In this article we are going to list the 15 fastest growing organisms in the world. Click to skip ahead and jump to the 5 fastest growing organisms in the world.
Our planet Earth is the most diverse planet in the solar system. Over the past 4.5 billion years, our planet has sustained many life forms. Experts in the field have estimated that there exist almost 9 million species of plants and animals, of which only 1.2 million have been identified and described so far. What this means, is that over 80 percent of the species currently living in our world have yet to be even discovered, let alone recorded and studied.
In fact, these 80 percent don’t even take into consideration the thousands of microscopic organisms such as bacteria and fungi which thrive on our vast planet. These tiny organisms, or microorganisms, exist on the surface of rocks, snow, bodies of water, and soil, practically every potential habitat on the planet. Scientists have estimated that as many as 1 trillion species of bacteria are present in the world, with the number of discovered microorganisms still growing. These discoveries are then used by biotechnology companies, such as AbbVie Inc (NYSE: ABBV), Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ: REGN), Amgen, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMGN), Gilead Sciences, Inc. (NASDAQ: GILD), and Stryker Corporation (NYSE: SYK), to create drugs for preventing and curing a plethora of diseases.
However, the diversity in organisms which exist on our planet is not limited to just name and type. Some creatures thrive in the deepest, most pitch-black parts of the vast ocean, while others use sunlight as their source of energy and nutrients. Many organisms, such as some species of turtles, can live up to 100 years though there are also other life forms, like flies, whose average life span is of not more than a few days.
In this article, we will be discussing and ranking the diversity of our Earth using a different criterion: growth rate. Like size, habitat, and life span, the growth rate of creatures which exist on our planet is another factor which can be used to distinguish them. It is believed that many beings which could be placed among the fastest growing organisms in the world were alive during the Jurassic Era. Using the fossilized bones discovered by palaeontologists, experts were able to track the rate at which the Tyrannosaurus Rex would grow before reaching adulthood. Mark Norell, Macaulay Curator in the Division of Paleontology explained this further in an interview, stating that “Tyrannosaurus rex, during its growth cycle, grew at almost 2.5 kilograms [4.6 pounds] per day for about 14 years.”
This brings us to our list of fastest growing organisms in the world. Although the T. Rex and other dinosaurs from its era have been extinct for millions of years, there are still countless other organisms who grow at an extremely fast pace. These organisms hail from one of the six kingdoms of life, including Archaebacteria, Eubacteria, Protista, Fungi, Plantae, and Animalia. Each of these kingdoms uses a different methodology to determine how fast an organism grows. For example, animals grow by kilograms, while plants are measured in terms of inches. In this article, we have included organisms from all six kingdoms, and have attempted to rank them despite their differing methods of growth rate. You may be surprised to see the names of not just land and water animals, but also plants and bacteria which you may even recognize. We have used various scientific publications as our source, and have ranked the organisms with regards to their growth rate over time. So let’s take a look at the organisms which don’t waste any time in growing, starting with number 15:
15. Mulberry Tree
Scientific Name: Morus
Growth Rate: 0.07 inches per day or 2 feet per year
The first entry on our list of the fastest growing organisms in the world is the fast growing Mulberry Tree. In Asia and North America these trees are grown specifically for their leaves, as they are an important source of food for silkworms. Mulberry trees are known to grow up to 12 feet in a six year period, with a maximum height reaching 80 feet. The lifespan, however, is generally short for such a tree, with only a select few species living up to 250 years.