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The Largest Animals That Ever Lived on Earth
Some of the largest prehistoric animals....
I recently read about a large rodent fossil that was discovered in 2008 and it sparked my interest in large prehistoric animals. I was eager to learn more about some of the largest critters to ever roam the earth, and I was not disappointed. I did some research and decided to create a lens! Here you will find some information about the largest snake fossil ever found, an enormous frog, a gigantic kangaroo, and more. I have also provided links for more information on each beast and to some great sites on prehistoric animals and dinosaurs.
Clickable table of contents:
The Biggest Snake That Ever Lived
Giant Boid Snake (Titanoboa cerrejonensis)
If you like snakes, you will love this one....if not, prepare to be creeped out! The fossil of the largest snake to ever live was discovered in a mine located in Columbia. The fossils indicate that this snake was 42 feet (13 meters) long and weighed 2500 pounds (1250 kg)!!! That is roughly the length of a school bus and the weight of a VW Beetle. The photo at right shows a fossilized vertebra compared to the green anaconda.
This prehistoric reptile is believed to have been a massive anaconda-like beast that slithered through tropical rainforests 60 million years ago and fed on primitive crocodiles. It would have suffocated its prey with a vice strong enough to crush an old car!
More information about Titanoboa!
Click here for even more information about this awesome snake!
The Boid Snake - Artists rendering compared to human
Giant Prehistoric Ground Marsupial
This gigantic kangaroo-like marsupial "hippo" lived on the island Tasmania. This beast weighed 1,000 pounds (500 kg)! That's half a ton! Good thing these giants were herbivores. New data suggests they went extinct around 41,000 years ago.
The largest species of kangaroo alive today, the red kangaroo, can weigh up to 200 pounds. This animal would be dwarfed by the prehistoric giant!
The largest mammal that ever lived.....
Is the beautiful Blue Whale!
The largest rodent on earth is the Capybara
The largest marsupial on earth is the Red Kangaroo
Biggest Rodent That Ever Lived
Here it is, the largest rodent fossil to ever be discovered! This enormous rat weighed ONE TON, that's 2000 pounds (1000 kg)!! The skull of this prehistoric critter was found in Uruguay and measures 21 inches (53 centimeters) long. That would make this prehistoric beast about the size of a bull. The photo at right shows the skull size compared to a modern-day rat.
Size of the prehistoric rodent compared to man and the capybara!
Living Prehistoric Animals
Giant Prehistoric Shark
These huge prehistoric sharks first appeared in the earth's waters about 16 million years ago. This beast may have grown to lengths over 50 feet (16 meters) and could have weighed up to 30 times MORE than the great white shark! That's 126,000 pounds (63,000 kg)!!!
The photo at right shows a single Megalodon tooth. The bite of this gigantic shark was strong enough to crush a car and was much stronger than the bite of Tyrannosaurus rex!
You can see the massiveness of Megalodon when compared to a GW shark and a human!
Enormous Monster Whale
I just read an article about a monstrous whale that was discovered back in 2010. The fossils were discovered by Klaas Post in Peru's Ice desert. This was not only a large whale, it was also believed to have shared the ancient oceans with none other than the Megalodon shark! Although they may have co-existed, scientists don't think these two monsters would have attacked each other, but perhaps one might attack the young of another.
The bones of this large whale have been dated to 12 or 13 million years ago and in honor of Herman Melville's Moby Dick it has been named Leviathan melvillei. It is estimated that this whale would have been between 13 and 18 meters (43 to 59 feet) long. Its skull is three meters (9.8 feet) long. Its teeth are the largest predatory teeth every found at 36 cm (14 inches) long and 12 cm (5 inches) wide. Quite an interesting find!
Source: Ancient monster whale more fearsome than Moby Dick via New Scientist.
Check out these amazing prehistoric animal sites for more information:
- Prehistoric Animals, Dinosaurs - National Geographic
Learn all you wanted to know about prehistoric animals and dinosaurs with pictures, videos, photos, facts, and news from National Geographic.
- Prehistoric Animals--Quaternary Period
Prehistoric animals from Quaternary period Wooly Mammoth, Mastodon, Columbian Mammoth, Saber Tooth Cat, American Lion, Coelodonta, Canis lupus, Wooly Rhino,
- Prehistoric Mammals - A Complete, A to Z List of Prehistoric Mammals
Profiles of the early, prehistoric mammals that coexisted with the dinosaurs, as well as the saber-toothed cats, woolly mammoths, giant sloths, and other mammalian megafauna that succeeded them.
- Ice Age Mammals
During the last Ice Age, there were many large, interesting mammals, like the saber-toothed cats, giant ground sloths, woolly rhino, mastodons, and mammoths. These animals have long since gone extinct and are known mostly from fossils, from frozen, m
- Prehistoric mammal - Wikipedia
Prehistoric mammals are groups of mammals that lived before humans developed writing. 164 million years ago, in the Jurassic period, Castorocauda.
