Our planet has been home to some of the most fascinating creatures that ever lived. The ones that we see now, however, don’t even come close to the vast array of creatures that used to walk on this Earth. Since animals first appeared 600 million years ago, billions of species had come to exist but 99.9% of them are now extinct, leaving only traces of what they once were behind.
Fossils of these extinct animals have been found in various locations on Earth and many believe that there are more fascinating species waiting to be unearthed. Some of the ones that were discovered were of unimaginable sizes and even the largest animal alive today would look miniscule compared to these truly outstanding creatures. Here are the Top 10 gigantically extinct animals known to date:
This creature was the closest we could get to Bigfoot or King Kong. From the largest genus of apes known to exist, the Gigantopithecus once stood 9.8 ft and weighed more than a thousand pounds. These massive creatures once roamed the lands of China, Nepal, Vietnam and India and were once in the same timeframe and location as various hominin species. The Gigantopithecus went extinct some one hundred thousand years ago.
- Argentavis Magnificens
Such as its name, this magnificent bird was the largest flying bird ever to have existed. Its wings stretched to a span of more than 20 feet and had the wing area of 75 square feet. It had once lived more than 6 million year ago and weighed more than 210 pounds.
You might have heard of this large predator from Shark Week; the Megalodon is said to be the biggest prehistoric shark there is. It had the most powerful bite and was nicknamed “giant tooth” due to its half- foot long teeth. This marine creature grew to a length of over 60 feet and its diet once consisted of giant whales. No one knows for sure why these giant marine creatures went extinct. Some say that it was because of the last Ice Age while others argued that it was because of the disappearance of their main food source, the giant whales.
- Woolly Mammoth
Made popular by the many recreations of the Ice Age, the Woolly Mammoth came from a particular genus called the Mammuthus primigenius. These shaggy- coated creatures once had tusks that grew 15 feet long and were once sought after by early humans who hunted them down for their warm pelts and as their source of food. The last Woolly Mammoth was known to have died 4,000 years ago; however, scientists may be working on cloning these well-preserved mammoths.
Also known as Pliosaurs, these sea reptiles are known to be the biggest that have ever existed. Growing to around 40 feet, Pliosauroidea once swam the seas roughly 150 million years ago and were considered as among the most dangerous predators in the sea.
- Tyrannosaurus Rex
One of the fiercest and largest dinosaurs that ever lived, the T-rex was believed to be capable of eating 500 pounds of meat in just one bite, with the help of its 4- foot long jaw, of course. This gigantic carnivore was known to grow 40 feet long and 15 to 20 feet tall. It was one of the many creatures that went extinct during the Cretaceous- Tertiary mass extinction 65 million years ago.
Known to be the longest, largest and heaviest pre-historic snake that have ever crawled the planet, the Titanoboa grew to a massive length of 45 to 50 feet and had the diameter of 3 feet. It might have once looked like a large boa constrictor but it surely did not hunt like one. Its hunting style can be described as crocodile-like as it suddenly leaps out on its prey and snaps its massive jaws on the victim’s windpipe. The last remnants of this specie lived about 50 million years ago.
With the distinguishing feature of long and spiky protuberances from its vertebrae, the Spinosaurus translates to “spine lizard”. It is believed that the Spinosaurus outweighed the Tyrannosaurus Rex by a ton or two, making it the largest carnivourous dinosaur in existence. However, these two dinosaurs didn’t live in the same period or location, with the T- Rex living tens of millions of years later in North America while the other in Africa.
These gigantic creatures once roamed the lands of the present day Argentina; The Argentinosaurus grew up to 100 feet in length and over 100 tons in weight. They were generally peace-loving creatures but when it came to defending themselves and their young, the Argentinosaurus liked to use their comparatively more massive size and weight against the predators.
The longest and largest dinosaur to have ever lived, the Amphicoelias is said to be much bigger than the blue whale. These creatures liked to stay in herds and had plants as their main food source. Discovered in the late 1800’s, it was estimated to have grown to 160 to 200 feet long and weighed at least 120 to 200 tons. It might have also been the largest animal that ever lived.
These are the Top 10 gigantically extinct animals that have ever existed. It might seem like a hard task to find creatures even bigger and heavier than the ones in this list but it is definitely not impossible. For all we know, there could still be more massive creatures hidden in the depths of the earth.