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The Largest Animals That Ever Lived on Earth

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the-largest-animals-that-ever-lived-on-earth

Some of the largest prehistoric animals....

I recently read about a large rodent fossil that was discovered in 2008 and it sparked my interest in large prehistoric animals. I was eager to learn more about some of the largest critters to ever roam the earth, and I was not disappointed. I did some research and decided to create a lens! Here you will find some information about the largest snake fossil ever found, an enormous frog, a gigantic kangaroo, and more. I have also provided links for more information on each beast and to some great sites on prehistoric animals and dinosaurs.

Clickable table of contents:

Photo: Kenneth Krysko

Photo: Kenneth Krysko

The Biggest Snake That Ever Lived

Giant Boid Snake (Titanoboa cerrejonensis)

If you like snakes, you will love this one....if not, prepare to be creeped out! The fossil of the largest snake to ever live was discovered in a mine located in Columbia. The fossils indicate that this snake was 42 feet (13 meters) long and weighed 2500 pounds (1250 kg)!!! That is roughly the length of a school bus and the weight of a VW Beetle. The photo at right shows a fossilized vertebra compared to the green anaconda.

This prehistoric reptile is believed to have been a massive anaconda-like beast that slithered through tropical rainforests 60 million years ago and fed on primitive crocodiles. It would have suffocated its prey with a vice strong enough to crush an old car!

Where is COLUMBIA?

What is a REPTILE?

More information on this snake!

The Boid Snake - Artists rendering compared to human

The Boid Snake - Artists rendering compared to human

The Boid Snake - Artists rendering compared to human

the-largest-animals-that-ever-lived-on-earth

Giant Prehistoric Ground Marsupial

Protemnon anak

This gigantic kangaroo-like marsupial "hippo" lived on the island Tasmania. This beast weighed 1,000 pounds (500 kg)! That's half a ton! Good thing these giants were herbivores. New data suggests they went extinct around 41,000 years ago.

The largest species of kangaroo alive today, the red kangaroo, can weigh up to 200 pounds. This animal would be dwarfed by the prehistoric giant!

What is a MARSUPIAL?

Where is TASMANIA?

What is a HERBIVORE?

More information on this beast!

the-largest-animals-that-ever-lived-on-earth

Biggest Rodent That Ever Lived

Josephoartigasia monesi

Here it is, the largest rodent fossil to ever be discovered! This enormous rat weighed ONE TON, that's 2000 pounds (1000 kg)!! The skull of this prehistoric critter was found in Uruguay and measures 21 inches (53 centimeters) long. That would make this prehistoric beast about the size of a bull. The photo at right shows the skull size compared to a modern-day rat.

What is a RODENT?

Where is URUGUAY?

More information on this critter!

Size of the prehistoric rodent compared to man and the capybara!

Size of the prehistoric rodent compared to man and the capybara!

Size of the prehistoric rodent compared to man and the capybara!

Living Prehistoric Animals

the-largest-animals-that-ever-lived-on-earth

Giant Prehistoric Shark

Megalodon

These huge prehistoric sharks first appeared in the earth's waters about 16 million years ago. This beast may have grown to lengths over 50 feet (16 meters) and could have weighed up to 30 times MORE than the great white shark! That's 126,000 pounds (63,000 kg)!!!

The photo at right shows a single Megalodon tooth. The bite of this gigantic shark was strong enough to crush a car and was much stronger than the bite of Tyrannosaurus rex!

The Great White Shark.

The Tyrannosaurus Rex

More information about Megalodon

the-largest-animals-that-ever-lived-on-earth

You can see the massiveness of Megalodon when compared to a GW shark and a human!

Enormous Monster Whale

the-largest-animals-that-ever-lived-on-earth

I just read an article about a monstrous whale that was discovered back in 2010. The fossils were discovered by Klaas Post in Peru's Ice desert. This was not only a large whale, it was also believed to have shared the ancient oceans with none other than the Megalodon shark! Although they may have co-existed, scientists don't think these two monsters would have attacked each other, but perhaps one might attack the young of another.

