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Top 10 Prehistory Animals That Are Now Exist

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Prehistory, the vast period of time before written records or human documentation, includes the Neolithic Revolution, Neanderthals and Denisovans, Stonehenge, the Ice Age and more. OR human history in the period before recorded events, known mainly through archaeological discoveries, study, research, etc.; history of prehistoric humans.

Below are the list of 10 Prehistory Animals that can be found nowadays….

1. Sarcosuchus

Giant Crocodile Prehistory Animals That Are Now Exist Sarcosuchus

Sarcosuchus is an extinct genus of crocodyliform and distant relative of living crocodylians that lived during the Early Cretaceous , from the late Hauterivian to the early Albian, 133 to 112 million years ago of what is now Africa and South America . It was one of the largest crocodile-line reptiles, reaching an average estimate of 9 m (30 ft) and 3.5 metric tons (3.9 short tons), but estimated to grow up to 9.5 m (31 ft) in body length and weigh up to 4.3 metric tons (4.7 short tons). It is known from two species, S. imperator from the early Albian Elrhaz Formation of Niger and S. hartti from the Late Hauterivian of northeastern Brazil, other material is known from Morocco and Tunisia and possibly Libya and Mali.

The first remains were discovered during several expeditions led by the French paleontologist Albert-Félix de Lapparent, spanning from 1946 to 1959, in the Sahara . These remains were fragments of the skull , vertebrae , teeth , and scutes . In 1964, an almost complete skull was found in Niger by the French CEA, but it was not until 1997 and 2000 that most of its anatomy became known to science, when an expedition led by the American paleontologist Paul Sereno discovered six new specimens, including one with about half the skeleton intact and most of the spine.

2. Dunkleosteus

Top 10 Prehistory Animals Dunkleosteus

Dunkleosteus is an extinct genus of arthrodire placoderm fish that existed during the Late Devonian period, about 358–382 million years ago . The name Dunkleosteus combines the Greek ὀστέον, osteon , meaning “bone”, and Dunkle , in honor of David Dunkle of the Cleveland Museum of Natural History . It consists of ten species: D. terrelli , D. belgicus , D. denisoni , D. marsaisi, D. magnificus , D. missouriensis , D. newberryi , D. amblyodoratus , and D. raveri ; some of which are among the largest placoderms to have ever lived. The largest species, D. terrelli grew up to 8.79 m (28.8 ft) long and 4 t (4.4 short tons) in weight. Dunkleosteus could quickly open and close its jaw, like modern day suction feeders , and had a bite force of 6,000 N (612 kg f ; 1,349 lb f) at the tip and 7,400 N (755 kg f; 1,664 lb f ) at the blade edge. Numerous fossils of the various species have been found in North America, Poland, Belgium , and Morocco.

Dunkleosteus was named in 1956 to honour David Dunkle , then curator of vertebrate paleontology at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History . The type species D. terrelli was originally described in 1873 as a species of Dinichthys. Dunkleosteus is an arthrodire originally placed in the family Dinichthyidae , which is composed mostly of large, carnivorous fish like Gorgonichthys. Anderson (2009) suggests, because of its primitive jaw structure, Dunkleosteus should be placed outside the family Dinichthyidae, perhaps close to the base of the clade Pachyosteomorpha, near Eastmanosteus . Carr and Hlavin (2010) resurrect Dunkleosteidae and place Dunkleosteus , Eastmanosteus , and a few other genera from Dinichthyidae within it. Dinichthyidae, in turn, is made into a monospecific family.

3. Megalodon

Top 10 Prehistory Animal Megalodon

Megalodon ( Otodus megalodon ), meaning “big tooth”, is an extinct species of shark that lived approximately 23 to 3.6 million years ago (mya), during the Early Miocene to the Pliocene . It was formerly thought to be a member of the family Lamnidae and a close relative of the great white shark ( Carcharodon carcharias ). However, it is now classified into the extinct family Otodontidae, which diverged from the great white shark during the Early Cretaceous . Its genus placement is still debated, authors placing it in either Carcharocles , Megaselachus, Otodus, or Procarcharodon . This is because transitional fossils have been found showing that Megalodon is the final chronospecies of a lineage of giant sharks originally of the genus Otodus which evolved during the Paleocene.

