Planet Earth is home to a huge variety of weird and wonderful creatures, some of which we know more about than others. Unfortunately, several species have become, or are already becoming, extinct (no longer exist) due largely to human expansion and climate change. The extinction of any race is a sad thing and can upset the balance of nature, but in the case of these following real life monsters, you might be glad they’re no longer walking this planet!
Starting with one of the most well known extinct creatures (which some scientists argue may still be living in the depths of the ocean yet to be explored by mankind), the Megalodon makes the apex predator Great White Shark look like an innocent puppy! Literally meaning ‘big tooth’, the Megalodon was a truly gigantic (very very big) shark that looks much like a great white but just significantly larger and even scarier, eek! Fossils found of the Megalodon’s teeth suggest that it roamed Earth’s oceans between 1 and almost 30 million years ago, and that today’s great white shark is its much smaller cousin. To give you an idea, based on fossils it seems that the Megalodon was 15 times bigger than the average person and larger than the average schoolbus! Large enough and strong enough to easily tip boats. Let’s be thankful this creature is no longer swimming our waters, at least near the surface...
Don’t be confused by the name, you wouldn’t be smiling if you came across one of these! The Smilodon is probably the most famous of the Saber tooth cats, the larger and meaner siblings of today’s big cats. A strong and fast predator with long saber teeth it makes a lion look like the cat on the Whisker’s advert! These powerful beats roamed the plains of North and South America as recently as 10,000 years ago, which actually isn’t that long in the grand scheme of the planet. It weighed as much as 900 pounds, which is roughly double today’s male lion. Thankfully, they’re no longer with us.
Reptiles – Deinosuchus and Titanoboa
The reptile family - and in particular crocodiles, alligators and snakes - are said to be the closest living relatives to the dinosaurs that once walked this Earth, and they sure can be very large scary monsters. A giant alligator or long powerful Boa constrictor are deadly enough, right? Well, as with many of today’s predators, it turns out they had much bigger and much scarier ancestors too! The Deinosuchus looked much like today’s alligators or crocodiles but simply much larger, measuring some 40 feet. That’s over four times as big as the average American alligator today and 6 times bigger than a Chinese alligator! They were so large scientists believe they could have even preyed on dinosaurs, including the infamous Tyrannosaurus Rex. Titanoboa, as you may have guessed from the name, was a giant snake that dwarfs today’s boa constrictor. Feeding mainly on giant crocodiles and turtles the Titanoboa was some 42 feet long and weighed in at about 2,500 pounds! At such a gigantic weight it could easily crush and swallow giant creatures whole- eurrgh!
IMAGE SOURCE 1: https://viergacht.deviantart.com/art/Ankur-Smilodon-527633897
IMAGE SOURCE 2: http://the-isle-dinosaur-game.wikia.com/wiki/Titanoboa