These Gigantic Prehistoric Animals Will Make Your Skin Crawl
We’re huge fans of sci-fi, horror films, mysterious novels, etc… But deep inside, as fun to consume as they are, we know all of these are fictitious, exaggerated, and basically, not true.
You know what’s really scary and also true? Palaeontology folks! That’s right, the science of ancient life is deep well of monstrous creatures, overgrown birds that could eat children like they are chicken nuggets and reptiles that had butcher knifes for chompers. So we thought making an article about those would be a great idea. Just don’t read it before going to bed.
Land of the Lost
What kind of crazy creatures roamed the earth in primitive times? That’s the exact question that modern archaeologists face with each new discovery, and the answer is lowkey frightening.
Many animals that we admire today were basically monsters in the past. Check out these gigantic prehistoric animals that will make your skin crawl.
Titanoboa The Snake
Balrog The Crocodile
Found in the swampy jungles of South America, Balrog was a 900-pound crocodile that loved to snack on turtles and to wrestle with gigantic snakes.
It was so fierce that scientists actually named it after a monster found in The Lord Of The Rings. 60 million years later, Balrog’s back on top!
Puentemys Mushaisaensis The Turtle
Discovered in Columbia, the Puentemys Mushaisaensis was pretty much the biggest turtle that ever lived. Reigning supreme 60 million years ago, its shell was five feet long and about as circular as a spare tire.
How could this big guy not be the inspo for the whole Ninja Turtles franchise?
J. Rhenaniae The Sea Scorpion
J. Rhenaniae, also known as the most monstrous sea scorpion in the world, was at least eight feet long 390 million years ago. Its claws alone were at least 46 centimeters.
As the earth’s first sea scorpion, it also became the predecessor for modern-day land scorpions. Thanks a lot, bro!
Platyceramus The Clam
Clams are typically seen as friendly sea animals, but not the Platyceramus. Unbelievably, this humongous clam was about nine feet long.
Its large, thin shell was a cozy haven for tiny fish, but sadly, they often got trapped inside and became fossils too. Swear it had the best of intentions…
Josephoartigasia Monesi The Rat
Modern-day rats are already scary in their own right. Now imagine one that’s around ten feet long. Not only that, but the Josephoartigasia Monesi weighed about 2,200 pounds.
That meant that it could easily hold its own against savage saber-toothed tigers and carnivorous birds. Where’s Ratatouille when you need him?
Megatherium The Sloth
The sloths of today are highly loveable and extremely sweet. If you’re lucky enough to see one of them, go ahead and approach them as the worst they’ll do is take 10 years to throw a punch. Havent you seen Life of Pets??
Now sadly, that wasn’t exactly the case with its ancient ancestor. On all fours, the massive sloth was at least 20 feet long. By the way, it could also stand up, reaching about 13 feet in height. Doesn’t sound so cute anymore!
Gigantopithecus The Ape
Look at this beast? If we ever encounter one of these in a back alley, we’re right away crying “mommy” and begging for mercy. Or throw a cookie or something. Aptly named, the Gigantopithecus ape was quite gigantic. Closely resembling Bigfoot, the great ape was 10 feet tall and resided in China, India, and Vietnam.
Although this herbivore loved to eat bamboo, it ended up leading to its demise. Its fossils show that it was malnourished. One with think that these huge swords-for-teeth chompers would have helped in grabbing steak around the jungle… So tough to be a vegetarian!
Dunkleosteus The Fish
The ancient Dunkleosteus fish was not something that you’d want to keep in a tank. It wasn’t colorful or friendly, and it was insanely strong.
Horrifyingly enough, this predatory fish was known to be 30 feet long and could eat anything it wrapped its teeth around. Its greatest enemy was itself!
Phorusrhacos The Bird
Just because the Phorusrhacos couldn’t fly didn’t make it any less terrifying. What it lacked in flight, this humongous bird made up in bite. It had teeny, tiny wings with needle-like hooks to latched onto its enemies. Plus, its legs were super strong.
Why haven’t they made a horror movie about this yet? We can easily why other animals didn’t want to hang out with Phorusrhacos, not only because of its horrid name, but having an under-grown slash over-grown set of bodily features would make for awkward dinner party conversations. Next!
Varamus Priscus The Lizard
If you’re already afraid of lizards, then you would probably die if you saw the OG Monitor Lizard. The Varamus Priscus wasn’t exactly speedy, but it never let that slow it down. It was a 21-foot-long lean, mean, killing machine with serrated teeth. Definitely glad these scary things went extinct.
To be clear the picture we’re using is NOT Varamus Priscus, but since there are no visuals on the beast we just thought throwing a Komodo dragon on the page would be fine. So there, it’s a Komodo dragon OK?!?!
Arctodus The Bear
As the world’s earliest bear, the Arctodus was definitely no Winnie The Pooh. Since this colossal bear was around after dinosaurs fell off the face of the planet, it was officially the biggest mammal on earth.
Surprisingly, it preferred to eat dead carcasses than to kill and eat its victims!
Deinosuchus The Crocodile
Measuring up to 40 feet long, this primordial crocodile’s Greek name translated to “terrible crocodile.” It could easily hunt on land or over the sea. No living creature was safe from its terrible jaws. Scientists didn’t even need to find a complete fossil to show it was a vicious scavenger.
We still are trying to figure out how they came up with the weird name, not sure “suchus” (pronounced suck-us) is going to fare with wild life job interviews. Worst comes to worst this lizard on steroids could just eat the interviewer and start working.