The bones of this large whale have been dated to 12 or 13 million years ago and in honor of Herman Melville's Moby Dick it has been named Leviathan melvillei. It is estimated that this whale would have been between 13 and 18 meters (43 to 59 feet) long. Its skull is three meters (9.8 feet) long. Its teeth are the largest predatory teeth every found at 36 cm (14 inches) long and 12 cm (5 inches) wide. Quite an interesting find!

Source: Ancient monster whale more fearsome than Moby Dick via New Scientist.

Check out these amazing prehistoric animal sites for more information:

  • Prehistoric Animals, Dinosaurs - National Geographic
    Learn all you wanted to know about prehistoric animals and dinosaurs with pictures, videos, photos, facts, and news from National Geographic.
  • Prehistoric Animals--Quaternary Period
    Prehistoric animals from Quaternary period Wooly Mammoth, Mastodon, Columbian Mammoth, Saber Tooth Cat, American Lion, Coelodonta, Canis lupus, Wooly Rhino,
  • Prehistoric Mammals - A Complete, A to Z List of Prehistoric Mammals
    Profiles of the early, prehistoric mammals that coexisted with the dinosaurs, as well as the saber-toothed cats, woolly mammoths, giant sloths, and other mammalian megafauna that succeeded them.
  • Ice Age Mammals
    During the last Ice Age, there were many large, interesting mammals, like the saber-toothed cats, giant ground sloths, woolly rhino, mastodons, and mammoths. These animals have long since gone extinct and are known mostly from fossils, from frozen, m
  • Prehistoric mammal - Wikipedia
    Prehistoric mammals are groups of mammals that lived before humans developed writing. 164 million years ago, in the Jurassic period, Castorocauda.
  • Extinct Birds
    Extinct Birds from the Jurassic period and later.
  • Largest organisms - Wikipedia
    A summary of the largest organisms alive today, and some information about the largest organisms to ever live.
Illustration by Luci Betti-Nash

Illustration by Luci Betti-Nash

The Largest Frog That Ever Lived

The bad-tempered Beelzebufo or "devil frog"

This enormous prehistoric frog once hopped about Madagascar around 70-million-years-ago and is believed to be the largest frog that ever lived. Called the Beelzebufo or "devil frog." These gigantic herps were the size of a beach ball, roughly 16 inches (41 cm) high and weighing about 10 pounds (4.5 kg)!! Wonder what sounds it made? :)

It is believed that the devil frog probably had a very bad attitude --- given its closest living relatives, which are known to grab onto anything that moves, even humans! The beelzebufo had a strong jaw and protective shield which may have enabled it to feast upon baby dinosaurs.

Where is MADAGASCAR?

What is a HERP?

More information on devil frogs!

Bizarre Prehistoric Animals Video

This video is really well-done and shows a wide variety of bizarre prehistoric life!

The Largest Arthropod That Ever Lived - Jaekelopterus rhenaniae

the-largest-animals-that-ever-lived-on-earth

Imagine a giant crayfish-like creepy-crawler that was much longer than you!! This enormous arthropod lived 390-million-years-ago and was roughly the size of a large crocodile. Scientists estimate that it was about 8.2 feet (2.5 m) long, based on the 18-inch (46 cm) fossil claw that was found in Germany. This sea scorpion likely inhabited coastal swamp waters where it was probably the top predator around --- slicing up fish and even its own kind, as arthropods are known to do.

What is an ARTHROPOD?

Where is GERMANY?

More information about this giant sea scorpion!

the-largest-animals-that-ever-lived-on-earth

Huge Prehistoric Desert-Dwelling Penguins

Icadyptes salasi

Thirty-five million years ago, penguins the size of humans could be found wandering a desert in Peru. This penguin did not need ice to survive! These birds reached heights of 5-feet (1.5 m). The photo at right shows this giant as compared with another prehistoric penguin, and with Peru's only living penguin, the Peruvian penguin.

