Titanoboa: The Giant Snake
The Giant Snake- Titanoboa: Hello everyone, have you ever wanted to go back in time not to the 20th century nor to the 15th century nor even to ancient Egypt, but to the earth before humans.
Well, today we go back millions of years into the past of a world where there were no humans and none of the things that seem normal to us. Today it’s a journey into the world of prehistoric animals and huge monsters that can give you nightmares. Creatures that frightens the whole planet. Why? well you’ll see! let’s get it on.
Titanoboa: Some 58 million years ago a real monster appeared in South America. A 13 metre long snake that weighed more than a ton. This giant reptile, the Titanoboa could swallow a whole crocodile. Something that was certainly not to the crocodiles taste. Like many modern snakes the titanoboa didn’t use venom but simply strangled its victims without giving it a chance to survive.
However according to modern research, this giant boa ate mainly fish. The Titanoboa is believed to have outgrown its modern counterparts, mainly thanks to the warm climate. Some scientists believe that after the extinction of the dinosaurs, the titanoboa was for a long time the largest predator on earth. It is also considered to be the largest snake that has ever lived on the planet.
Giant scorpions most likely if you’re not a fan of exotic dishes and pets, your answer is “No”. Now imagine the same scorpion with legs claws and a poisonous sting but 70 centimetres long. Not a very nice idea is this?
This monster is believed to have lived in the Paleozoic era and it’s fossils have been found in the UK. Fortunately, it will be very difficult for them to walk the earth again. The appearance of the Pulmonoscorpius was related to an excess of oxygen in the Carboniferous period, an area that our planet has already overcome. Scientists do not yet know what the giant scorpions diet consisted of. But it is most likely that they fed on arthropods and small four-legged animals. When you have giant claws and a poisonous sting, you can afford to eat anything.
Some people think that monitor lizards are pretty scary creatures. They’re like three meters long, wingless, miraculously preserved in creepy dragons. Well that’s because you don’t know about the Megalania.
It’s a giant lizard that lived in southern Australia during the Pleistocene. The lack of complete or nearly complete skeletons makes it difficult to determine the exact size of the Megalania. But scientists suggest that it could be up to five meters long and weigh over 500 kilos. According to other estimates the Megalania could grow up to seven meters and weigh almost 2,000 kilograms. Judging by its size, a giant animal would have fed mainly on large and medium-sized creatures. Including giant marsupials its menu also included other reptiles and small animals, birds, eggs and chicks. As if the size were not enough the Megalania probably possessed poison glands inside its jaws to immobilize its victims.
Crocodiles are the oldest reptiles on the planet. Their unique ability to adapt, this enabled them to survive global disasters and live to this day. Of course they have changed along the way because in ancient times they were much larger creatures.
One of the best examples is the Deinosuchus, a species of extinct crocodile that lived between 82 and 73 million years ago at the end of the Cretaceous period. Even though the Deinosuchus was much bigger than any modern crocodile or alligator. Its total length was 10.6 meters. It looked quite similar to its descendants. It had large strong teeth and his back was covered with thick hemispherical osteoderms.
One study showed that the dinosaurs lived up to 50 years growing at the same rate as modern crocodiles. But just for much longer, in other words its growth did not stop after a certain age but kept increasing. The way the Deinosuchus hunted was also similar. Swimming quietly in shallow water, it grabbed the victim with its jaws and dragged it to the bottom later. During the process of evolution the crocodiles gradually got smaller fortunately for us humans.
Maybe this word doesn’t ring any bells and sounds like one of those strange terms that only scientists use. But what do you know about saber-tooth tigers? Surely you know of them, everyone has heard this name. Although it’s considered incorrect, the proper name for this animal is the “Smilodon”.
This formidable predator lived in the Americas during the Pleistocene, that is from 2.5 million to 10,000 years ago. In generally, Smilodon was strongly built compared to any other feline and had well-developed four limbs as well as exceptionally long upper fangs. Its jaws at a bigger gap than that of modern cats and it’s upper tusks were thin and brittle adapted to hunting. We’re sure that it was not a good idea to play with this kitten. For a long time, scientists believe that the Smilodon hunted large animals, such as bison and horses.
