Man-eaters hold a distinct fascination for those usually at the top of the food chain. Blofeld's piranhas may have a vicious bite, but it is the hippos one needs to watch out for.
Plasmodium falciparum The parasite carried by the female mosquito, causes malaria and kills around 660,000 people each year (source WHO).
African Nile and Australian Saltwater Crocodile The Australian “salty” is larger at 23ft long, a ton in weight and with a bite force of 3,700lb but kills only three or four people a year, whereas the Nile croc kills at least 500.
Hippopotamus Weighs 8,000lb, has a land speed of 20mph, 2ft-long canine tusks and is aggressive; some believe it may kill more people than the croc. The only herbivore on the list.
Lion Responsible for several hundred deaths annually, possibly associated with disease burden.
Leopard attacks increasing due to human encroachment, especially in India; Sanjay Ghandi National Park, near Mumbai, has seen 125 attacks in a decade.
Asian Giant Hornet The “yak-killer”, the world’s largest hornet (pictured), has a 6mm sting and kills about 40 Japanese a year.
Shark About 70 attacks a year globally; 12 fatalities January to September 2013.
Black Mamba and Puff Adder Aggressive mambas (black mamba below) attack from 8ft high with enough venom to kill 12 people; anti-venoms are reducing fatalities. The sleepy puff adder causes more deaths.
Alligator Hardest bite of all animals at nearly 4,000lb per square inch, resulting in lost limbs and three or four deaths a year in the southern states of America.
Domestic Dog The most dangerous animal in the UK, with around 210,000 people attacked annually (4,000 postmen) resulting in more than 6,000 hospital visits and eight fatalities since 2007.
Jaws There are no recorded instances of a single shark “serial man-eater”.
Whales There is more chance of being swallowed alive like Jonah than losing a leg like Captain Ahab did to Moby Dick, since baleen whales don’t have teeth.
Captain Hook’s Crocodile A ticking croc is quite likely as crocs are often found with watches and even alarm clocks in
Godzilla (pictured above, 1956) Dinosaurs became extinct about 50 million years before the appearance of man.
Blofeld’s piranhas The red-bellied piranha does have a vicious bite.
Little Red Riding Hood’s Wolf Clearly a case of domestic dog attack in the home, all too credible.
Lampreys and Catfish Giant Sea lampreys, starved for the purpose, may well have eaten King Ferdinand of Naples but catfish don’t swallow much more than wedding rings.