Explore the most gigantic animals that ever lived on our planet. Some of them are so terrifying that you will be happy these animals are extinct.
Can you imagine a huge dragon fly? Meganeura had a wingspan of up to 70 cm. This is the largest flying insect of all times. These dragon flies were predators and fed on other insects.
Meganeura lived approximately 300 million years ago.
Arthropleura grew up to 2.3 meters long . This is the largest arthropod of all times. One of the beliefs why arthropleura was able to grow this big is because the atmosphere at that time contained more oxygen than today. And there are multiple studies showing relationship between gigantism and oxygen availability.
Another likely reason, there was a lack of large predators living on the land at that time. Dinosaur T-Raxes appeared on our planet million of years after arthropleura was extinct.
Based on the fossils Arthropleura was vegetarian and lived about 300 million year ago.
Jaekelopterus is a huge sea scorpion. The largest discovered was 2.5 meters. This is the largest eurypterid ever. Even it is called sea scorpion, the animal lived in fresh water lakes and rivers.
Jaekelopterus was likely the top predator in its environment. It was eating anything it could catch.
Jaekelopterus lived approximately 390 million years ago.
Titanoboa is a true monster among snakes. In fact, this is the largest snake ever lived on the planet. It was about 15 meters long (50 feet) and 1 meter in diameter (3 feet).
Warmer climate than today allowed the snake to grow so big. In modern time the largest snakes also live in the warmiest tropical forests. Snake in Northern regions of the planet are smaller.
When dinosaurs disappeared about 65 million years ago, Titanoboa existed for another 5 million years.
This is the largest land predator ever lived on the Earth. It was up to 18 meters in length and over 10 tons in weight. The dinosaur inhabited lands of modern Northern Africa. The remains of this predator were discovered in 1912 in Egypt.
Unfortunately, they were destroyed during World War II. However, new more recent findings were reported. Some scientists believe that Spinosaurus was hunting not only on land but was consuming fish as well.
Spinosaurus lived about 112 to 97 million years ago.
Megalodon is considered one of the largest and most fearless sea predator of all times. It looked like a modern great white shark (green at the image) but much larger.
This huge shark grew up to 18 meters (66 feet) and it was over 100 tons. Megalodon preferred large pray such as whales…
This mega shark lived from 28 to 1.5 million years ago. Cooling ocean waters and shortage of food sources resulted in extinction of this mega shark.
5. Leedsichthys Problematicus
This is the largest bony fish ever. It is estimated that this fish could grow larger than Megalodon shark! Leedsichthys grew over 20 meters long and some scientific publications mention 35 meters. Similar to the modern whales, Leedsichthys Problematicus was eating zooplankton and small fish.
Leedsichthys Problematicus lived around 170 million years ago.
Paraceratherium is the largest land mammal ever lived on the Earth. Its weight is estimated at around 20 tons, height at 4.8 meters and length about 8 meters. Modern African Elephant weights three times less – 6 tons.
Paraceratherium’s lifestyle and diet were very similar to modern large mammals. The were eating leaves, plants and shrubs. Because of its size, the animal had very few predators. Paraceratherium is somewhat related to rhinoceros.
Paraceratherium lived 37 to 23 million years ago.
Quetzalcoatlus is the largest flying animal of all times. Its wingspan was 15.9 meters (52 feet) and it’s weight was 250 kg (550 pounds). Scientists are still debating whether this animal lived fish-eating lifestyle or was eating land animals. But in any case Quetzalcoatlus was a predator. Can you imagine this thing flying above you? This must be terrifying!
Quetzalcoatlus lived 65 million years ago.
2. Blue Whale
Blue whale can reach 30 meters (98 feet) in length and 180 tons weight. We are lucky to still have them. At the beginning of the twentieth century they were hunted almost to extinction. In 1966 international community started to protect whales and currently there are between 10,000 and 25,000 blue whales worldwide.
Isn’t it cool? The largest mammal of all times is still living among us!
1. Amphicoelias Fragillimus
This is the largest animal ever lived on the planet. It was 58 meters (190 ft) long , with muss up to 122 tons. This huge dinosaur was first discovered in the late 1800’s. At that time scientists could not preserve large fossils and today we have only notes taken at that time as an evidence. Therefore some scientists believe that its size might be overestimated.
Amphicoelias Fragillimus lived 150 millions years ago.
via Hybrid Librarian
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