Where is PERU?

More on Peruvian penguins

More information on this giant penguin!



Prehistoric giant penguin skull (top) as compared to Peruvian penguin skull (bottom).

3-Foot Giant Shrimp

the-largest-animals-that-ever-lived-on-earth

A fossil discovery in Morocco revealed that this gigantic early crustacean lived almost 30 million years longer than previously thought. The specimens found are the largest yet discovered of its kind and suggest that these shrimp-like beasts dominated pre-dinosaur seas. These shrimp-like creatures were the early off-shoot of modern crustaceans called anomalocaridids.

Just how large were these beasts? The recent fossils reveal that they could grow to lengths of 3.3 feet (1 meter)!!! Just one would have made enough shrimp scampi to feed an army for a month. Click here to read the full National Geographic article!

What is your favorite prehistoric animal on this page?

the-largest-animals-that-ever-lived-on-earth

Great Dinosaur Sites!

If you are interested in dinosaurs, check out these educational and informative sites!

  • Dinosaurs : Discovery Channel
    This is Discovery's comprehensive guide to dinosaurs. Covering everything about dinosaurs from when and where they lived to what they ate and how they behaved. Don't forget to watch amazing dinosaur video and play cool dinosaur games.
  • Dinosaurs For Kids
    Learn about dinosaurs with KidsDinos.com. Find out which dinosaur was the largest, which was the smallest, which had the most horns, the longest neck, or which ate the most food.
  • QUIZ: Dinosaurs -- National Geographic Kids
    Test your dinosaur smarts: take this cool quiz!!
  • National Museum of Natural History - Dinosaurs
    Comprehensive information on dinosaurs and dinosaur exhibits & collections from the National Museum of Natural History!
  • Dinosaurs - Dinosaur, facts, paleontology, pictures, and information
    Enter the age of dinosaurs in the most exciting online paleontology site. There are lots of dinosaur facts, pics, information, extinction theories, and plently of knowledge given directly for popular species such as the Velociraptor, triceratops, and

What prehistoric creatures do you like best?

Which group of prehistoric giants do you like better?

the-largest-animals-that-ever-lived-on-earth

Purple Star!

This lens was awarded with a purple star for quality content on 15 June 2011. THANK YOU to my readers and special thanks to skiesgreen for the nomination and Robin for the award! (:

So...what do you think? - Do you like large animals?

Do these prehistoric animals fascinate you? Did I miss your favorite? Leave your comments here!!

Are you crazy about prehistoric life?

TanoCalvenoa on May 28, 2013:

This is a great lens! I love paleozoology.

suepogson on May 11, 2013:

A really detailed and fun lens.

anonymous on April 22, 2013:

I feel vey small all of a sudden.

anonymous on February 07, 2013:

Very interesting lens. Good job!

Lee from Derbyshire, UK on January 04, 2013:

Not any more, but back in the day - they certainly did! Can't wait to have my own kids to help them learn all about the prehistoric critters!

EpochCatcher on December 11, 2012:

Nice lens. I love prehistoric critters.

RestlessKnights on September 17, 2012:

There should be more lenses like this on Squidoo! Nice job.

boa11kfh on August 27, 2012:

Nice animals. I've liked prehistoric animals since I first watched Walking with Dinosaurs. I have all three series on DVD. I liked the giant whale and the giant shark.

anonymous on August 23, 2012:

Very interesting lens!!

myamya on August 06, 2012:

Great lens, well done!

KandDMarketing on July 29, 2012:

Nah, not crazy about 'em, but they are interesting! Thanks!

Melissa Miotke from Arizona on July 23, 2012:

They are very fascinating! Thanks for sharing:)

QuiltFinger from Tennessee on July 19, 2012:

Holy cow, or should I say holy Megalodon!

