Upon seeing the creature, Smith immediately realized it was a coelacanth, a fish thought to have been extinct for millions of years. However, experts can place its size to be around 28 feet long and that it belonged to the Ichthyosaur family: a distinct kind of prehistoric marine reptiles that lived during the Triassic period. Sadly, Whale Sharks are in danger of becoming extinct thanks to a variety of reasons, with its population being depleted because of over-hunting by humans for its fins and meat playing a primary role: a sad fact that makes you question who the monsters really are. They also may have squirted ink to evade predators, as preserved ink is sometimes found in fossil ammonites. Today we’re going to look at some super cool creatures from ancient times who called the ocean their home, because they deserve the spotlight every now and then too. She had never seen anything like it before, so she reached out to her friend, Professor J. L. B. Smith. Kronosaurus. At 20 feet long and with a weight clocking around at only 0.4 tons, the Tanystropheus doesn’t look like it’s much of a threat compared to the other creatures on this list. According to estimates, they grew up to 60 feet long and weighed up to 60 tons. Dunkleosteus didn’t have teeth, but it did have bony plates that ended in very sharp edges, and very strong jaws that it could use to clamp down on just about anything in its path, including our old friend the ammonite (sorry, little guy!). For a long time, not much else was known about this dinosaur, and it was often depicted looking like a typical theropod dinosaur (think Tyrannosaurus rex) with a big sail on its back. Despite threats from humans today, sharks are still going strong, following the old “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” style of evolution. This behemoth lived during the Cretaceous period and is a true apex predator when you consider its 60-foot long body that weighs somewhere within the area of 5-6 tons. Coelacanths resemble many other kinds of fish, but have a few unique features, including a small “secondary” tail that extends past the fins of their primary tail. “Kronosaurus” was named after Kronos, a Titan of Ancient Greek mythology, who was the father of the god Zeus. Now, although sharks are scary enough as it is, just imagine one that looks almost exactly like a Great White, except it is 60 feet long and weighs anywhere between 75 to 100 tons. This Prehistoric Sea Creature Was Once The Largest Animal On Earth By Jacqueline Howard Pristine fossils recently unearthed in southeastern Morocco have been identified as the remains of a bizarre sea creature that -- with a body that spanned about seven feet -- was once the largest animal on Earth. I meant kraken! With a mouth like that, it could kill with a single chomp. Fin Whales are known as the second-largest animal in the world, which is just right behind the Blue Whale – another entry in this list – in terms of size. If you were to go for a swim during this time period, you might want to watch out for Dunkleosteus, a huge fish that could grow up to 20 feet long! They’re relatively smaller than other creatures of that era, being 13 ft. long and weighing only about 0.15 tons. Like pliosaurs, Elasmosaurus had large, paddle-like flippers to help it swim through the sea, but unlike its short-necked relatives, its head was very small. However, now some scientists put Megalodon in its own genus (Carcharocles) and believed it is more closely related to the sand tiger shark than to the modern great white. Weighing two tons and growing to 16 feet long, the Dakosaurus’ most dangerous weapon was its teeth, which looked like rows of talons. Mosasaurus means “lizard of the Meuse River”. Either way, this was certainly not a fish that anyone wanted to mess with, and no one was safe while this monster shark was loose in ancient oceans. Despite being slightly smaller than the Blue Whale, its maximum size is still heavily debated, and given its ferociousness, you’d probably be frightened into thinking it was bigger than any other creature in this article. It had a 10 ft. … And that’s what makes it so fascinating. Also, just because it’s big doesn’t mean it’s sluggis. The Edestus is a prehistoric shark that lived around 300 million years ago, in an era known as the Carboniferous period. In general terms, it’s a shark. The giant fins on the Mosasaurus made it one of the most efficient hunters during its era. Standing at around 90 feet long, with a weight reaching up to 200 tons, these aquatic marvels are also becoming rarer and rarer in the world today. Livyatan Melvillei is the biggest prehistoric whale that ever lived. However, instead of legs, it has fins on its sides that allow it to glide underwater as it hunted down its prey. Genus: Balaenoptera. However, recent evidence supports that some, like Spinosaurus, were at least semi-aquatic and may have spent much of their time in the water. The final entry on this list might seem a bit lackluster. We snuck a dinosaur in here? That honor goes to Kronosaurus, which may have grown as long as 40 feet! The ocean is a huge place, and largely remains unexplored. Tylosaurus could grow over 40 feet long and ate plesiosaurs for breakfast, lunch and dinner. • The largest-known monotreme (egg-laying mammal) ever was the extinct long-beaked echidna species known as Zaglossus hacketti, known from a couple of bones found in Western Australia. Distinct Feature: Long, … Diet: Plankton. However, as more skull material was found, it became clear that Spinosaurus was quite different from many other meat-eating dinosaurs. The Shastasaurus is another one of the Triassic period’s giant marine monsters. Another, even larger mosasaur was Mosasaurus, the sea reptile for which the family was named. Adding to its fearsome size, its nickname “scissor-toothed shark” just makes it all the more horrifying compared to the modern sharks of today. Mosasaurs resembled pliosaurs, with large toothy heads and paddle-like flippers, but they weren’t related. Let’s jump ahead a bit now about 50 million years to the Late Devonian Period. However, despite their sizes having the capacity to kill a man with one swish of their tails, Sperm Whales actually prefer minding their business in the deep sea, hunting mostly squid. These ancient fish were thought to have gone extinct around the end of the Cretaceous Period, around 65 million years ago. The first Mosasaurus remains were found in the mid-1700s, and for a long time were believed to belong to a whale, and after that, a crocodile. – although there are heavily debated records that even purport they could weigh up to a whopping 0.3 tons –, this is the largest octopus that exists today. Megalodon was the top predator of its age, and even great white sharks, which lived at the same time, knew to stay out of its way. After marine reptiles, dinosaurs, armored fish and giant sharks, the coelacanth seems a bit…ordinary. With a length reaching up to 9 feet, the Jaekelopterus has become the largest arthropod to have ever existed. Well, the second part “-osteus” comes from the Greek word for “bone”, referring to its very bony armored head. Feel free to share this article with your friends; it’ll really help a lot! As for their weight, it’s a matter of debate with theories ranging from anywhere between 15-20 tons. “Liopleurodon” means “smooth-sided teeth”, which, if we’re being honest, seems to sell this prehistoric monster a bit short. They’re very good at what they do, and well designed for it. One group, the mosasaurs of the Cretaceous Period (100-65 million years ago), could grow even larger. What are the 12 Best Dinosaur Toys for Kids 3 and Up? 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