Everyone knows in the past, our planet was crowded with various gigantic creatures. The most famous of them are undeniably dinosaurs, however, there were many more impressive organisms which are no longer present on our planet. Actually, many of the ancient beasts had lived on our planet even before dinosaurs. Needless to say, no matter how important the biodiversity is, we are fortunate these amazing creatures are no longer with us.
Dinosaurs are huge and scary, however, there were some creatures in the past which would certainly be found by many people not only gigantic but also disgusting. Unless you really love myriapoda.
The ancient myriapoda is known as arthropleura and this organism is considered to be the largest among all of invertebrates which have ever lived on our planet known to people. The time when it was present on the Earth is between 345 and 295 million years ago.
Arthropleura was undeniably gigantic as it its length of around 2.5 metres was greater than the height of people. It is more difficult to tell exactly how wide arthropleura was, but judging by the footprints left by this animal, it could have been around 0.5 metre. The body of arthropleura was made of thirty hard armoured segments.
Undeniably, people with entomophobia would not even need to be attacked by this creature as it is appearance itself is enough to get a heart attack. Yet, in all likelihood, the giant insect prefer a plant-based diet. At least this is the conclusion made by the researchers who studied the digestive tract of arthropleura. Still, there is no guarantee the creature did not accidentally eat some small animals.
As you can imagine, there were many other gigantic insects and other organisms which are very small nowadays but back to the prehistoric time, they were unbelievably large. Some of the examples of such creatures are pulmonoscorpius kirktonensis which was a scorpion with a length of seventy centimetres and meganeura which looked a lot like modern dragonflies. That is to say if only you enlarge these dragonflies to such a size as the length of their opened wings reaches seventy centimetres.
The enemy of dinosaurs
Speaking about the most aggressive and massive beasts from the past, the majority of people immediately think about the real celebrity of the past world which is undeniably tyrannosaurus. Yet, in the reality this famous predecessor of birds was not thus powerful and had a much more stronger enemy. This creature was the predecessor of modern crocodiles known as deinosuchus.
Deinosuchus lived between 80 and 73 million years ago and it was even more massive than the scariest dinosaurs.
Today, the largest species of crocodiles is saltwater crocodile which is undeniably huge with its length reaching seven metres and weight of around two tones. Yet, these incredible creatures would look more like the offsprings of the prehistoric deinosuchus who were almost twice as long as the modern saltwater crocodiles. Note that even though their length was usually around twelve metres, the weight of these ancient species was around 8.5 tonnes which is more than four times greater than the weight of the modern crocodiles. It is not difficult to imagine deinosuchus even taking a saltwater crocodile for its prey.
Actually, this could have been quite possible if such animals had a chance to meet each other since one of the major source of food for deinosuchus were dinosaurs including tyrannosaurus. Haunting for the scariest dinosaur for easy for deinosuchus since the force of its bite was around 10 4683 kilogrammes per square centimetre while for tyrannosaurus this value was twice smaller. Other food choices of the enormous crocodiles were gigantic fish and turtles.
Even before the gigantic insect, the prehistoric world was populated by another beast. To be precise, this one lived between 358 and 382 million years ago and this one was the largest predator of that time.
This predator was a colossal fish called dunkleosteus. The largest fish of this species was as long as almost nine metres and its weight was around four tonnes. Dunkleosteus was not just gigantic, but it was also armoured totally covered with plates made of bones. The front part of the chin of this fish had large teeth and it also had extremely strong muscles which allowed dunkleosteus to bite its prey with the force of 612 kilogrammes. On top of that, the entire chin of this animal was such a structure that teeth were sharpened with the friction between them.
It is quite possible that the only rival of dunkleosteus was dunkleosteus itself with whom the fish was engaged in regular fights.
Interestingly, this fish was not giving any caviar while giving a birth to its offspring. It was having its babies just like mammals.