I'm definitely favoring the larger herbivores. I had a lot of fun reading this and many OMG moments! Very well-done and well-researched lens!!

Tony Payne from Southampton, UK on July 19, 2012:

The giant anthropod is enough to make me want to run a mile and then some, looks like something out of Doctor Who. I saw some in New Zealand that were inches long and scary enough. In New Zealand there used to be a giant flightless bird called the "Moa", which made an Ostrich look tiny. The last ones died out only about 200 years ago.

Deadicated LM on July 14, 2012:

Yes but I'm glad that they are no longer with us, that keeps us off the lunch menu.

Mary Norton from Ontario, Canada on June 29, 2012:

Am not but am interested and I learned much from your lens.

Dan from CNY on June 07, 2012:

Very interesting lens..I enjoyed reading this, which is something I can honestly say compared to most lenses on this site.

JoshK47 on May 05, 2012:

Popping back in to sprinkle some Angel dust on this lens! :)

CoolFoto on April 22, 2012:

Congratulations on purple star! You did a good job here!!

Laura Brown from Ontario, Canada on April 20, 2012:

I like to read or watch documentaries about ancient and prehistoric life.

Shadrosky on April 18, 2012:

Very cool and informative!

flycatcherrr on April 16, 2012:

Fascinating - the ginormous Desert-Dwelling Penguins are going to haunt my dreams!

fugeecat lm on March 23, 2012:

I can't even imagine what a 2,000 lb rat would be like. Great lens!

SteveKaye on March 15, 2012:

It's fascinating to know the history of life on our planet. Thank you for publishing this lens.

anonymous on February 18, 2012:

good information, thanks

GreenMind Guides from USA on January 30, 2012:

Pretty great lens -- well-researched and well written.

LabKittyDesign on January 30, 2012:

Well done!

MrTossot on January 28, 2012:

Nice work, good information

ernieplotter on January 03, 2012:

Great lens! This is a very nice collection of animals.

anonymous on December 09, 2011:

@anonymous: fuckin shit man

sousababy on December 07, 2011:

Came by for a refresher and to google +1 this amazing lens.

spartakct on December 04, 2011:

Fascinating lens!

anonymous on October 18, 2011:

I just had to take another peek in on this masterpiece!

peppervel on October 16, 2011:

Yes, I would read any articles I can chance upon on prehistoric animals. When younger, I used to spend hours in the library. I just love the mystery behind and the possibilities of these creatures roaming on earth millions years ago... amazing!

mrsphillips200 on October 04, 2011:

Great lens. I find that some graphics are perhaps a little outdated, and Anancus is a genus, not a specific animal, but that is the video's problem, not your's. There may be other issues, but overall an intreguing subject and a fun lens!

SirAwesome on September 29, 2011:

Wow! What a great lens! Thanks for sharing!

Rob Hemphill from Ireland on August 30, 2011:

Fascinating to think how big the prehistoric creatures were. Not surprised you got LOTD with this, it is a beautiful piece of work, well done.

TheHealthGuy LM from U.S.A. on August 21, 2011:

This is a site I'll have to spend some time on later. Fascinating information. I could literally spend hours learning.

BryanLSC on August 18, 2011:

I don't get it. Why are prehistoric animals, including the dinosaurs, are so much larger than animals today? Our only contenders now are the whales! Why?

Srena44 on August 17, 2011:

great lens

Yvonne L B from Covington, LA on August 09, 2011:

Speaking as a retired teacher, you did a great job on this lens. Sprinkled with dust from the Angel of the farmyard on a Back to school field trip.

uruha-fan-girl on July 17, 2011:

My younger brother would love looking at these! He always want to know what animals is the biggest, strongest, tallest ha ha. Good job:)

LadyFlashman from United Kingdom on July 15, 2011:

Awesome lens! The Megaladon is terrifying, oooh and the giant snake - yikes!

