Dinosaurs have gripped our imaginations for countless years now, enthralling us with their massive statures and deadly nature. With all manner of appearences in some of society’s biggest films and shows, it can be hard reminding yourself that there were hundreds of equally massive and equally terrifying monsters that also roamed this Earth at one time…
The biggest snake to have ever resided on the planet, the Titanoboa was the top predator in southern America in the years after the dinosaur's extinction. Weighing 2,500 pounds and reaching a length of forty feet, it was the same weight as a fully grown modern-day giraffe. Using asfixation as its killing tool, it was ruthlessly efficient in keeping its place as the most feared killer of its age.
Commonly confused as being a dinosaur, the Liopleurodon were part of a marine-reptile family called 'Plesiosaurs'. Living at the height of the famous Jurassic era, the Liopleurodon remains the biggest hunter of its day. Weighing 3,500 pounds and with a length of thirty feet (a quarter of which was made up of its massive skull), the Liopleurodon would use its sheer power to grip and shake its prey to pieces, making sure to leave little for the sea.
Though not technically a crocodile due to its massive size, the Sarcosuchus reached a length of forty feet which made it almost over double the size of the largest crocodile residing in today's world. Living alongside the dinosaurs, the Sarcosuchus had a bite that bettered most land-residing predators of its day. In fact, the Sarcosuchus' might was so great that it would have no problem taking down its favoured prey: medium sized dinosaurs.
The biggest shark to have existed, the Megalodon has written itself into the history books because of its massive size and brutal nature. Resembling the modern Great White, the Megalodon would, at the very least, grow to double the size of any of the biggest Great Whites you're likely to find.
Perhaps surprisingly, this massive beast is the only inclusion on this list to not actually be a carnivore. Resembling a sloth in its make up, the Megatherium was the size of a fully grown elephant that roamed the Earth during the Ice Ages. In size, it was only really dwarfed in its time by the giant Mammoth and, only dying out as late as 10,000 year ago, it is more than likely that the Megatherium interacted with humans. The Megatherium's terror came from its ability to stand up on its hind legs, making it look far more fierce, and show off its impressive claws.
At twenty feet long, there was little in the ocean that could consider itself safe from the jaws of the Thalattoarchon. Living in the early Triassic period it was one of the very first marine predators we know about, and remained one of the biggest hunters living in its day. Discovered as late as 2013, it provides one of the most enticing examples of the mystery of the kinds of predators that kept themselves out of sight at the bottom of the ocean.
A member of the Pterosaur family, which surprisingly weren't technically dinosaurs, the Quetzalcoatlus makes the more famous Pterodactyl look tiny in comparison to its massive nature. The largest creature to ever fly in the Earth's skies, its wingspan was roughly thirty-five feet and it boasted a weight of between 450 and 550 pounds. Towering over even the biggest dinosaurs it hunted in, it would have the ability to land wherever it liked and just pick off the prey that looked the most appealing.
In a world before the dinosaurs became the top predators, the Gorgonops was the true terror to be afraid of. Undoubtedly one of the most feared predators of its day, the Gorgonops lived roughly 260 million years ago in the late Permian period, the era that comes directly before the Triassic. Boasting canines that were so big they struggled to fit in their mouth, the Gorgonops' speed and power in the hunt was, quite simply, without a rival.
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