What are the strangest prehistoric creatures you can recall? Is the Helicoprion one of them? How about the Glyptodon. It’s difficult to image, but there was once a time where our planet was host to a wilder, more dangerous, and by far scarier place. Modern day’s toughest predators such as the great white shark, tiger, bear, and lion look feeble in comparison to some of the hulking beasts which terrorized the planet back then. From a bird with a wingspan over 40 feet to an ocean predator with teeth so plentiful they hung out of its mouth like massive scissors, prehistoric animals were simultaneously strange looking and terrifying. Today, we will show you some of the strangest, scariest, and most bizarre creatures, even by the standard of their own times. These are 25 strangest prehistoric creatures to rule the Earth.
Rodhocetus gives us a clear example of a species’ evolutionary transition from land-dweller to sea-farer. One of the best-known animals in the Cetacea infraorder (which includes whales, dolphins, and porpoises), Rodhocetus had short limbs ending in webbed hands and feet. Its characteristics closely resemble those of land mammals, thus leading scientists to conclude it was part-way along the evolutionary transition from land to sea.
If every letter in Pelagornithidae’s name was equal to a foot, it still wouldn’t equal the size of this massive prehistoric creature. Boasting a wingspan between 15-20 feet (5-6 m), Pelagornithidae were the dominant seabirds of most oceans and even brushed up with our earliest ancestors.
Made popular by the Smithsonian Channel TV Show, Titanoboa is simultaneously the largest, heaviest, and longest snake known to man. Appearing during the Paleocene age just after the extinction of dinosaurs, Titanoboa was so muscular it crushed its gigantic prey to death with massive force. Its discovery was especially important as it showed Earth’s tropical areas were likely warmer than we expected.
Nicknamed the “shovel tusker”, the Platybelodon looks like a modern day elephant with one major difference: its trunk. This strange prehistoric creature did not have a typical fleshy trunk but rather a flat protrusion comparable to an elongated duck’s bill. Scientists believe it used the shovel tusks to grasp tree branches and rip off bark.
A combination of two of humans’ biggest fears – alligators and scorpions – Eurypterid was like a scorpion which, from one found fossil, could reach the size of an alligator. Primarily an ocean-dweller, this creature was not a true scorpion. Found all over the world, Eurypterid finally went extinct during the Permian-Triassic extinction event 252.17 million years ago. Most only grew up to 8 inches (20 cm) long, but the infamous subspecies Jaekelopterus was bigger, making it the largest arthropod yet discovered.