Extinct Animals Survived by Mankind

(ORDO NEWS) — Homo sapiens is a newcomer to the planet: our Earth is already 4.6 billion years old, and the first people appeared only 200 thousand years ago. In order for you to be able to read this text today, our ancestors had to survive among real primitive monsters that inspire real horror.

And although evolution decreed that the terrible animals of the world, which had already died out a long time ago, remained only in the drawings and in paleontological museums, their description can still inspire fear. In our selection – 10 terrible neighbors of primitive man.

Prehistoric times are full of inaccuracies that require verification, which often can only happen over time, thanks to the development of science and related technologies. Over time, the extinct monsters, which seemed incredible, in fact, turned out to be, if not simple, then relatively safe for humans.

Others, on the contrary, could undeservedly pass by a kind of list of the most terrible animals in the world. Part due to little interest from the public and the lack of evidence of their aggression, the rest due to primitive research technologies, and still others, it is possible that this, simply has not yet been revealed to modern scientists.

In compiling this selection, we were guided by proven facts and included only those animals that had all the possibilities and powers, but did not pass natural selection.

Mammoth Columbus

One of the largest mammoths ever to have lived on Earth, a relative of the more common woolly mammoth. The remains of Colombian mammoths were found on the way from Canada to Mexico. The famous woolly mammoths left their traces in North Asia, Russia, Canada – having become, already in our time, the heroes of drawings, cartoons, entering mass culture as a peaceful creature, despite the fact that in fact this is one of the terrible extinct animals on Earth. planet.

The main difference between these two species is that the Colombian mammoths were practically not covered with wool, which brings them closer to modern elephants, and their tusks were much larger than those of woolly mammoths.

The growth of Colombian mammoths was approximately 3-4 m, and the weight reached 5-10 tons. Thus, Colombian mammoths are the owners of the largest tusks among the elephant family. Almost 3.5 meters long, rounded, incredibly strong, they were used to fight all predators, including humans. Truly the most powerful and most terrible extinct beast.

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Giant sloths

Today, the sloth is one of the cutest creatures, photos with which are gaining millions of “likes” on social networks. Perhaps their way of life preserved sloths as a species, but their ancient ancestors did not seem so charming, but were terrible animals of their world, which, unfortunately or fortunately, died out.

Several species of giant sloths are known. Those that lived in North America were the size of rhinos, and ancient man may have often dined on them. However, the largest of the giant sloths, Megatheria, lived in South Africa about 10 thousand years ago and were no smaller than an elephant.

About 6 m from head to tail, weighing 4 tons, with sharp teeth and long nails, sloths seemed to be quite formidable animals. Moreover, there is an assumption that these extinct monsters were predators.

The last species of giant sloths lived in the Caribbean about 4.2 thousand years ago. This is perhaps the only representative of the list of the most terrible extinct animals in the world, whose modern descendants evoke far opposite emotions in us.

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Largest primate ever to tread the ground. This relative of the orangutans deserved its name: a three-meter animal weighed 500 kg and was huge even for the prehistoric world. Interestingly, Gigantopithecus is very similar to images of the Yeti.

True, lovers of mysteries and secrets will be disappointed. Gigantopithecus are terrible animals of their world, which became extinct more than 100 thousand years ago. In addition, if then the giant primates did not even think of hiding from people, then it is unlikely that any of them are now hiding in the highlands, scaring tourists under the guise of a Bigfoot.

Gigantopithecus, of course, extinct monsters, although they lived on Earth for about 6-9 million years, eating the fruits of Southeast Asia. But with climate change, tropical forests turned into arid savannahs, and Gigantopithecus began to die out from lack of food.

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Cave hyena

Reached 1 m height at the shoulders and weighed from 80 to 100 kg. It may seem that with such dimensions, it is even indecent to compete for the title of the most terrible extinct animal, but not everything is so simple. According to calculations based on the study of fossil remains, the cave hyena was able to knock down a 5-year-old mastodon, which weighed a whole ton. Already this fact speaks for a predator, which is a serious threat to other inhabitants.

Cave hyenas lived in packs, sometimes consisting of 30 individuals. This made them even stronger hunters: together they could attack a 9-year-old mastodon weighing all 9 tons. Needless to say, such a pack would rather turn other monsters into extinct species than dutifully surrender to them? And a person in those days hardly dreamed of meeting hungry cave hyenas.

