallest cat stretched 19 inches (48.3 centimeters) at the shoulder. The lovable Savannah cat passed away on August 15, 2012.
Zac the macaw slam-dunked his way into the record books with 22 basketball dunks in 1 minute. (With a parrot-sized basketball, of course.)
Zeus the tallest dog remains the head of the pack at 44 inches (1.118 meters) at the shoulder.