Dinosaurs tend to get the most credit for scaring us the most, but these terrifying prehistoric animals give dinos a run for their money.
For 135 million years, dinosaurs were the undisputed rulers of the Earth, and could still have been today if not for a cataclysmic comet some 65 million years ago.
However, our planet has been around for a lot longer than the dinosaurs’ reign and, as it turns out, nature is quite adept at producing nightmare-inducing monsters. To think that dinosaurs are the only scary inhabitants of our prehistoric past would be a mistake.
From ocean-dwellers far bigger than great whites to sky-dwellers bigger than giraffes to an elephant-sized sloth, here are ten of the scariest–and most fascinating…
Terrifying Prehistoric Creatures: Titanoboa
If the movie Anaconda terrified you (and not because of J.Lo’s acting), you might want to skip this one. Simply put, Titanoboa is the largest snake that ever existed. It grew over 40 feet long and could weigh up to 2,500 pounds.
To put things in perspective, that’s almost as much as a grown giraffe weighs. Titanoboa appeared not long after the dinosaurs went extinct, perhaps filling a niche left open by the disappearance of the world’s former top predators.
But had Titanoboa and the dinosaurs coexisted, here’s how a battle between the massive snake and a T. rex might have went:
Next up: It made the great white look like a goldfish…
Plesiosaurs were a group of marine reptiles (“dinosaurs-that-weren’t-actually-dinosaurs”) that appeared and disappeared almost at the same time as the dinosaurs, so the popular confusion of the two groups is understandable.
And if there was one plesiosaur you needed to watch out for, it was liopleurodon. This carnivorous beast could weigh over 3,500 pounds and reach over 30 feet in length, with nearly a quarter of that being its massive skull–complete, of course, with a very wide jaw and several rows of razor-sharp teeth.
If you’re brave enough, check out the liopleurodon in action:
Next up: SuperCroc–enough said…