Oh Animal Kingdom, you remind us why we decided to leave the forest behind and live in groups outside. Alone, not many of us would survive in the wild, even in the modern era. But there were creatures in prehistoric times that would have taken a group of humans and used them as toothpicks.
Here are 10 creatures, which we are glad are extinct.
When the names hints at something giant itself, well… Closely related to the orangutan, that roamed the bamboo forests, jungles and mountains of China, India and Vietnam during the Pleistocene, this dude was a vegetarian, but scary nonetheless; it could grow up to three meters tall and weigh up to 550 kgs. Its strength would have been extraordinary and probably kept it safe from most predators. It finally went extinct 300.000 years ago, possibly due to over hunting by early human species or as the result of climate change.
The most famous species of Gigantopithecus known is G. blacki which seems to be the largest of the known species. This was the first species to be named and so far is known from caves in South East Asia and is represented by both teeth and mandibles. Another species is G. giganteus, but this is something of a misnomer as it actually seems to be only half the size of G. blacki.
Today’s great white shark probably has some of the most nightmarish set of teeth in Nature, but its distant prehistoric relative Edestus was so scary that it would make the great white look almost cute. Edestus was about seven meters long and was one of the top predators of the Carboniferous seas. However, scientists still don’t know how it used its extraordinary teeth.
It was constantly losing the worn out teeth and replacing them with the new ones growing in rows behind, as modern day sharks do, Edestus didn’t lose its teeth at all; instead, the new teeth pushed the old teeth out of the mouth and, eventually, the gums and teeth would protrude out of the mouth like a pair of monstrous scissors. Regardless of how it did it, it seems obvious that Edestus could possibly cut any other creature in two with ease.
Imagine a Giraffe, good. Now Imagine a Giraffe with a long beak, now imagine that the Giraffe can fly and it is a carnivorous. Azhdarchids were a kind of pterosaur (most popularly known as pterodactyls) which included the largest flying creatures ever to have existed. Some of them had wingspans of 12 to 15 meters, making them as large as a small plane (although they were obviously not as heavy). But what makes Azhdarchids really strange are their body proportions; they had ridiculously long legs, necks and beaks, and very small bodies, as well as relatively short wings.
Scientists believe that they did not hunt on the wing, but rather walked on the ground hunting for any animal they could catch and swallow whole- that included dog-sized, perhaps even man-sized creatures!
7. Jaekelopterus rhenaniae
Giant sea scorpion, that roamed the fresh-water rivers and lakes. Now imagine you fishing on a small boat, and a scorpion whose claws are the size of your head jumps out of the water and on to your boat. We already depend on fresh water as an alternative to swimming in the ocean, because rivers tend to be relatively free of massive lurking predators.
One of the Largest arthropods ever discovered, At an estimated length of 2.5 metres (8 ft 2 in) it would be a real inconvenience for all those fishing folk.
Meganeura is one of the largest known flying insects to ever exist. With wingspans the length of an average toddler, they are the largest flying predatory insects in the history of the world. Their diet consisted mainly of other insects, small amphibians that were rapidly evolving to terrestrial life.
Some scientists think that Meganeura were actually too big to be able to survive in the current atmosphere, citing the higher oxygen concentration in the prehistoric world as the only way an insect its size would be able to breathe in enough to support its massive body. That is why because of Falling oxygen levels the giant insects simply did not have enough oxygen to maintain their size, resulting in either the evolution of smaller forms, or outright extinction of the larger.
5. Argentavis magnificens
The largest bird to fly, Argentavis magnificens, was believed to have flown like a high-performance glider, according to experts. This bird was believed to have lived 6 million years ago in Argentina. hese beasts possessed a wingspan between 19- and 26-feet, and a wing area of 75-feet, which you may notice is only slightly smaller than a Lear Jet. In addition to its staggering size and 240-pound weight, the bird is believed to have swallowed prey as large as cattle in one fell swoop.
A bald eagle with wings that stretch for 21 feet from tip to tip and feathers the size of Samurai swords. It is believed to have soared on the winds like a glider and could reach speeds of up to 150 mph. Experts are still not sure how it achieved landing and takeoff.
4. Sarcosuchus Imperator
Sarcosuchus imperator, which translates to “flesh crocodile emperor,” lived in Africa about 100 million years ago. It is thought to have weighed as much as 8.75 tons, which is 17,500 pounds. Experts believed that it skulked the river banks, making its meals from fish and the like that it crushed in its jaws.
With lengths of 40-50 feet and jaws studded With jaws that measured around 6 feet and contained as many as 100 teeth, experts believe the SuperCroc were extraordinarily equipped to feed upon a variety of dinosaurs and dinosaur bones have been found here that are heavily damaged and covered with distinctive crocodile bite marks.
Spinosaurus is the largest carnivore to have lived, weighing in at almost 10 tons and 60 feet in length. It lived about 100 to 93 million years ago in what is now Africa. Carrying an impressive sail, a mere arch of the back would raise the sail to almost seven feet. It is thought to have survived by eating fish, though judging by its size, Spinosaurus could have easily hunted smaller dinosaurs. It also has the longest-known head of any dinosaur, measuring 6 feet.
Also called daddy of all dinosaurs (I just named it that), Spinosaurus was an advanced theropod, whose intelligence (as measured by its relative brain to body weight, or EQ) was high among the dinosaurs. So he was not all brawn but brains as well. The long narrow skull is very similar to modern crocodiles and Spinosaurus lived and hunted in water and on land, as crocodiles do today. So you know, that no one was safe.
2. Titanoboa cerrejonensis
The largest anaconda on record stretches a considerable 27-feet, However, its ancestor Titanoboa cerrejonensis (yes, it’s name actually has Titan in it) grew to lengths anywhere between 40- and 50-feet, weighed in at two and a half thousand pounds, and could probably crush you to death just by looking at you.
The Titanoboa lived about 60 million years ago and actually survived the extinction event that killed all the dinosaurs, living during the Paleocene epoch, a 10-million-year period immediately following the dinosaur extinction event.
Megalodon (technically called a Carcharocles megalodon) was a gigantic shark, closely related to today’s makos and great whites. It could grow up to 20 meters long and weigh up to 60 tons, being almost six times larger than Tyrannosaurus rex! Obviously, the only thing in the sea big enough to feed Megalodon where whales, and indeed, the giant shark’s bite marks have been found in the fossil remains of whales all around the world.
At 70-feet long, this magnificent bastard was more than three times the size of an average great white shark and large enough to swallow an average sedan. Although many people like to imagine encounters between Megalodon and T-Rex, or dinosaur-like marine reptiles, the truth is Megalodon appeared long after the extinction of such creatures, and it wasn’t seen alive by any humans either, although it was still roaming the oceans when our australopithecine relatives took their first steps out of the jungle. Megalodon’s teeth were about 7 inches long and it had the most powerful bite of any creature that ever lived. No one knows why Megalodon went extinct, huge, relentless, and the apex predator of the Pliocene and Miocene epochs. What went wrong? Well, there’s no lack of theories: Megalodon may have been doomed by global cooling (which culminated in the last Ice Age), or by the gradual disappearance of the giant whales that constituted the bulk of its diet.
Did you like our list? Leave a suggestion in the comment section if you have something to share.