The 15 Most Influential Animals That Ever Lived

From a horse that conquered the world to a dog that helped a man win the White House, a look at the creatures that most shaped human history

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6 comments
LottieCarterCantu
LottieCarterCantu

Sergeant Stubby was passed up by TIME this time around but has made the list in the past. He was a Pit Bull Terrier and the most decorated dog in history! Stubby was a life member of the American Legion, the Red Cross, and the YMCA. The Humane Education Society even awarded him a special gold medal for service to his country. He was the only dog to be promoted to sergeant through combat and met with both Presidents Harding and Coolidge. 

RichardNatoli-Rombach
RichardNatoli-Rombach

I got to personally know Digit as I was a research assistant at Karisoke Research Center in 1974. Before I left Dian took several pictures of me with Digit in January 1975. After Digit was murdered she later wrote me and sent me a picture of Digit and I stating it was one of the best she ever took of Digit. She was hoping to use it along with lots of other still pictures in a documentary she was trying to produce called, His Name Was Digit. Digit was mischievous, lovable, curious, and extremely friendly and was always glad to see me. The first time he met me he came right up to me, sat down next to me, and stared at a compass on my leg and then looked intently into my eyes as if to ask, "What is it?!" He took great delight in slapping me on my back, tickling me, pulling on the baggy seat of my pants and whatever other affectionate and comical thing he could do to me. My eyes still well with tears and my heart still aches when I think of what happened to him.

RonHolmstrom
RonHolmstrom

Once again, the wrong dog gets the credit as the hero dog of the 1925 Nome Serum Run. It was TOGO, not Balto who did the most incredible work on the trail. Balto simply made the last leg of the journey and his master took all the credit for himself and his dog. It was Leonhard Seppala and his lead dog, Togo who should have been remembered! It was mis-reported at the time and now Disney's fiction and this Time article have distorted history for a new generation.

Chaz
Chaz

How about Snowflake, the Barcelona Zoo's albino gorilla?

retromusher
retromusher

@RonHolmstrom It was Fritz, not Togo, who was Seppala's dependable leader. Togo was loose leading and ran after a herd of reindeer. An ad was placed in the Nome Nugget for his return. I do think this short article is an incredible example of poor research and lazy journalism.