While regarded as one of the largest and most powerful predators to have ever lived, megalodon is known from fragmentary remains, and its appearance and maximum size are uncertain. Scientists differ on whether it would have more closely resembled a stockier version of the great white shark, the whale shark (Rhincodon typus ), the basking shark ( Cetorhinus maximus ) or the sand tiger shark ( Carcharias taurus). Most estimates of megalodon’s size extrapolate from teeth; with maximum length estimates up to 14.2–16 meters (47–52 ft) and average length estimates of 10.5 meters (34 ft). Estimates suggest their large jaws could exert a bite force of up to 108,500 to 182,200 newtons (24,400 to 41,000 lbf). Their teeth were thick and robust, built for grabbing prey and breaking bone.

4. Titanoboa

Prehistory Animals Titanoboa Snake

Titanoboa Snake is an extinct genus of very large snakes that lived in what is now La Guajira in northeastern Colombia . They could grow up to 12.8 m (42 ft) long and reach a weight of 1,135 kg (2,500 lb).

Fossils of Titanoboa have been found in the Cerrejón Formation , and date to around 58 to 60 million years ago. The giant snake lived during the Middle to Late Paleocene epoch , a 10-million-year period immediately following the Cretaceous-Paleogene extinction event . The only known species is Titanoboa cerrejonensis , the largest snake ever discovered, which supplanted the previous record holder, Gigantophis.

In 2009, the fossils of 28 individuals of T. cerrejonensis were found in the Cerrejón Formation of the coal mines of Cerrejón in La Guajira, Colombia. Before this discovery, few fossils of Paleocene-epoch vertebrates had been found in ancient tropical environments of South America. The snake was discovered on an expedition by a team of international scientists led by Jonathan Bloch, a University of Florida vertebrate paleontologist , and Carlos Jaramillo , a paleobotanist from the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama.

Titanoboa inhabited the first recorded tropical forest in South America. It shared its ecosystem with large Crocodylomorpha and large turtles . The paleogeography of the Late Paleocene was a sheltered paralic (coastal) swamp area, sheltered by the emerging later Guajira hills in the west and the slowly rising present-day Serranía del Perijá in the east, with an open connection to the proto- Caribbean in the north. In this environment the tropical aquatic ferns of the genus Salvinia flourished, as evidenced by fossils found in Cerrejón, the Bogotá Formation and the Palermo Formation.

5.Woolly Mammoth

Prehistory Animals That Are Now Exist Woolly Mammoth

The woolly mammoth (Mammuthus primigenius ) is an extinct species of mammoth that lived during the Pleistocene until its extinction in the Holocene epoch. It was one of the last in a line of mammoth species, beginning with Mammuthus subplanifrons in the early Pliocene . The woolly mammoth began to diverge from the steppe mammoth about 800,000 years ago in East Asia. Its closest extant relative is the Asian elephant . The appearance and behaviour of this species are among the best studied of any prehistoric animal because of the discovery of frozen carcasses in Siberia and Alaska , as well as skeletons, teeth, stomach contents, dung, and depiction from life in prehistoric cave paintings . Mammoth remains had long been known in Asia before they became known to Europeans in the 17th century. The origin of these remains was long a matter of debate, and often explained as being remains of legendary creatures . The mammoth was identified as an extinct species of elephant by Georges Cuvier in 1796.

