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Top 10 Prehistoric Animals Alive Today

Updated on February 13, 2018
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Ricky Rodson is an experienced cryptozoologist with several published books on the subjects of zoology, cryptozoology, and mythical beasts.

Most people wouldn't believe you if you told them there are still animals from the dinosaur ages alive today. A lot of them would think you were crazy but it is true and there are more of them then you would think. These creatures are referred to as "living fossils" because all of their relatives are fossils, that's how old they are. This list doesn't have all the prehistoric animal still alive today, but it does have the ten coolest and that's more then enough for us.


The Chinese Giant Salamander

The Chinese Giant Salamander is a slimy creature found in clear water lakes and rocky steams of central and southern China. It may look like a ordinary overgrown salamander but it is actually classified as a 'living fossil' meaning it's closest relative is a fossil and it has no living relative. These massive amphibians are able to grow up to 110 lbs in weight making them the largest amphibian on the planet. Because the salamander has lidless eyes it's eyesight is bad and it must rely on special sensory nodes to feed on insects, frogs, crabs, and fish they come close to it.


Goblin Shark

The Goblin Shark, or better known as the "living fossil", is rare and scary looking species of deep-sea shark that is part of a family known to be over 125 million years old. Goblin sharks can be found in seamounts and submarine canyons all over the world as long as the water have depths greater than 330 feet. Goblin Sharks have pink skin due to the low depths and lack of light in it's living environment making them look extra gnarly. They also have have looks like a long spike in place of it's nose and an elongated snout with large nail-like teeth. Typically they able grow between 10 and 13 feet in size but have also been know to grow significantly larger.

Video Of A Goblin Shark


Frilled Shark

The Frilled Shark is another scary-looking marine animal that has been around for over 95 million years making it the oldest of the still-extant shark lineages. This prehistoric shark is dark brown in color and has a eel like body with long flexible jaws that allow for it to swallow prey whole like a snake and it's 50 - 60 needle-like teeth to hold it steady and preventing it from escaping. These sharks are known to live throughout the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans around depths of 160 - 660 feet. This monster has barely changed since when it would hunt dinosaurs and is nothing to be toyed with.


Alligator Snapping Turtle

The Alligator Snapping Turtles are not directly related to an alligator but are named so because of the distinct ridges on their shells are similar the rough skin of an alligator and has extremely powerful snapping jaws. They are also the heaviest freshwater turtle in the world weighing up to 300 pounds and are able to live for upwards of 200 years. Because of their slow speed these turtles are opportunistic carnivorous eater and attack anything stupid enough to enter it range of attack, large or small. These tough turtles have been know to eat small alligator when given the chance.



The oldest found fossil of a modern platypus dates back to the Quaternary period which was only about 100,000 years ago but close relatives of the animal have been dated back to over 100 million years. This cute little guys is known as being the strangest mammal on the planet because of it's ability to lay eggs, emit poison from the back of it's feet, and they have bills. Currently they are found only on the continent of Australia and any attempts to move them have resulted in the animals dying in less then a few years.

Picture Of A Alligator Gar
Picture Of A Alligator Gar

Alligator Gar

Alligator Gar's are some of the cools prehistoric animals still alive today whose fossil record traces back over a hundred million years to the Early Cretaceous period. They are the largest freshwater fishes in North America and can be found in freshwater lakes and swamps to brackish marshes, estuaries and bays because they have the ability adapt to varying saltine levels. They look like a cross breed fish like body and a snout of alligator with large sharp rows of teeth.

Picture Of A Crocodillian
Picture Of A Crocodillian


Crocodilians first came on the scene during the Late Cretaceous period about 83.5 million years ago and are surprisingly enough the closet living relative to birds. They can be easily identified by their long flattened snouts, reptilian skin and placement of their eyes, ears, and nostrils on the top of the head. This beast are able to walk quickly on land and swim even faster when in the water. They are able to take down their prey by snapping into them with a powerful bite and 'barrel-rolling' (a full body spin) pulling the victim into water and drowning it. Most people can already tell that Crocodilians are really old creatures because the already look like dinosaurs.

Picture Of A Hula Painted Frog
Picture Of A Hula Painted Frog

Hula Painted Frog

The Hula Painted Frog is an amphibian that was thought to be extinct up until 2011 due to it's habitat being destroyed when Israel began draining the Lake Hula Marshes. Not much is know about this type of frog because only several have ever been found and the larger frog began to devour the smaller ones once in captivity. They have dark brown bellies with white spots and gradients of dark olive green to greyish-black on the sides of it's body.

Picture Of A Pygmy Right Whale
Picture Of A Pygmy Right Whale

Pygmy Right Whale

Pygmy right whales are a shade of gray on the upperside of the body that darkens as the animal gets older and a white on bottom side. They grow to about 20 feet on average and their mainly consist of eating copepods. Pygmies are only found in the cold waters of the southern hemisphere and have been spotted along the coasts of New Zealand, South Australia, South Africa and even some areas as far south as Antarctica. What makes them even more interesting is despite there large size they were thought to be extinct until 2012, remaining out of site human eyes.

Picture Of A Lamprey
Picture Of A Lamprey


Lampreys are one of the oldest living creatures alive being more then 360 million years old. These things are disgustingly giant worms that are filled with teeth and found in allow coastlines and freshwater lakes and streams around the world. These horrible things attach to the side of it's victim like a leech and use it's large teeth to chew away until it is able to suck out the creature insides like goo. These are known as a missing link but I personally don't think I will be swimming any time soon.

Video Of A Lamprey Eating

Which Prehistoric Animal Alive Today is The Craziest Looking?

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© 2015 Ricky Rodson


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