Strangest Prehistoric Creatures To Rule The Earth

Strangest Prehistoric Creatures To Rule The Earth

1 . Rodhocetus

Rodhocetus gives us a clear example of a species evolutionary transition from landdweller to seafarer. One of the bestknown animals in the Cetacea infraorder (which includes whales, dolphins, and porpoises), Rodhocetus had short limbs ending in webbed hands and feet. Its characteristics closely resemble those of land mammals, thus leading scientists to conclude it was partway along the evolutionary transition from land to sea.

2 . Pelagornithidae

If every letter in Pelagornithidaes name was equal to a foot, it still wouldnt equal the size of this massive prehistoric creature. Boasting a wingspan between 1520 feet (56 m), Pelagornithidae were the dominant seabirds of most oceans and even brushed up with our earliest ancestors.

3 . Titanoboa

Made popular by the Smithsonian Channel TV Show, Titanoboa is simultaneously the largest, heaviest, and longest snake known to man. Appearing during the Paleocene age just after the extinction of dinosaurs, Titanoboa was so muscular it crushed its gigantic prey to death with massive force. Its discovery was especially important as it showed Earths tropical areas were likely warmer than we expected.

4 . Platybelodon

Nicknamed the shovel tusker, the Platybelodon looks like a modern day elephant with one major difference: its trunk. This strange prehistoric creature did not have a typical fleshy trunk but rather a flat protrusion comparable to an elongated ducks bill. Scientists believe it used the shovel tusks to grasp tree branches and rip off bark.

5 . Eurypterid

A combination of two of humans biggest fears alligators and scorpions Eurypterid was like a scorpion which, from one found fossil, could reach the size of an alligator. Primarily an oceandweller, this creature was not a true scorpion. Found all over the world, Eurypterid finally went extinct during the PermianTriassic extinction event 252.17 million years ago. Most only grew up to 8 inches (20 cm) long, but the infamous subspecies Jaekelopterus was bigger, making it the largest arthropod yet discovered.

6 . Pterodaustro

Pterodaustro is one of the best known pterosaurs (flying reptiles) in the world. Found in South America, the Pterodaustro notably used a thousand bristlelike teeth protruding from its lower jaw to filter plankton and small crustaceans as it waded through shallow pools. The bill with teeth accounted for up to 85% of its head.

7 . Opabinia

Only a few inches long with five eyes to navigate its seafloor home, Opabinia looks like it could have been a mad scientists invention. Though not a fierce predator, Opabinia was an oddlooking prehistoric creature sporting a unique, vacuum hoselike attachment at its mouth which it used to bring food back to its mouth (much like an elephants trunk). Beyond its five eyes, it also had 30 flippers.

8 . Meganeura

If you get scared by a wasp or a bee, you wouldnt have fared too well in prehistoric times. Meganeura (the name sounds big enough) was prehistoric times massive dragonfly. With a tiptotip wingspan up to 2.5 feet (75 cm), Meganeura was large enough to devour frogs and small amphibians and is the largest known flying insect species.

9 . Hallucigenia

By far one of the strangest prehistoric creatures on this list is Hallucigenia. At max 1.38 inches (3.5 cm) long, this creature was originally constructed upside down and with its back and front reversed when scientists first created models. An ancestor to either arthropods or worms, Hallucigenia had 7 or 8 pairs of legs with rigid spines correspondingly coming out the top of its body.

10 . Glyptodon

About the size of a VW Bug, the Glyptodon was an armadillolike creature which actually would be more related to modernday turtles. Sporting over 1 inchthick (2.5 cm) scales, the Glyptodon was a herbivore and, unlike turtles, could not retract its head; instead, it had a bonelike cap on its head.