- Extinct Birds
Extinct Birds from the Jurassic period and later.
- Largest organisms - Wikipedia
A summary of the largest organisms alive today, and some information about the largest organisms to ever live.
The Largest Frog That Ever Lived
The bad-tempered Beelzebufo or "devil frog"
This enormous prehistoric frog once hopped about Madagascar around 70-million-years-ago and is believed to be the largest frog that ever lived. Called the Beelzebufo or "devil frog." These gigantic herps were the size of a beach ball, roughly 16 inches (41 cm) high and weighing about 10 pounds (4.5 kg)!! Wonder what sounds it made? :)
It is believed that the devil frog probably had a very bad attitude --- given its closest living relatives, which are known to grab onto anything that moves, even humans! The beelzebufo had a strong jaw and protective shield which may have enabled it to feast upon baby dinosaurs.
Bizarre Prehistoric Animals Video
This video is really well-done and shows a wide variety of bizarre prehistoric life!
The Largest Arthropod That Ever Lived - Jaekelopterus rhenaniae
Imagine a giant crayfish-like creepy-crawler that was much longer than you!! This enormous arthropod lived 390-million-years-ago and was roughly the size of a large crocodile. Scientists estimate that it was about 8.2 feet (2.5 m) long, based on the 18-inch (46 cm) fossil claw that was found in Germany. This sea scorpion likely inhabited coastal swamp waters where it was probably the top predator around --- slicing up fish and even its own kind, as arthropods are known to do.
Why were prehistoric critters so big?!
Well, not all prehistoric animals were big. We just have a tendency to pay more attention to the massive animals.
It's thought that a larger size made animals less likely to be eaten by predators.
At a cost though. A larger body needs more food to sustain it, hence, large prehistoric animals were more susceptible to extinction.
Huge Prehistoric Desert-Dwelling Penguins
Thirty-five million years ago, penguins the size of humans could be found wandering a desert in Peru. This penguin did not need ice to survive! These birds reached heights of 5-feet (1.5 m). The photo at right shows this giant as compared with another prehistoric penguin, and with Peru's only living penguin, the Peruvian penguin.
Prehistoric giant penguin skull (top) as compared to Peruvian penguin skull (bottom).
3-Foot Giant Shrimp
A fossil discovery in Morocco revealed that this gigantic early crustacean lived almost 30 million years longer than previously thought. The specimens found are the largest yet discovered of its kind and suggest that these shrimp-like beasts dominated pre-dinosaur seas. These shrimp-like creatures were the early off-shoot of modern crustaceans called anomalocaridids.
Just how large were these beasts? The recent fossils reveal that they could grow to lengths of 3.3 feet (1 meter)!!! Just one would have made enough shrimp scampi to feed an army for a month. Click here to read the full National Geographic article!
What is your favorite prehistoric animal on this page?
All right, time to pick your favorite!
What about the birds?
The largest bird in the fossil record may be the extinct elephant bird of Madagascar, which is related to the ostrich. They were 3 m (10 ft)+ high and weighed an estimated 500 kg (1,120 lb)!
The largest bird ever capable of flight was Argentavis magnificens with a wingspan of up to 8.3 m (28 ft), a length of over 3 m (10 ft), and a body weight of 80 kg (175 lb). That's one big bird!
Great Dinosaur Sites!
If you are interested in dinosaurs, check out these educational and informative sites!
- Dinosaurs : Discovery Channel
This is Discovery's comprehensive guide to dinosaurs. Covering everything about dinosaurs from when and where they lived to what they ate and how they behaved. Don't forget to watch amazing dinosaur video and play cool dinosaur games.
- Dinosaurs For Kids
Learn about dinosaurs with KidsDinos.com. Find out which dinosaur was the largest, which was the smallest, which had the most horns, the longest neck, or which ate the most food.
- QUIZ: Dinosaurs -- National Geographic Kids
Test your dinosaur smarts: take this cool quiz!!
- National Museum of Natural History - Dinosaurs
Comprehensive information on dinosaurs and dinosaur exhibits & collections from the National Museum of Natural History!
- Dinosaurs - Dinosaur, facts, paleontology, pictures, and information
Enter the age of dinosaurs in the most exciting online paleontology site. There are lots of dinosaur facts, pics, information, extinction theories, and plently of knowledge given directly for popular species such as the Velociraptor, triceratops, and
What prehistoric creatures do you like best?
Which group of prehistoric giants do you like better?
This lens was awarded with a purple star for quality content on 15 June 2011. THANK YOU to my readers and special thanks to skiesgreen for the nomination and Robin for the award! (:
This lens was selected as Squidoo Lens Of The Day on 17 June 2011
So...what do you think? - Do you like large animals?
Is bigger better?
Do these prehistoric animals fascinate you? Did I miss your favorite? Leave your comments here!!