Nevertheless, the population of cave hyenas began to decline 20 thousand years ago and finally disappeared 11-13 thousand years ago. Cold is called one of the reasons that influenced the transition of cave hyenas from the status of dangerous predators to the category of the most terrible extinct animals. Scientists suggest the struggle of these creatures with man for the cave space during the last ice age.

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The genus of saber-toothed cats, contrary to stereotypes, has little in common with saber-toothed tigers, which, however, does not prevent them from being attributed to the most terrible animals in the world that have become extinct.

Saber-toothed cats first appeared 42 million years ago. There were many types of them, but most of these incredible monsters died out before the appearance of man. However, at least two species of saber-toothed cats could be found by primitive man in America. They were the size of a modern African lion and weighed as much as an Amur tiger.

Smilodon was an incredibly strong animal – he could easily attack a mammoth. In general, it is believed that the beast used a special tactic: first, it waited for prey, approached imperceptibly and attacked swiftly. Perhaps it is thanks to the special intelligence of these animals that have become extinct that they are the most terrible predators of their time.

Indirectly, such a trick can be explained by the fact that, despite its “saber-toothedness”, smilodon among cats does not have the most powerful bite. So, the bite of a modern lion is perhaps three times stronger. But on the other hand, the mouth of the smilodon swung open at 120 degrees, which, in addition to the terrible grin for an extinct monster, is half the capabilities of the current lion.

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Dire wolf

No, “terrible” is not an epithet here, but the name of a wolf species that lived in North America. This is really an incredible monster that died out 10 thousand years ago during the last ice age, like many other carnivores. Dire wolves appeared about a quarter of a million years ago.

Judging by the remains, they are similar in appearance to modern gray wolves, but much more enduring. The difference between extinct scary animals and their modern descendants may seem insignificant. Their length reached 1.5 m, and their weight was about 90 kg. But the bite force of the dire wolf was already 29% stronger than that of the gray wolf. The main diet of dire wolves was horses.

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American lion

He was a “neighbor” of a terrible wolf and could compete with him for the title of the most terrible extinct animal in one territory. American lions inhabited North America about 330,000 years ago and, despite the name “lion”, were closer to the modern panther than to the lion.

The reason why it is considered one of the most feared extinct animals in the world is its size. The fact is that the American lion is the largest known wild cat in history. On average, an individual weighed about 350 kg, was incredibly strong and easily attacked a bison. So even a group of primitive people would not be thrilled to meet one of the American lions. Like previous companions, American lions became extinct during the last ice age.

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The largest lizard known to science that lived in Australia. The beginning of the extinction of an unprecedented monster occurred about 50 thousand years ago, that is, at the same time as a person began to populate the continent.

The size of megalania is the subject of scientific debate. According to some data, its length reached 7 m, but there is an opinion that the average length was about 3.5 m. But not only the size is important: megalania was a poisonous lizard, which really made it the most terrible extinct animal in Australia. Thus, if her victim did not die from blood loss, then she certainly died from poisoning – in any case, hardly anyone managed to escape alive from the mouth of megalania.

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Short-faced bear

The name, which in Russian does not inspire fear from the first time, although scientists position it as one of the most terrible extinct carnivores. A primitive man could encounter this type of bear. The ancient bear was about 1.5 meters at the shoulders, but as soon as he stood on his hind legs, he stretched up to 4 meters.

If this doesn’t sound scary enough, then add this detail: thanks to the long limbs, the bear developed a speed of up to 64 km / h. And this means that Usain Bolt, whose record is 45 km / h, would have easily got him for dinner.

Giant short-faced bears were one of the largest animals in North America, adding to the list of terrible carnivorous extinct monsters of this continent. They appeared about 800 thousand years ago, and died out 11.6 thousand years ago.

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Land crocodiles appeared quite a long time ago – 1.6 million ago in Australia. The giant ancestors of crocodiles reached 7 m in length. You will not envy the hunters of these peculiar crocodiles, or rather the real monsters that have already died out.

The thing is that, unlike crocodiles, quinkans lived and hunted on land. In this they were helped by long powerful legs to catch up with prey at great distances, and sharp teeth. The fact is that crocodiles use their teeth mainly to capture the victim, drag her water and drown.

The teeth of the land Quincan were intended for killing, they dug in and literally cut the victim. Quincans died out about 50 thousand years ago, having lived for about 10 thousand years side by side with primitive man.

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