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Sunday, May 10, 2015

9 Prehistoric Sea Monsters

Jaekelopterus
jay-KELL-ohp-TER-uss
(Otto Jaekel's wing)

Sea scorpions, or eurypterids (YOO-rip-TER-id) were fucking badass monstrosities. They lived throughout the Paleozoic era, which is basically the first third of the story of life on earth. Although they look like true scorpions, they aren't true scorpions. Jaekelopterus was the largest, at almost 3 meters in length (9 ft)!

Deinosuchus
die-NOH-soo-kus
(Terrible crocodile)

A crocodile so large that it hunted down dinosaurs. Deinosuchus was the very thing that dinosaurs had in their nightmares. At 12 meters in length (40 ft), it rivalled a T. rex in size and ferocity! Like saltwater crocodiles today, it would have lived both in fresh and salt water.

Basilosaurus
bah-SILL-oh-SAW-rus
(King lizard)

Although it has the suffix of "saurus" in its name, Basilosaurus wasn't a lizard. It was a form of early whale. It is one of the largest carnivores that has ever lived, at 18 meters in length (60 ft), and as such it would have hunted other whales and sharks.

Xiphactinus
zy-FAK-tee-NUSS
(Sword ray)

Affectionately nicknamed the "Bulldog fish", Xiphactinus was plentiful during the Late Cretaceous period 80-65 million years ago when North America was split into three islands by a vast inland sea. Xiphactinus swam in that inland sea, using its 6 meter long (19 ft) bulk to fuck up anything that moves.

Edestus
ay-DES-tuss

Imagine a pair of garden shears. With shark teeth. And then attach that to a 7 meter long (22 ft) Great White Shark. That's how you get Edestus.

Helicoprion
he-LEE-co-PRY-on
(Spiral saw)

Helicoprion and Edestus are related. The two are actually not sharks, but a group of fish that are closely related to today's chimeras. But you're not thinking about their evolutionary timeline, are you? You're wondering about that fucking buzz saw on its mouth.

Dunkleosteus
dunk-LEE-os-TEE-uss
(Dunkle's bones)

While Edestus was a pair of scissors, Dunkleosteus was the fucking guillotine. It didn't even have real teeth! Those blades in its mouth were parts of its fucking skull! Add that on to 9 meters (30 ft) of pure fishy muscle, and you've got a shark eating machine.

Mosasaurus
moh-SAH-SAW-rus
(River Meuse lizard)

Mosasaurus were the reason why the Late Cretaceous seas were among the deadliest. At 18 meters in length (60 ft), they were the top predators of their time. They're also related to today's Komodo Dragons, with TWO SETS OF JAWS. THEY ARE THE BASTARD LOVECHILDREN OF XENOMORPHS AND CROCODILES.

Mosasaurus will star alongside Star Lord in Jurassic World this June 12th.

Anomalocaridid
ah-NO-ma-LOH-CAR-ee-did
(Odd shrimps)

Anomalocaridids were once the top predators of their time. They ranged in sizes, with the largest being 2 meters in length (6 ft). They were a long lived species, living from 541-360 million years ago.

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