TapIn2U on July 11, 2011:

This is amazing! Had to watch the video over and over again. Thanks for this educational lens. Great job! Sundae ;-)

Steve-SEO-UK on July 11, 2011:

I am a mug for the History TV channel and watch numerous documentaries on prehistoric life. I saw a program recently which proclaimed that we could see 30ft Pythons realised in the not too distant future. Excellent Lens which I really enjoyed and well worth LOTD. Big thumbs up given.

NoYouAreNot on July 10, 2011:

What about prehistoric felines? Giant lions, machaerodons, etc. Or proto-elephants.

AsianMarketplace on July 08, 2011:

I like reading the articles here.

gogolf162 on July 06, 2011:

Pretty amazing creatures. The ones we live with now are scary enough for me.

Deb Kingsbury from Flagstaff, Arizona on June 28, 2011:

If I saw a 42-foot snake, I'd keel over. Talk about creepy! Fascinating stuff here.

MarxBrandon on June 28, 2011:

Congrats!

James Jordan from Burbank, CA on June 27, 2011:

congrats on the purple star!

pheonix76 (author) from WNY on June 27, 2011:

@norma-holt: Thank you so very much Norma!! You are a true Squidoo angel. (:

lynnrdavis on June 22, 2011:

Really great lens! Thanks for sharing. My nephew loves prehistoric studies. He'd get a kick out of this

aka sakabato on June 20, 2011:

I believe deep in a jungle there a giants animal that we do not discover yet, like some story of giant centipade, maybe in that environment they can grow bigger than we usually see in our daily life.

p/s: why do my security words are always gigalust???

Rawane on June 20, 2011:

Love it! Great infos! I'm a science teacher myself and kids are very curious and sometimes. They tend to ask me questions about animals and their prehistoric life. I couldn't answer some of their questions but after reading what you wrote, I sure know the answers now :) Thanks!

MasterPsycho from Earth on June 19, 2011:

Crazy no..interested ..hell yeah...like most of us are about our unknown past....lets not forget that sientistic have not discovered everything and some of their saying are based on theories...

MelissaInTheSky on June 19, 2011:

Wow! What a cool lens! I learned new things. :) Love the pictures!

norma-holt on June 19, 2011:

Congratulations on both LOTD and the Purple star. Truly remarkable lens and now featured on Squidoo LOTD Lenses.

Jeremy from Tokyo, Japan on June 18, 2011:

Congratulations on LOTD. Well deserved. I'm going to show this lens to my kids later.

pheonix76 (author) from WNY on June 18, 2011:

@Annamadagan: Yes, I am a scientist and only feel comfortable presenting accepted scientific facts and theories. (:

anonymous on June 18, 2011:

How amazing! Yes, I found this fascinating--to think that such creatures once existed is mind boggling.

Annamadagan on June 18, 2011:

I see you used eveloution on this lens. :(

Anthony Godinho from Ontario, Canada on June 18, 2011:

Wow, I'm always amazed by nature and the countless creatures that inhabit the earth. This lens lived up to my expectations when I read the title. I enjoyed reading about all the prehistoric animals here and congrats on the Purple Star and LOTD! :)

DebMartin on June 18, 2011:

Super nice lens. Very informative. And I appreciate all the links. Thanks!

AdriennePetersen on June 18, 2011:

Great lens, well thought out! Congrats on LOTD and your purple star, very well deserved!

pcgamehardware on June 18, 2011:

Great lens, Very good original content and very well presented.

daedrea lm on June 17, 2011:

great and interesting lense!

darciefrench lm on June 17, 2011:

Awesome, really enjoyed this prehistoric animals lens - had no idea these types of animals existed. Congrats on LOTD, well done!

LikinTrikin LM on June 17, 2011:

Congratulations to you !!!!!

almirah on June 17, 2011:

A great and nice lens. Like the idea of clickable more info under text box. Congrats on LotD!

