Today, many terrible creatures live in the oceans - these are man-eating sharks, and huge squids, and mysterious deep-sea fish. But all the same, the creatures found in the depths of the waters in their parameters did not come close to those giant creatures that lived in the seas of the past.
Then one could meet huge sea lizards, monster sharks and even dangerous killer whales. Below are the 10 scariest monsters that lived in the oceans in prehistoric times.
Megalodon. This creature is obviously the most famous on the list. Its name itself is translated as "big tooth". Many will find it difficult to even imagine a school bus-sized fossil shark. Popular science sources like the Discovery Channel help, which with the help of computer technology revived the monster. The shark was 22 meters long and weighed about 50 tons. It was one of the largest predators in the entire existence of the Earth. The bite force per 1 sq. Cm was up to 30 tons. Although it seems that such a creature lived in the age of the dinosaurs, megalodons lived on the planet 25-1.5 million years ago. Consequently, giant sharks missed the last dinosaurs by about 40 million years. By the way, it is quite possible that the megalodons managed to meet the first human ancestors. Megalodons lived in warm oceans, hunting whales. But after the beginning of the Ice Age in the Pliocene, currents and ocean temperatures changed. In the new conditions, giant predators could no longer exist. Today, white sharks are considered their closest relatives.
Lioprevrodon. These animals were typical pliosaurs, representatives of the Jurassic period. They were first described based on a single tooth found in France in 1873. At the end of the same century, a skeleton was also found. They were creatures from 6 to 25 meters long, with a large, narrow head. Scientists believe that it could reach a length of 4 meters! Huge teeth reached half a meter. The creature swam with the help of huge flippers, rising to the surface for air. It could dive for a long time and deeply. Scientists have modeled the body of Lioprevrodon based on the remains. It turned out that he was not so much quick as very flexible. The sea dweller made quick dashes, attacking the prey. There is no doubt that lioprevrodons were viviparous - such sizes simply did not give them the opportunity to crawl ashore to lay eggs.
Basilosaurus. Despite its unusual appearance, this creature is not at all a reptile. This is a whale, and by no means the scariest one on our list. Basilosaurs are the predatory ancestors of today's whales. In length they reached 21 meters, and lived on the planet 45-36 million years ago. In those days, basilosaurs inhabited all the warm seas of the planet, being one of the largest predators. The whale actually looks more like a giant snake, as it had a long, sinuous body. Its victims were large creatures, including dorudons. Today, just the fantasy of swimming in the ocean, where an alligator-snake-whale creature lives, can kill interest in water procedures for a long time. Basilosaurus physical evidence suggests that they were deprived of the cognitive abilities of modern whales. They did not possess echolocation, practically not diving to great depths. They also had practically no social skills, the whales were loners. As a result, the monster was quite primitive and could not pursue its victim if it got out on land.
Sea scorpion. The name of this creature does not sound too scary. Meanwhile, it was one of the largest arthropods of all time. The shellfish lived 460-250 million years ago, reaching a length of 2.5 meters. Only their claw was up to half a meter in length. In those days, the level of oxygen in the atmosphere was higher, which was the reason for the appearance of giant cockroaches, scorpions. Scorpio remained a marine inhabitant, although many of its relatives in those days began to master the land. These creatures became extinct even before the dinosaurs, now it is not even clear whether they were really poisonous. However, the structure of their tail resembles the structure of the same body part in scorpions, which suggests an attacking function of the tail.
Mayazaurus. These animals belong to the platypus dinosaurs. They lived on the borders of water and land. Mayazaurs could jump into the water to escape predators. In length, these creatures reached 7-9 meters, their weight was about 2-3 tons. The Mayasaurs lived 80-73 million years ago. Animals plucked vegetation or collected algae with their flat wide toothless beak. The neck of the Mayasaurus is composed of many vertebrae, which implies its flexibility. There was a small crest on the skull. The hind legs were strong, supporting the weight of the body. The Mayazaurs could defend themselves with their powerful tail. Animals laid eggs, babies about half a meter in length emerged from eggs. Mayazaurs lived in herds, as evidenced by the large number of skeletons found next to each other.