But recent studies have shown the opposite. The most common prey of these prehistoric cats were tapir deer and other forest dwellers. In this respect Smilodon resemble modern lions and tigers and that was one of the reasons for their disappearance. They simply couldn’t compete with the other predators. However according to another version, they disappeared along with the animals that formed the basis of their diet. In any case Smilodons were one of the most formidable and terrifying creatures of their time and it was best not to get in their way.
You’ve probably heard of pterodactyls or pterosaurs, some of the most famous ancient lizards along with the Triceratops, Diplodocus and of course the Saranosaurus. The remains of this class of animals were found in the 18th century. Since then scientists have described more than 200 species of winged lizards. The pterosaurs had a very varied appearance in size and their behavior was very different. Hundreds of species of pterosaurs live simultaneously occupying different niches like today’s Birds. Among them lived a giant monster known as the Quetzalcoatl.
It is rightly considered one of the largest flying creatures known today. On four legs at at the same height as a giraffe and its wingspan reached 10.5 meters. Some paleontologists believe that it was even bigger and could reach up to 15 meters, just imagine that size. As you can see this giant ancient bird could not only fly but also move on 4 legs if necessary. In general, if the weather wasn’t sunny, the Quetzalcoatl could walk instead of flying according to some scientists.
It’s difficult to estimate the weight of this enormous creature either. None of the existing species has a similar body size or structure overall we can only guess. The Quetzalcoatl menu also raises some questions. At first scientists thought that they were feeding on fish. Then they classify them as scavengers, then they went back to the idea of a seafood diet. Only recently, it was discovered that these huge ancient pterosaurs hunted small vertebrates on the ground or in small streams. By the way the Quetzalcoatl named after the Aztec deity and the unusual name suits it very well it means “feathered serpent”.
Now of course we have to include this prehistoric monster in our list. The Megalodon is an extinct shark that lived on earth between 23 and 3.6 million years ago. It’s difficult to establish the exact period because the only things scientists have at their disposal are the animals teeth. But modern technology makes it possible. Even with the help of a little information, to recreate the approximate appearance and behavior of these ancient creatures. Their body length, according to paleontologists was 13 to 18 meters. By way of comparison the length of a great white shark is approximately 5 meters, about three times less.
These great creatures must have searched for food all the time, which is not as easy as you might think. The largest land animals for example are herbivores. If you’re such a large predator, you have to hunt almost continuously. The Megalodons most likely lived in coastal areas up to 200 meters deep and we’re not particularly fussy about their diets.
Sharks adapt to all conditions and eats just as much as they can, if they can hunt, they hunt. If they find a carcass, they eat it. These ancient giants were hardly different from their great-grandchildren either. So, even if the Megalodon existed at the same time as humans, our ancestors were probably not in trouble. For the Megalodon, it was not worth spending energy chasing a small snack in the shape of a human.
What do you imagine, when someone mentions the word cephalopods? Probably an octopus, a mollusk or some kind of squid. Anyway even the biggest specimens aren’t that scary, except for the mythical Kraken of course. But long ago there were huge mollusks on earth meets the Cameroceras, a species of giant cephalopod. They lived on earth about 450 million years ago.
At one time it was believed that the shells of the Cameroceras were 9 to 10 metres long that is along with the tentacles. This shellfish had to be 11 metres long, more than the famous London buses. However a scientist later analyzed their data again and concluded that this was way too long. Even for an ancient creature and reduced its possible size to 6 metres. But no matter how accurate the estimate this giant cephalopod is considered one of the largest Paleozoic mollusks known as a man.
The head of the animal would have been soft muscular tissues situated at the opening of the heart cone like shell. With a manzel lying within the shell for protection. With the help of its tentacles, the ancient mollusk could capture and retain its prey. While the tentacles held the poor prey firmly, the powerful beak of the Cameroceras broke the protection of its victim. Thus the creature fed mainly on other mollusks and smaller fish and although the Cameroceras were not as scary as the Megalodon. It was still a formidable predator and you would hardly want to meet it on the open sea.
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