Vladimir from Australia on June 17, 2011:

I don't like the giant prehistoric snake at all

Downloadsoftwar1 on June 17, 2011:

Very BIG!

arpak12 on June 17, 2011:

Congrats on LotD, this lens definitely deserved it.

Jeanette from Australia on June 17, 2011:

These are truly fascinating creatures! Congrats on LOTD.

Muzzie4848 on June 17, 2011:

Congrats on your LOTD. I love history and reading your interesting facts. I particularly liked the snake vertebra comparison. Really interesting.

pheonix76 (author) from WNY on June 17, 2011:

@Scarlettohairy: Lol!

Bercton1 on June 17, 2011:

Exciting lens and great history. Congratulations on LOTD!

GabrielaFargasch on June 17, 2011:

Wow! That giant lobster really freaked me out! Lol Congratulations on your LOTD! Totally deserved!

GoAceNate LM on June 17, 2011:

Wow great lens. Lots of neat facts here. Thanks!

WindyWintersHubs from Vancouver Island, BC on June 17, 2011:

Congratulations on LOTD!

TransientTimes on June 17, 2011:

Congrats on lens of the day!!! It was much enjoyed <3

TransientTimes on June 17, 2011:

Congrats on lens of the day!!! It was much enjoyed <3

pheonix76 (author) from WNY on June 17, 2011:

Thanks to everyone who visited today!! :) Smiles, Jenna

GrowWear on June 17, 2011:

A very interesting read. Yes, pretty much fascinated by the prehistoric. Congratulations for your Lens Of The Day award!

Steve Dizmon from Nashville, TN on June 17, 2011:

I would like to see a representative of the ancient predator birds. Some of them were pretty awesome.

Peggy Hazelwood from Desert Southwest, U.S.A. on June 17, 2011:

No, I'm just crazy.

mahimattphoto on June 17, 2011:

Awesome lens. So cool the earth is an amazing place.

sujaysen on June 17, 2011:

So scary to know about these largest animals.

dfishbac on June 17, 2011:

Wow! This is fascinating and new to me too. I'd like to have one of those 3 foot long shrimp sauteed in some olive oil and garlic.

Barbara Radisavljevic from Templeton, CA on June 17, 2011:

This is all new to me. These prehistoric creatures boggle my mind. I don't think I'd want to meet any of them in person.

ChrisDay LM on June 17, 2011:

Congratulations for LotD - a very original lens and thoroughly deserving. I had 'liked' it before, quite a while ago, so I can't squidlike it again, sadly..

Erin Hardison from Memphis, TN on June 17, 2011:

Never knew about most of these gigantic animals. The huge snake is pretty darn scary to think about. Congrats on LotD!

Jennifer P Tanabe from Red Hook, NY on June 17, 2011:

Congrats on LotD! These enormous prehistoric animals are fascinating - glad I won't have to meet any of them in the flesh, well I guess the big penguin would be OK.

anonymous on June 17, 2011:

Another great lens. Congrats on the LOTD!

kwhiting644 lm on June 17, 2011:

Great lens. I like how the content over-rides the ads.

justholidays on June 17, 2011:

Shrimps, arthropods, penguins... bigger than humans?!? Hoooooooooo... Heeeeeeelp! Very interesting lens, though! And greatly done.

Congratulations on your LOTD!

EcoGecko LM on June 17, 2011:

I always thought it was New Zealand, Kawhia where they found the largest penguin standing at the same height (an estimated 1.5metres) must have found them in two different locations.

anonymous on June 17, 2011:

Nice to see this page get awarded, I thought it was a winner before, and I'm very happy for you. ~ Congratulations!

anonymous on June 17, 2011:

Informative lens. Thanks you.

gypsyman27 lm on June 17, 2011:

Very interesting lens, great content. See you around the galaxy...