Dunkleosteus. This creature can be called a real carnivorous tank. The fierce predator reached a length of 10 meters, and its body was covered with plates that served as armor. There is an explanation for this - dunkleostea hunted both their fellows and other predators. They did not have bones in the usual sense, their role was played by sharp bony ridges, like a tortoise. But the force of the bite was 8000 psi, which is comparable to that of a crocodile. The predator's skull was equipped with powerful muscles, this made it possible to suck food inside, like a vacuum cleaner, in a split second. The advantage of the dunkleosteae was that the jaws were powerful and fast. The hunter at high speed opened his deadly mouth, seizing prey with great force. Almost none of the inhabitants of the ocean at that time had a chance to escape. Dunkleosteus is the most dangerous monster in the ocean at that time. These shell fish lived 415-360 million years ago.
Kronosaurus. This pliosaur is one of the best known to the public and the largest in the family. For a long time there have been debates about the true size of this inhabitant of the depths. As a result, scientists have proved that the kronosaurus reached a length of 10 meters. Moreover, only the skull reached 3 meters. The massive mouth contained abundant teeth, up to 11 inches long. Kronosaurus became famous as "the king of the ancient seas" and even "t-rex of the ocean." It is no coincidence that the name of the predator was given in honor of Kronos, king of the Greek titans. The kronosaurus lived in the southern polar seas, which could have been very cold in those days. The remains of an animal were first found in Australia. The fins of the animal are somewhat reminiscent of a turtle. Perhaps kronosaurs crawled ashore to lay their eggs. You can be sure that no one dug their nests so as not to anger the formidable predator. There lived a kronosaurus about 120-100 million years ago.
Helicopryon. The length of these sharks reached 9-12 meters. Moreover, their uniqueness lies in the possession of a dental spiral on the lower jaw. Such a formation could reach a diameter of 90 centimeters. The combination of a circular saw and a shark was a real sea horror. The animal's teeth were serrated, which implies its carnivorousness. It is not clear only where the spiral was located - in the front of the mouth, or deeper. The latter option assumes a different diet, milder (jellyfish). The structure of the body remained unknown. But the fact that helicopryon was a rather clever creature is beyond doubt. The predator was able to survive after the Triassic extinction, possibly due to its habitat in the deep layers of the ocean.
Mellville's Leviathan. This ancient predator was something between the current killer whale and the common sperm whale. In 2008, the remains of a whale were found that hunted other whales. Its teeth were the largest food for any animal. Although the tusks of an elephant are larger, they are not intended for this. The diameter of the teeth was 12 centimeters, and their length was 36. The body of the ancient sperm whale was up to 17.5 meters long. Interestingly, the sperm whale lived about 13 million years ago, which means that it competed in the ocean for prey with the megalodon. The head of a predatory whale was 3 meters long, and there are indications that it contained echolocation organs, just like in modern toothed whales. Consequently, the leviathan could effectively navigate in troubled waters. The animal was named in honor of Leviathan, the biblical sea monster, and also in honor of Herman Melville, author of the novel "Moby Dick" (it was just a giant sperm whale present).
Giant stingray. In diameter, this fish has reached 5 meters, moreover, it is poisonous. The ramp is strong enough to carry a boat full of people. In this case, we are talking about a prehistoric super-fish, the descendants of which still lurk in the fresh and brackish waters of the Mekong River and in northern Australia. Here, no one is surprised by the two-meter slopes weighing three centners. These fish are already several million years old, the structure of their body allowed them to stay alive. Giant fish were able to survive even the Ice Age. For its size and unusual appearance, the stingray received the name "sea devil". In front of the body are small eyes, behind them are gills and a toothed mouth. Interestingly, there is a sensitive area on the skin around the mouth and nose, which allows the stingray to pick up the electric and magnetic fields of other living creatures. This makes finding food much easier. The freshwater predator has a terrible weapon - 2 powerful and sharp spikes on the tail at once. The largest of them plays the role of a harpoon, easily entering the victim and being held inside due to the notches. The force of the blow is so great that even the bottom of the boat cannot withstand it. The length of the spike reaches 38 centimeters. The second spike is smaller, it is intended for injecting poison. This substance is deadly to humans. The stingray feeds on fish, molluscs and invertebrates. Stingray females are viviparous.