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Top 10 Bizarre Prehistoric Animals


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Old 08-23-2010, 08:43 AM
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Default Top 10 Bizarre Prehistoric Animals

We’ve all heard and read about the dinosaurs. We know the extinction theories, and you may even have your own. However, there were thousands of other creatures living amongst the dinosaurs that you may not know about. Some look like animals you would find in the zoo or aquarium today, while others are extremely bizarre and down right scary looking. In any case, they’re all millions of years old and, thankfully, extinct.
Below is a list of the weirdest ten prehistoric animals: some are not-so-popularly known dinosaurs, some are small, and some are bigger than the average man. Through the helpful s****s and knowledge of archaeologists, more and more prehistoric animals are found every year.

10. Dunkleosteus




The Dunkleosteus is a prehistoric fish that could give you nightmares. It’s said to be one of the biggest arthrodire placoderms, an armored and jawed fish, to have ever grazed Earth’s waters. It was about 33 feet long and weighed almost 4 tons. The creature is considered to be hypercarnivorous as well as an apex predator. This means that the Dunkleosteus wasn’t a prey to any other type of animal, and mainly consumed meat as its diet. Though a meat eater, the creature didn’t have teeth, instead its mouth held two pair of gnathal plates, which formed a beak like structure. Using these plates, it is said that the Dunkleosteus had a bite similar to one of a crocodile, or even a T-Rex, able to place 8,000 pounds per square inch of pressure on a victim. Thankfully this creature died during the Late Devonian period, or else swimming in the ocean would be a bit scary.

Ancient Ancestors
While it is said that after the Late Devonian period, no other creature existed that was a direct relation to the Dunkleosteus, another prehistoric fish did eventually come about, known as the Titanichthys. However, this fish is still seen as ancient to us. Because the Dunkleosteus is no direct ancestor of animals today, many researchers broadly consider them to be 400 billion year old sharks, so modern day sharks may be related to this creature.


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9. Archaeopteryx




The Archaeopteryx, sometimes known as the first bird, is what scientists believe is the most primitive bird to have ever existed. The creature lived during the late Jurassic Period in a southern region of present-day Germany, at a time when Europe was nothing but an archipelago of islands. It is said that the prehistoric animal was only the size of the common magpie we all know today, which is about 1.6 feet in length. However, while the Archaeopteryx was petite, full of feathers, and seemed harmless; the creature actually had extremely broad wings and razor sharp teeth. It also had claws located on the fingers and the second toes. The toe claws were hyper-extensible into something referred to as the ‘****ing claw’.

Ancient Ancestors
Scientific research has found that the Archaeopteryx is more related to dinosaurs than to birds. With this said, scientists believe that this creature may be the first of its kind, starting a new generation of animals that were dinosaurs, but were the first to change from land-roaming animals to those that were able to fly and eventually become birds. When looking at links, it’s safe to say that the Archaeopteryx is probably related to all birds today, as it is the first-known example of flight feathers.
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8. Elasmosaur




The Elasmosaur lived during the Late Cretaceous period. It was probably around 46 feet in length and weighed over 2.2 tons. Half of its body’s length was its neck, which had over 70 vertebrae, which is more than any known animal today. However, its long neck was highly important as it was the only part of its body that was able to be lifted out of the water. With such a large body, you’d think that the creature had large flippers, but according to fossils found in Kansas by Dr. Theophilus Turner, it had four that weren’t of great size. Its body was accompanied by a small head that held extremely sharp teeth.

Ancient Ancestors
The Elasmosaur doesn’t have any close relations to animals that you’d find in today’s world, but it can be generalized that it is somewhat related to reptiles. Though it doesn’t have any close ties, if you’re a believer of the Loch Ness monster, then the Elasmosaur is definitely your pal. It’s said that most stories involve an animal that is extremely similar to this creature.
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7. Deinotherium



At times known as the ‘hoe tusker’, the Deinotherium was a creature that lived during the Middle Miocene era and died sometime during the Early Pleistocene era. It’s also known as being the third largest land animal to have ever existed, standing about 15 feet tall and weighing over 15.4 tons. The creature looks much like present-day elephants, the only real difference being that they had a shorter trunk and the tusks were attached to the lower jaw, not the upper jaw like today’s elephants. Deinotherium fossils have been found all over, mainly in Europe, Asia, and Africa. After these fossils were found, many believe that the large teeth and tusks were the catalysts to Greek beliefs of giant archaic creatures.
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6. Opabinia




Opabinia is one of the rarest fossils found in today’s world. There are less than twenty quality specimens of the creature, and archaeologists hope to discover more in time. The known fossils were mostly found in the Burgess Shale of British Columbia. Opabinia isn’t what you’d expect when you think about prehistoric ages. This species, known to live on the seafloor, had a soft body that was about seven centimeters long. They had a head with five eyes and a mouth underneath that was backwards. The backwards mouth is said to coincide with the fact that the creature had a proboscis, which was more than likely used to pass food to the mouth, as its length indicates. The creature also had a segmented body that was finished off by a fan-shaped tail.

Ancient Ancestors
When the Opabinia fossils were first discovered, scientists did not believe that the species was related to any known type of phylum at the time, but after numerous studies of the fossils, many believe that the species is related to arthropods as well as amenlid worms. Scientists also believe that the Opabinia is an ancestor of those creatures found in the onychophorans and tardigrades group.
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