The woolly mammoth was roughly the same size as modern African elephants . Males reached shoulder heights between 2.7 and 3.4 m (8.9 and 11.2 ft) and weighed up to 6 metric tons (6.6 short tons). Females reached 2.6–2.9 m (8.5– 9.5 ft) in shoulder heights and weighed up to 4 metric tons (4.4 short tons). A newborn calf weighed about 90 kg (200 lb). The woolly mammoth was well adapted to the cold environment during the last ice age . It was covered in fur, with an outer covering of long guard hairs and a shorter undercoat. The colour of the coat varied from dark to light. The ears and tail were short to minimise frostbite and heat loss. It had long, curved tusks and four molars , which were replaced six times during the lifetime of an individual. Its behaviour was similar to that of modern elephants, and it used its tusks and trunk for manipulating objects, fighting, and foraging. The diet of the woolly mammoth was mainly grasses and sedges. Individuals could probably reach the age of 60. Its habitat was the mammoth steppe , which stretched across northern Eurasia and North America.

6. Deinocheirus

Top 10 Prehistory Animals Deinocheirus

Deinocheirus (/ ˌdaɪnoʊˈkaɪrəs/ DY-no-KY-rəs ) is a genus of large ornithomimosaur that lived during the Late Cretaceous around 70 million years ago. In 1965, a pair of large arms, shoulder girdles, and a few other bones of a new dinosaur were first discovered in the Nemegt Formation of Mongolia . In 1970, this specimen became the holotype of the only species within the genus, Deinocheirus mirificus ; the genus name is Greek for “horrible hand”. No further remains were discovered for almost fifty years, and its nature remained a mystery. Two more complete specimens were described in 2014, which shed light on many aspects of the animal. Parts of these new specimens had been looted from Mongolia some years before, but were repatriated in 2014.

Deinocheirus was an unusual ornithomimosaur, the largest of the clade at 11 m (36 ft) long, and weighing 6.4 t (7.1 short tons). Though it was a bulky animal, it had many hollow bones which saved weight. The arms were among the largest of any bipedal dinosaur at 2.4 m (7.9 ft) long, with large, blunt claws on its three-fingered hands. The legs were relatively short, and bore blunt claws. Its vertebrae had tall neural spines that formed a “sail ” along its back. Most of the vertebrae and some other bones were highly pneumatised by invading air sacs. The tail ended in pygostyle -like vertebrae, which indicate the presence of a fan of feathers.

The skull was 1.024 m (3.36 ft) long, with a wide bill and a deep lower jaw, similar to those of hadrosaurs . The classification of Deinocheirus was long uncertain, and it was initially placed in the theropod group Carnosauria , but similarities with ornithomimosaurians were soon noted. After more complete remains were found, Deinocheirus was shown to be a primitive ornithomimosaurian, most closely related to the smaller genera Garudimimus and Beishanlong , together forming the family Deinocheiridae . Members of this group were not adapted for speed, unlike other ornithomimosaurs. Deinocheirus is thought to have been omnivorous ; its skull shape indicates a diet of plants, fish scales were found in association with one specimen and gastroliths were also present in the stomach region of the specimen. The large claws may have been used for digging and gathering plants. Bite marks on Deinocheirus bones have been attributed to the tyrannosaurid Tarbosaurus.

7. Irish Elk

Top 10 Prehistory Animal Irish Elk

The Irish elk (Megaloceros giganteus ) also called the giant deer or Irish deer , is an extinct species of deer in the genus Megaloceros and is one of the largest deer that ever lived. Its range extended across Eurasia during the Pleistocene, from Ireland to Lake Baikal in Siberia . The most recent remains of the species have been carbon dated to about 7,700 years ago in Siberia.

Although abundant skeletal remains have been found in bogs in Ireland, the animal was not exclusive to Ireland nor closely related to either of the living species currently called elk: Alces alces (the European elk, known in North America as the moose) or Cervus canadensis (the North American elk or wapiti). For this reason, the name “giant deer” is used in some publications, instead of “Irish elk”. Although one study suggested that the Irish elk was closely related to the red deer (Cervus elaphus ), most other phylogenetic analyses support that their closest living relatives are fallow deer (Dama dama ).

