The Etruscan Shrew is the smallest (by mass) mammal in the world, while the Blue Whale is the largest animal that has ever existed on earth, as far as we know. Click on the image for a larger view — note: NOT to scale..
Why this post? I happened to read the following two articles within a few minutes of each other; I thought you also might appreciate the contrast. Urm, and the peculiar contexts.
The first article, Success By Learning: Smallest Predator Recognizes Prey By Its Shape (Science Daily News), is based on a conference presentation titled “Development and function of somatosensation and pain”.
The second article, Blue Whale Excavation (Greg Laden’s blog), says that even after 21 years, “A blue whale is so big that when it dies, it takes YEARS to rot. And it smells REALLY bad.”
Just something to whet your reading appetite.