MOST Terrifying Prehistoric Creatures That Actually Existed

27 Jul 2017 12:03 457
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From deadly dinosaurs and giant turtles, to a penguin the size of Lebron James ; Here are 20 terrifying prehistoric Creatures

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Cameroceras (KAM-er-uh-sare-us)
While this is considered to be one of the largest (if not the largest) cephalopods to exist, there are only estimates as to its upper body size … but estimates have ranged up to 30 feet. Related to modern octopuses and squids, it lived around 470 million years ago, and had a huge, cone-like shell and tentacles that were used to capture prey like fish and other sea creatures.

Helicoprion (hella-cop-ree-un)
This bizarre critter swam in the oceans of the early Permian period some 290 million years ago. They could grow over 24 feet long, although there’s evidence to suggest that some species could have grown longer, perhaps up to 40 feet long! It gets the nickname ‘the Spiral Saw’ due to fossils that display an unusual ‘tooth whorl’ that is reminiscent of a circular saw. Paleontologists still debate exactly how the creature fed itself. One popular theory states that Helicoprion used its flexible whiplike jaw and lashed it into schools of fish ... then retrieved the prey it had impaled. But there’s still disagreement over where the creature would store its lower jaw when it wasn’t feeding … and that has led to many different artists’ renditions of the animal. Its fossils have been found in Asia, Australia and North America.

Megalodon, translates to “big tooth” … and this monster had a mouthful of them. The ancient shark measured some 60 feet long and weighed an incredible 114 tons! Experts say the big beast would have resembled today’s great white shark. They lived up until some 1.5 million years ago. Close enough.

Utahraptor -- biggest raptor 1500 lbs -- The velociraptor might get all the publicity, but the Utahraptor was the biggest raptor and arrived on the scene first, during the early Cretaceous period. It could weigh over 1000 pounds and reach lengths of 23 feet, about the size of a polar bear. And those fearsome hind claws could measure over 9 inches long! Did you guess that fossils of this

Spinosaurus (SPINE-uh-sore-us)
The name of this towering theropod (THEE-ruh-pod) means ‘spine lizard’ … and is a reference to the (5.5 -foot) long spines growing from its back vertebrae. With a length exceeding 50 feet and weighing more than 20 tons, this creature was one of the largest known carnivorous dinosaurs -- and that includes T-Rex. With a crocodilian-like skull, it would have resembled today’s reptiles. And, like crocs, they lived in the land and water … and may have been able to swim. They lived around 93 million years ago in present day North Africa.

Mosasaurus (moe-suh-SORE-us)
If you saw "Jurassic World” a few years ago, you likely remember the Mosasaurus … that critter seemed to be a real breakout star. So when we saw this picture, we thought maybe it was from a video game, or maybe somebody got clever with Photoshop … until we realized it was actually a scene from that movie. And that’s the EW way of segwaying into letting you know that Mosasaurs were actually marine reptiles … like plesiosaurs, they were not technically dinosaurs. But this critter was likely the largest of the lot, measuring around 60 feet long, resembled a present day crocodile. They would have used their powerful, fin-like tails to chase down prey. After catching it in their massive jaws, the creature's huge teeth would have shredded the capture. Mosasaurus lived until around 66 million years ago … and their fossils have been found everywhere on Earth except for Antarctica.

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