Article by: Niladri Sekhar Dutta, The North-Eastern Chronicle
Visual by: Kunal Kaustav Duwarah
There’s been about 4 billion years since life on earth and a lot of it has been changed due to evolution. Though most of the species are extinct now which once existed, some were terrifying, like the ferocious dinosaurs. But dinosaurs were not the ever so terrifying creatures that existed.
Here’s we look at some of the most terrifying creatures that existed millions of years back. Which could have completely destroyed out world if they were alive today.
Liopleurodon was a giant marine reptile, this species lived during the collovian days of the jurasic period (160 to 150 million years ago). Liopleurodon were predators and grew upto the the size of 33ft, and mostly fed on aquatic animals like fish etc.
They were one of the best predeators of their time, and their long flippers allowed them to swim extremely quickly. Liopleurodon fossils have been found mainly in England and France. Currently, there are two recognized species within Liopleurodon. From the Callovian-Kimmeridgian of England and France L. ferox is well known.
Long before dinasaurs ruled the prehistoric world, there were other dominant predator that lives known as Gorgonops. They lived around 260 millions years ago. They were not of that giant of size grown up to 10ft of size. But were been one of the key predators across southern Africa because of their larger canines, they would have had little trouble in penetrating the tough hides of some of the herbivores of that time.
It’s in the year 1876, the first gorgonopsian remains were found in South Africa, by the biologist and paleontologist Richard Owen. He classified the fossils as Gorgonops torvus, combining the Greek Gorgon, a mythological beast, with the word óps meaning ‘aspect’.
Megalodon simply means “big tooth”, it is an extinct species of mackerel shark that lived approximately 23 to 3.6 million years ago.It was first thought to be a member and a close relative of the great white shark. However, it is now classified into the extinct family Otodontidae, which diverged from the great white shark during the Early periods.
Megaladons are widely regarded as one of the largest and most powerful predators that has ever lived. Data suggests that mature adult megalodons had a mean length of 10.2 metres (about 33.5 feet), the largest specimens measuring 17.9 metres (58.7 feet) long. Making it the largest fish ever known.
Mammoth creatures that once wandered huge tracts of North America, Europe, and northern Asia and went extinct more than 4,000 years ago. It’s a member of an extinct group of elephants found as fossils in Pleistocene deposits over every continent except Australia and South America and in early Holocene deposits of North America.
The woolly, Northern, or Siberian mammoth (Mammuthus primigenius) is by far the best-known of all mammoths. They were mostly about as large as modern elephants. The North American imperial mammoth (M. imperator) attained a shoulder height of 4 metres (14 feet).
Thylacosmilus were ferocious predators look like saber-tooth cats, actually belonged to an extinct group called ‘sparassodonts’, closely related to the marsupials alive today. They lived in what’s now South America and were discovered by Field Museum paleontologist Elmer Riggs in the early 1920s.
It is difficult to estimate the size of these creatures, since these animals have relatively large heads in proportion to their bodies, leading to overestimations, particularly when compared with skulls of modern members of Carnivores. Thylacosmilus, extinct genus of carnivorous, fossils deposits says that they lived about 10 million to 3 million years ago (late Miocene to late Pliocene Epoch) in South America.
Though these animals might have extinct many many years back before the human evaluation began, and we can find its fossils remaining. Through which we can identify how these animals once ruled the world, and imagine what it was back then when these predators were hunting around.
The truth is, scientists don’t know how many species of plants, animals, fungi, and bacteria exist on Earth. An recent estimate put that number at 2 billion, and that will most likely change at some point as we are still finding out many such animals. Extinction happens when environmental factors or evolutionary problems cause a species began to die out. The disappearance of species from Earth is ongoing and maybe could not be stopped.