– [Narrator] The world is
full of strange creatures, and the ancient past offers
up stranger ones still. Vastly different environments
created these species and it’s very likely that
these prehistoric creatures are so exotic, the
environment of today’s world couldn’t even support them. These are five of the
strangest prehistoric creatures that ever lived. Take, for example, Helicoprion,
a shark-like creature with no idea of how its
teeth are supposed to work. Generally, animals
have two sets of teeth: one upper and one lower,
extending from left to right. Helicoprion, however, had a single row of teeth
oriented from front to back, so that it was something
like a razor-like tongue. There’ve been tons of
guesses over the last century as to what Helicoprion
looked like. Made of cartilage, its entire body structure
decays over time, leaving no fossilized
remains except for its teeth. We have several
examples of tooth-whorls left behind by the species, but little reference
as to where it belonged on the Helicoprion. More recent studies indicate
that the whorl was coiled inside of the mouth and
was used to slice up food as the creature opened
and closed its mouth. The creature might have
been 40 feet in length with the whorl
carrying 140 teeth. But at the end of the day, all this is merely speculation. Start with an elephant,
shorten the tusks, flatten the snout. Now elongate the lower
jaw several feet, making it wider in the
front than in the back. While you’re at it, add
two large flat teeth to that lower jaw, pointing them outward
rather than upward. That’s a Platybelodon, and it’s a pretty darn
absurd-looking creature. Conventional wisdom has it
that this creature lived in swampy areas, where
it scooped up muck with its unusually
large lower jaw and let the food slide
backward into its mouth. More recently, however, scientists came up with
an even more bizarre image of its eating habits. It’s now been suggested that Platybelodons wrapped
their tusks around trees and rubbed their teeth
against branches, breaking them free to be eaten. Almost nine feet long, the Jaekelopterus is the
largest known arthropod in the history of planet Earth. Arthropods are invertebrate
creatures with exoskeletons, including insects,
spiders, and crustaceans. Known as sea scorpions,
Jaekelopterus
lived in the water, but not in salt water
as the name implies. It would have been found
in lakes and rivers, presuming there was some reason you wanted to find
this monstrosity. At least it couldn’t
come onto the land. While it did have legs, they were too
spindly to support it without the buoyancy of water. Giant claws on folding arms could strike out and catch prey, then draw it back to its mouth. These arms and
claws, on their own, add another three feet to
Jaekelopterus’s length. Jaekelopterus lived
400 million years ago, when there were few jawed
vertebrates like fish to provide competition. Once evolution brought these
creatures onto the scene, giant invertebrates
had to reduce in size to compete in the
new environment. Elasmosaurus was a 46-foot
long, two-ton water creature who shared the Earth
with the dinosaurs. Edward Drinker Cope first described the
Elasmosaurus in 1868, depicting it as a short-necked,
long-tailed creature. Cope was an expert on lizards, and he expected Elasmosaurus
as having similar proportions to modern lizards. Legend has it that
it was academic rival Othneil Charles March
who corrected Cope, insisting the head belonged
on the longer segment, not the shorter one. The result was a creature
with four flippers, a short tail, and a
ridiculously long neck. To give a sense of proportion, the tail contained 18 vertebrae, while the neck contained 72. This made the neck
more than 20 feet long, longer than the total height
of today’s tallest giraffe. Cope and March went on to
compete in what’s known today as the Bone Wars. Together they discovered
over 100 prehistoric species, but they did so while sabotaging
each other’s dig sites, stealing each other’s artifacts, hiring men to infiltrate
the other’s teams, publicly bad-mouthing
one another, and more. Speaking of giraffes, have you ever considered
what would happen if one could fly? Because Quetzalcoatlus
is, in size, essentially a flying a giraffe. On the ground, it stood
about 18 feet tall, with a long neck
and elongated beak. When flying, it had
a 36-foot wingspan. And most recent estimates guess
it weighed about 500 pounds. There’s been debate on
how a creature that big could ever have achieved
self-powered flight, and it also appears Quetzalcoatlus was adept
at moving on the ground, using its wings as front legs. For more top lists
just like this, be sure to leave a
like and subscribe if you haven’t already. And don’t forget to check
out our other lists, and thanks for watching,
and thanks for learning. (electronic music)

Author Since: Mar 11, 2019

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  3. Dear creatures of top ten lists would you please add the heights and weights in the metric system so people like me who are not from America could get a sense of scale of those creatures thank you 😀
    Love from the Netherlands

  4. Number 3 is unoffensive, you can still find it at rivers, when you kill it, it heals you a beat and gives you vision in the fog of war.

  5. The quetzal (quetzalcoatlus) is on one of my favorite dinosaur/survival games called Ark:Survival Evolved with tons of other cool Dino's

  6. @top lists

    please also use the metric unit system and not just imperial. at least write it when needed in the video, you don't have to say it. it seems so stupid to only use imperial when more or less the whole world uses metric. it would make your videos x10 enjoyable. thank you

  7. The Cope and March relationship sound Like the one between Scrooge McDuck and Flintheart Glomgold in Ducktales

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