big and small in nature

What is the smallest living creature?
And the largest?
(something that moves, I don’t mean trees)

Smallest living creature? That would probably be some microscopic, single celled amoeba?

Largest living creature? Maybe the blue whale? I thought that was the biggest mammal, and I can’t think of anything bigger than that.

Are you really looking for any creature, or mammals/fish?

Well, viruses are the smallest self replicating biological units, but they’re only dubiously alive, so mycoplasmas are probably the best candidate for smallest living thing.
On the other end of the spectrum you have dinosaurs and whales, but if you limit the question to land mammals, the Baluchitherium takes the prize.

The largest is reputed to be this fungus. It covers 2,200 acres.

The smallest would depend on your definition of life. Viruses are pretty tiny, but they’re not really considered alive by most (but not all) microbiologists. If you think a virus is alive, then you’d probably think a prion is alive too, and it’s smaller than a virus at about 250 amino acids in length, which is pretty damn small.

If we specify that a cell is necessary to be considered life, I think certain bacteria like chlamydia are pretty tiny at about 2/10 of a micron. There may be other smaller ones.

When I saw this thread, all of sudden something in the back of my mind told be I’d seen something about this! :eek:

Here’s the world’s smallest vertebrate.

The above-mentioned mycoplasma is the smallest known bacterium, and therefore the smallest known non-viral (or prion) form of life.

Assuming viruses, single-celled organisms and the like are not what the OP meant by “creatures,” I think the parasitic wasp Dicopomorpha echmepterygis, with an adult length of 0.139 mm, is a good contender. tim314 came up with the newly discovered smallest vertebrate, and the smallest land vertebrate would be a tie between two species of Sphaerodactylus gecko that measure 16 mm from snout to vent. The blue whale is the largest animal, period.

God, I wish we could cancel our own posts! I wasn’t even thinking of microscopic mites and the like.