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Animals By Monica Gray -

Massive and Terrifying Extinct Animals that Roamed the Earth
Meganeura, an eagle-sized dragonfly that lived during the Late Carboniferous period. Photo Credit: Flickr


These frightening monsters were actually dragonflies, found in both Britain and America. They existed 300 million years ago, and were referred to as the “Queen of the Carboniferous Skies,” and had an impressive wingspan of up to 65cm. To put it into perspective, a one foot wingspan is about the size of an Eagle. Millions of years ago, we would’ve found these now extinct animals across the globe. You wouldn’t want one of them to spot you, as they would dive down from the sky and snatch you off the ground – dead or alive (Walking With Dinos).

Massive and Terrifying Extinct Animals that Roamed the Earth
Phoberomys, an extinct member of the order Rodentia. Photo Credit: Flickr


First, let’s picture a small, modern day rodent. Now, let’s picture the largest rodent to have ever lived. That’s Phoberomys, which are currently extinct animals that used to roam around our planet. They wandered the lands of South America during the Late Miocene, which was 11.6 million to 5.3 million years ago, and the Early Pliocene, about 5.3 million to 3.6 million years ago. More specifically, they lived in the Orinoco River delta. They had high-crowned premolars and were herbivores. Despite the fact they ate only plants, it doesn’t make them any less terrifying (Britannica).

Massive and Terrifying Extinct Animals that Roamed the Earth
Haast’s eagle attacking Moa. Photo Credit: Wikipedia

Haast’s Eagle

Prehistoric eagles were vicious. They were relentless, and ate other birds. If you happened to spot flightless prehistoric birds, then there were certainly other predatory vultures or eagles in the area. In Pleistocene New Zealand, Haast’s Eagles would prey on juvenile, newly hatched moas, like Emeus and Dinornis. The adult Haast Eagles weighed about 30 pounds, which isn’t much of a difference than eagles today, which weigh about 20-25 pounds (Thoughtco).

Massive and Terrifying Extinct Animals that Roamed the Earth
Restoration of Purussaurus brasiliensis. Photo Credit: Wikipedia


The Purussaurus, or “Purus Lizard,” lived about 10 million years ago, during the Miocene. These extinct animals were some of the largest crocodilians to ever exist, and were roughly 10 meters long. They also weighed 6 tons and were some of the most vicious predators in their environment. They hunted large mammals, in addition to the Megapiranha, which are extinct animals we saw earlier on this list (Additional Creatures).

Massive and Terrifying Extinct Animals that Roamed the Earth
A fossil of the prehistoric animal known as glyptodon. Photo Credit: Wikipedia


The Glyptodon were relatives of the armadillos that lived during the Pleistocene epoch. Surprisingly, these extinct animals were the size of a Volkswagen Beetle, weighing up to 1,850 pounds. It had squat limbs and a round, bony shell. It resembled the modern day turtle, and roamed the lands of North and South America. Their body shell alone was five feet. You wouldn’t want to mess with the Glyptodon, as their tails were equivalent to a lethal club. They devoured almost anything, including plants and insects (Wikipedia).

Massive and Terrifying Extinct Animals that Roamed the Earth
Model of Megantereon at Natural History Museum, Basel. Photo Credit: Wikipedia


These extinct animals were discovered in 1824, and were a genus of the saber-toothed cat. They wandered the lands of Africa, Eurasia, and North America. They’re dated to about 4.5 million years. They mostly resemble the modern-day jaguar, with stocky forelimbs and strong neck muscles that could deliver a powerful bite. Some of their prey included horses and young rhinos and elephants. That just goes to show you how powerful these animals were, and are ones we wouldn’t want to run into. If it could devour an elephant, imagine what it could do to a human? (Dinopedia)

Massive and Terrifying Extinct Animals that Roamed the Earth
With massive jaws and teeth like knives, Liopleurodon was a ferocious predator. Photo Credit: Wikipedia


These large, carnivorous reptiles would’ve devoured us alive. Luckily, these now extinct animals no longer roam the seas, so we don’t have to worry while swimming in the ocean. They became extinct at the beginning of the Cretaceous Period, and were pretty deadly to other animals around them. It wasn’t until 150 million years ago when they went extinct, because a more vicious reptile emerged, the mosasaur, which ended up destroying the Liopleurodon (History of Yesterday).

Massive and Terrifying Extinct Animals that Roamed the Earth
The Orthocone, also known as Cameroceras. Photo Credit: Wikipedia


These extinct animals are giant orthoconic cephalopods, which inhabited the earth during the Ordovician period. They were first spotted 470 million years ago. They’re most similar to modern day squids, cuttlefish, and octopus. At the opening of a hard cone-like shell was their head, which was soft muscular tissue. They used their long, slithering tentacles to manipulate and capture prey. If we were alive millions of years ago, these are the types of tentacles you wouldn’t want wrapped around your foot in the middle of the ocean. Just look at how massive that animal is! Their toothed tongue would aid in devouring the flesh of their prey. We wouldn’t even have a chance if one of these captured us (Wikipedia).