Megalodon The Shark
Are you afraid of the movie Jaws? Then you will absolutely want to rip your own eyes out after seeing the Megalodon. This 60-foot-long monster puts today’s sharks to shame. With seven-inch-long teeth, it could rip any animal to shreds. Only global cooling could lay this epic beast to rest.
Which means, if we’re lucky, global warming could bring it back. See, there is some value after all of us all going down in flames, we get Megalodon back!!!! Legal notice: dwads does not support the consumptions of humans by prehistorical animals.
Meganisoptera The Dragonfly
Dragonflies are a pretty lovely insect, right? Well get that boat paddle out friends because their ancestors, the Meganisoptera, weren’t so much cute as they were scary. At 12-inches-long with a 27-inch wingspan, it was the earth’s largest flying pest. Living 250 million years ago wasn’t exactly easy, so the dragonfly definitely had to bulk up. Steroids, anyone?
If you’re paying attention, this is the second time we use the word steroids in this article, which probably means the writers are on a body building, weight-lifting rage, hoping to free their bodies of the frail muscles and allow their Meganisoptera abs to appear.
Arthropleura The Millipede
Imagine 750 creepy, crawly feet slithering across your face. Millipedes are freaky enough on their own, but their enormous ancestor was even more frightening. 300 million years ago, its extremely large body was at least six feet long with 30 jointed segments.
So it was basically a living, breathing nightmare. Perfect to scare kids into bed and keep them there. Sadly, no kids were around back then to prove the technique. If you have DNA cloning skills, call us, we have a project for you.
Nuralagus Rex The Rabbit
Weighing a whopping 26 pounds, the Nuralagus Rex definitely wasn’t the Easter bunny. At six times larger than the common European rabbit, it was probably not the kind of animal you’d want to pet.
Unlike a regular bunny, this sad creature couldn’t even hop around and had super squinty eyes!
Deinotherium The Elephant
How could an elephant get any larger than it already is? Crazily enough, its predecessor was even bigger than the circus animals that we know and love. At 16 feet long, the Deinotherium weighed a ton.
Make that five tons. It was seriously the most immense animal to ever exist! That grocery bill must have been just awful to handle.
Azhdarchidae The Pterodactyl
Everyone knows the pterodactyl from the Land Before Time, but the Azhdarchidae was no Petrie. With a startling wingspan of 12 to 15 meters, it was about as big as a plane.
It had crazy, long legs, and a lengthy neck and beak to match. Sounds like the next America’s Next Top Model.
Pulmonoscorpius The Scorpion
Even though it was one of the smallest prehistoric animals, the Pulmonoscorpius was still a force to reckoned with.
Closely related to modern-day scorpions, it was about one meter long with a poisonous stinger and terrifying claws. A native of Scotland, this evil scorpion could’ve crawled up a few kilts!
Xenosmilus The Saber-Toothed Tiger
As if a saber-toothed tiger wasn’t bone-chilling enough, the Xenosmilus would make its contemporary look like a domestic house cat.
Discovered in Florida, the fearsome cat snacked on wild pigs by grabbing large chunks of its prey in its jaws. This bloody death wouldn’t even be shown on Game of Thrones!
Entelodon The Pig
Babe fans beware! This is not the cuddly pig that we grew up watching on the big screen. Contrary to its mostly vegetarian modern counterpart, the Entelodon thrived from eating meat 24/7.
Even on all fours, it was easily as tall as a human being. That’ll do pig, that’ll do!
Basilosaurus The Whale
Nicknamed the “king lizard,” the Basilosaurus was really a 60-foot-long whale that lived 34 million years ago. After its fossils were unearthed in Alabama, its sheer size made scientists think that it was a huge reptile.
Hence, its pet name. This massive whale could snap its prey in half with 3,600 pounds of force!
Elasmosaurus The Ribbon Lizard
80 million years ago, the 46-foot-long “ribbon lizard” dominated the seas. At two tons, the swimming serpent’s neck took up over half of its body.
It loved to quietly slither up on large groups of fish and mercilessly snap up its poor victims. Impaled on its sharp teeth, the lizard swallowed them whole!
Onchopristis The Saw Fish
Spread out between Africa and New Zealand, the Onchopristis sawed its way into history with its eight-foot-long muzzle. Existing 65 million years ago, this horrifying creature was surprisingly peaceful.
In fact, it only employed its intimidating snout to unearth crabs. Thankfully, it used its great powers for good, not evil.
Cameroceras The Squid
Cephalopods might seem like the pinnacle of cool nowadays, but their primitive ancestors weren’t so much. Ruling 470 million years ago, this antiquated squid was approximately 18 feet long – and that’s not counting its tentacles.
Besides its paralyzing grasp, it also was equipped with a “toothed tongue.” That’s just plain weird!
Purussaurus The Alligator
Eight million years ago, the Purussaurus was running things in the Amazon. This early alligator was between 12 and 15 meters long.
A feared predator, it wasn’t uncommon to find missing body parts in its giant belly. It really wasn’t a good idea to get on this gator’s bad side!
Stupendemys The Turtle
Spanning an incredible 11 feet in diameter, the Stupendemys was not your average turtle. Its great neck was so big that it had to fold in half just to fit within its mighty shell.
Found in South America, the early turtle was so big that scientists believed it couldn’t even hunt for itself!
Epicyon The Pitbull
Modern-day Pitbulls can already tear up a human being, so just imagine what their ancestors were like. As the first canine, the Epicyon’s teeth were so strong that it could pulverize through bone.
Not exactly something that you’d want to potty train. Thankfully, all of these Fantastic Beasts are gone for good!