The first scientific descriptions of the animal’s remains were made by Irish physician Thomas Molyneux in 1695, who identified large antlers from Dardistown, Dublin —which were apparently commonly unearthed in Ireland—as belonging to the Elk (known as the Moose in North America), concluding that it was once abundant on the island. It was first formally named as Alce gigantea by Johann Friedrich Blumenbach in his Handbuch der.

8. Smilodontini

Big Wired Cat Prehistory Animal That Are Now Exist Smilodontini

Smilodontini is an extinct tribe within the Machairodontinae or “saber-toothed cat ” subfamily of the Felidae . The tribe is also known as the “dirk-toothed cats “. They were endemic to South America, North America, Europe, Asia , and Africa during the Miocene to Pleistocene, from 10.3 mya —11,000 years ago, existing for approximately 10.3 million years.

As the name suggests, the famous genus of Smilodon is part of this group, but there are also three other distinct genera in Smilodontini. The earliest known genus of the tribe is Promegantereon , once thought to be a species of Paramachairodus . The tribe only became extinct 10,000 years ago, with the demise of Smilodon . All of these are saber-toothed cats, meaning that they have long, narrow upper canines and stocky, well muscled proportions.

9. Scansoriopteryx

Prehistory Animals That Now Exist Scansoriopteryx

Scansoriopteryx (“climbing wing”) is a genus of maniraptoran dinosaur . Described from only a single juvenile fossil specimen found in Liaoning , China , Scansoriopteryx is a sparrow-sized animal that shows adaptations in the foot indicating an arboreal (tree-dwelling) lifestyle. It possessed an unusual, elongated third finger which may have supported a membranous wing, much like the related Yi qi . The type specimen of Scansoriopteryx also contains the fossilized impression of feathers.

The provenance of the Scansoriopteryx type specimen is uncertain, as it was obtained from private fossil dealers who did not record exact geologic data. Czerkas and Yuan initially reported that it had likely come from the Yixian Formation , though Wang et al. (2006), in their study of the age of the Daohugou Beds , suggested that it probably hails from the same beds, and thus is likely a synonym of Epidendrosaurus . The Daohugou Beds supposedly date to the mid-late Jurassic Period, but this is hotly contested. See the Daohugou Beds article for details.

10. Deintherium

The Biggest Prehistory Animal Giant Elephant That Are Now Exist Deintherium

Deinotherium (“terrible beast” derived from the Ancient Greek δεινός, deinos meaning “terrible” and θηρίον, therion meaning “beast”) was a large prehistoric relative of modern- day elephants that appeared in the Middle Miocene and survived until the Early Pleistocene. During that time, it changed very little. In life, it probably resembled modern elephants , except it had downward-curving tusks attached to the lower jaw.

Deinotherium is the type genus of the family Deinotheriidae , which evolved from the smaller, early Miocene Prodeinotherium . These proboscideans represent a totally distinct line of evolutionary descent to that of other elephants, one that probably diverged very early in the history of the group as a whole. The large group to which elephants belong formerly contained several other related groups; besides the deinotheres, there were the gomphotheres (some of which had shovel-like lower front teeth), and the mastodons . Only the elephants survive today.

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Three species are recognized, all of great size. Deinotherium giganteum is the type species , and is described above. It was primarily a Late Miocene species, most common in Europe, and is the only species known from the circum-Mediterranean. Its last reported occurrence was from the Middle Pliocene of Romania (2 to 4 million BP ). An entire skull, found in the Lower Pliocene beds of Eppelsheim , Hesse-Darmstadt in 1836, was 1.2 m (3 ft 11 in) long and 0.9 m (2 ft 11 in) wide, indicating an animal exceeding modern elephants in size. D. indicum was the Asian species, known from India and Pakistan.

References:
History.com
Khanacademy.org
Wikipedia.org
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