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10 of the largest insects in the world

By: Bryan Nelson on Feb. 17, 2016, 10:30 a.m.
The titan beetle can be the size of a human hand.

Photo: Bernard DUPONT/flickr

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Titan beetle

The Amazon rain forest is home to many large beetles, but none of them compares in length to the titan beetle, Titanus giganteus. The titan beetle is the largest known beetle in the Amazon rain forest and one of the largest insect species in the world. They can grow up to 6.6 inches in length, according to the Smithsonian.

This gargantuan insect has mandibles that can easily snap a pencil in half, and reportedly they can rip into human flesh, too.

Believe it or not, this beetle is actually a draw for adventurous tourists, and many ecotourism agencies in South America advertise pictures of them in their pamphlets. Like many beetles, the titan beetle can emit a loud hissing sound when it is threatened.