Animals, thanks to the extinction of which we are still alive
Today, man is the dominant predator on the planet. And all due to the fact that these monsters have died out long before our appearance. If they were alive today, it is still unknown who would stand at the top of the food chain.
Argentavis lived 5-8 million years ago in Argentina. It weighed about 70 kg, was 1.26 m in height, its wingspan reached 7 m (which is twice as large as the wings of the largest modern birds - albatrosses). The skull of the argentavis was 45 cm long, and the humerus was more than half a meter long. All this makes Argentavis the largest known science flying bird in the entire history of the Earth. Experts believe that the majestic Argentine bird flew like a high-quality glider. It is close in size to the Cessna 152 airplane. This creation resembled a bald eagle with a wingspan of about 8 meters and feathers the size of a samurai sword. It was believed that it floated in the air like a glider and could reach a speed of 240 km / h.Experts still do not know exactly how this bird could take off and land.
Dunkleosti was the largest of the prehistoric placoderm shellfish. Her head and chest were covered with an articulated armored plate. Instead of teeth, these fish had two pairs of sharp bone plates that formed a klyuvnuyu structure. Dunkleostey were probably destroyed by other placoderms, which had the same bone plates for protection, their jaws powerful enough to cut and pierce armored prey. One of the largest known specimens found was 10 meters long and weighed four tons, which makes it one of the fish that you wouldn’t like to spin. This fish was not at all picky about food, ate fish, sharks and even fish of its family. But they probably suffered from indigestion triggered by fossils of half-digested fish remains. Scientists from the University of Chicago concluded that Dunkleostey possessed the second most powerful bite among fish. These giant armored fish died out during the transition from the Devonian to the Carboniferous period.
3. Cancer scorpion.
This giant sea creature looked like some kind of cross between scorpion and lobster with a tapering tail and flat fins. The Cancer scorpions, although similar to modern scorpions, still belong to another species: eurypterids. They lived on earth for many millions of years, but still became extinct at the end of the Permian period. Early forms lived in shallow waters in the seas. About 325-299 million years ago, most of it passed into life in fresh water. This group included individuals that are considered the largest arthropods in the history of the planet. The body length of such creatures reached two and a half meters.
Perhaps the largest extinct predatory terrestrial mammal living in the era of the middle - late Eocene in Central Asia. Andrewsarch is represented by a long-bodied and short-legged beast with a huge head. The length of the skull is 83 cm, the width of the zygomatic arch is 56 cm, but the dimensions can be much larger. According to modern reconstructions, if we assume relatively large head sizes and shorter legs, the body length could reach 3.5 meters (without 1.5 meter tail), the height at the shoulders - up to 1.6 meters. Weight could reach 1 ton.Andrewsark is a primitive ungulate, close to the ancestors of whales and pactites. Andrewsarch lived from 45 to 36 million years ago.
This creature is called one of the largest, if not the largest of all who have ever plied the heavenly spaces. Its name is associated with the Aztec god Quetzalcoatl, who was known as a feathered serpent. The flying creature lived in the Late Cretaceous. It was the real king of the sky, with a wingspan of 12 meters and a height of almost 10. However, the weight was rather small - up to a centner, thanks to the hollow bones. The creature had a pointed key with which it collected food. The long jaws were not hindered by the absence of teeth, and the main meal could be fish, the corpses of other dinosaurs. Fossils were first discovered in Big Bend Park, Texas in 1971. It is believed that, while on the ground, the four-footed animal was so strong that it could take off straight from the spot, without a run-up. Comparing this huge animal with modern animals is, of course, difficult. Since it was a pterosaur, he left no direct descendants. But at one time it was most associated with the pteranodon, which is already comparable with modern birds, in particular with the Marabou stork. Two facts bring them closer together - a larger than usual wingspan and an addiction to falling as food.
His name speaks for itself. It was a huge monkey, a relative of the orangutan, which lived in the bamboo thickets, jungles and mountains of China, India and Vietnam during the Pleistocene. Giantopitheki grew to 3 m and weighed up to 550 kg! They were very strong, which was in their hands in defense against predators. Gigantopithecus died out 300,000 years ago, most likely due to the hunt of early humans or due to climate change. Of course, all lovers of the snow man like to think that giant groomers somehow survived in remote parts of the Himalayas and that there is still hope of seeing him.
7. The marsupial saber-toothed tiger.
The predatory marsupial animal of the order Sparassodonta, which lived in the Miocene (10 million years ago). Reached the size of the jaguar. On the skull, the upper canine teeth are constantly growing, with huge roots extending into the frontal region and long protective "lobes" on the lower jaw. Upper incisors absent. Hunted, probably on large herbivores. Tilakosmila is often called the marsupial tiger, by analogy with another formidable predator - the marsupial lion. It died out at the end of the Pliocene, unable to withstand the competition with the first saber-toothed cats that settled the continent.
This animal is famous for its unusual dental spiral. It is believed that Helikoprion lived in the Carboniferous period. It is believed that this fish was one of the few who survived the Permo-Triassic mass extinction. But at the end of the Triassic period, the creature still died out. Although there are few fish remains, scientists have discovered an unusual dental helix and several jaw bones. With their help, possible images of the animal were recreated. It is known for sure that he had teeth similar to a circular saw located on the lower jaw. There were so many teeth that the older ones were forced out into the middle, creating a new round of spiral. However, new theories suggest that the helix could be located in the pharynx area, remaining invisible from the outside. Such a structure of marine life allowed better hunting. Thus, the spiral could cut tentacles, injure fish or dig up shellfish. The length of such unusual creatures reached 2-3 meters, based on the diameter of a standard spiral of 25 centimeters. True, there were also dental formations of 90 centimeters, which gives reason to believe the length of helicoprions up to 9-12 meters.Although the fish is very similar to the modern shark, they represented primitive cartilaginous animals close to the ancestors of modern marine predators.
9. Awful bird.
Known as the foreorcos, these birds were the main predators in South America and in some areas of the North during the Miocene, Pliocene, and Pleistocene periods. Then they were replaced by big cats and other carnivorous mammals. Fororokosovye could not fly, but they very quickly ran (according to some scientists, as fast as a cheetah). They were very large, up to 3 m in height and weighing up to half a ton! Their main weapon was a head up to 1 m long, which allowed them to completely swallow prey the size of a dog. But worst of all, thanks to the curved beak, terrible birds could kill and eat an animal the size of a horse.
Giant hyenodontid, which lived in the early and middle Miocene (20-15 million BP). It is considered to be one of the largest land predator mammals that ever existed. Its fossil remains are found in East and North East Africa and in South Asia. The length of the body with the head was about 4 m + the length of the tail is supposedly 1.6 m, the height at the withers is up to 2 m.Megistoteria is estimated at 880–1400 kg.