From sea-faring relics to ancient amphibians,
today we look at Bizarre Prehistoric Creatures That Actually Still Exist. Number 12. Solenodon
The shrew-faced Solenodon is a small, venomous mammal that hails from the Caribbean islands
of Cuba and Haiti. In addition to being a critter uniquely endemic
to these islands, solenodons possess a few interesting traits. They are one of the few venomous mammals in
the world, and also possess a flexible snout thanks to a shoulder-like joint in their face. To top it off, these furry varmints have been
around for more than 73 million years! Number 11. Cassowary
Possibly the closest thing to a modern dinosaur, the Cassowary towers over most other birds
at five to six feet on average. It’s massive raptor-like claws, hard crown,
and vibrant coloration all make this avian monster seem like something you’d see in a
Jurassic Park film. Which actually makes sense given cassowaries
have been around for the last 80 million years. Native to Australia and New Guinea, cassowaries
hide deep within the rainforests of the region. Typically shy, the large birds will avoid
human contact, but be mindful of getting too close. In addition to your own safety, steering clear
of cassowaries is also in their best interest as the species is endangered due mostly to
the native public. Motor vehicles were reported to account for
55 percent of cassowary fatalities in a 2006 study, and as such people have since been
discouraged from engaging with the species so as to keep them away from populated areas. Number 10. Giant Freshwater Stingray
Cruising through the rivers and estuaries of Borneo and Indochina is a thirteen hundred
pound, six foot wide, 100 million year old monster. Known as the Giant Freshwater Stingray, this
massive relative to sharks and saltwater kin of the same name is one of the largest freshwater
fish in the world. This fish, like other rays, is disc shaped
with a serrated spine at the base of its tail, which is long and whiplike. Scientists believe this big fish once roamed
the waters across all of Southeast Asia, though a number of hazards have led to its isolated
location. With the development of human settlements
and the resulting structures to support them, giant freshwater stingrays have suffered from
extensive habitat degradation. Deforestation and dams are major issues for
the creature, but so is fishing, where the stingrays are caught for food, sport, or public
display in aquariums. In the past 20 to 30 years, regions endemic
to this fish have seen its population drop from anywhere between 30 and 95 percent! Number 9. Purple Frog
This odd-looking amphibian has been around for nearly 130 million years, yet the Purple
Frog went largely unknown to the scientific world until 2003. Though earlier reports and documented evidence
of the creature’s discovery had been around since 1918, it didn’t receive formal recognition
until it was found by researchers in the Western Ghats of India. Here the purple frog burrows into the soil,
keeping damp and hunting for prey. Unlike the stretchy-tongued frogs of your
nearest swamp, these amphibians are equipped with a long, ridged tongue that shoots through
the dirt to snag termites and ants. Its flat body, shovel-tipped nose, and stumpy
yet strong legs help the purple frog navigate through dirt, rarely surfacing from the ground. But when it rains, be on the lookout! That is the only condition in which these
frogs mate, one of many features that are fairly unique to the blob-like critter. Number 8. Chinese Giant Salamander
Salamanders are commonly known as some of the most recognizable amphibians in existence. But imagine seeing one slink out of a river
that’s bigger than your dog! What would seem like some sort of cryptid
akin to the Loch Ness Monster is actually the massive amphibious species called the
Chinese Giant Salamander. This gargantuan river dweller is local to
the mountainous streams and lakes of China and grows up to nearly 6 feet in length. They tend to reach weights ranging between
55 and 66 pounds, though individuals as heavy as 130 pounds have been recorded. If the Chinese giant salamander seems like
some sort of prehistoric amphibian…that’s because it is! Researchers have found that this beady-eyed
swimmer has roamed the Asian region for 170 million years. But the deterioration of its habitats, illegal
poaching, and climate change all have forced the Chinese giant salamander population to
face a dangerously high possibility of extinction. Number 7. Tuatara
A reptile endemic to New Zealand named the Tuatara is unlike any of its relatives thanks
to a number of bizarre behaviors and traits. This scaled anomaly is the remnant of an otherwise
extinct order that’s been around since 200 million years ago. Fairly small, the tuatara grows to a length
of one and a half to two feet and can weight between one and two pounds. As carnivores, these animals feast on anything
from beetles, spiders, and eggs to frogs, birds, and even its own kind. Each individual reptile has a lifespan of
up to 100 years, and its habits will change with age thanks to factors like teeth deterioration,
slow maturity, and lengthy pregnancies. Tuataras are able to survive for so many years
thanks to features like a regenerating tail, the ability to survive much colder temperatures
than other reptiles, and the development of a third eye covered in scales that helps sense
changes in light and seasons. Number 6. Turtles
Hard-shelled and slow to move, Turtles are some of the most iconic creatures to have
survived the past 250 million years. Most species aren’t overtly strange, but a
few of these creatures definitely seem like they would be at home next to a Triceratops
or T. Rex. One such species is the Alligator Snapping
Turtle. This sharp-ridged shuffler is among the heaviest
freshwater turtles on Earth with some reported weights exceeding 250 pounds! Its sharp, beak like face clamps down on prey
such as fish, birds, and amphibians deceived by a tongue appendage on the turtle that resembles
a wriggling worm. Another ancient-seeming species is the massive
Galápagos Tortoise, which can weigh over 900 pounds and live for well over 100 years. These tortoises are so big, in fact, that
an average sized human can ride atop their shell with no issue! Unlike the Alligator Snapping Turtle though,
this monstrous reptile is herbivorous, subsisting on a diet of cacti, fruit, grass and leaves. Number 5. Lamprey
Jawless, scaleless, boneless, and lacking pectoral or pelvic fins, the slender, sucker-faced
Lamprey is a strange, 360 million year old order of fish that still traverses the ocean
today. Thirty eight different species fill out this
order, and can be found in coastal and freshwater regions ranging from the Great Lakes to the
River Thames. These eel-like swimmers are mostly known for
their slick elongated bodies and gaping mouths filled with rows of teeth. Carnivorous species of lamprey us these mouths
to attach to other fish where they scrape away at flesh thanks to a pronged, piston-esque
tongue until they bore a hole. Parasitic in nature, these predatory lampreys
will then drain the fishes innards before moving on to a next meal. In many regions the creature has become a
pest, endangering the ecosystems in which it invades. As such, population control by means of aquatic
barriers and fishing them for food is employed in some communities. Though eating a lamprey requires careful preparation
as some species contain toxic mucus. Number 4. Emperor Scorpion
Averaging almost 8 inches in length, the brawny, black, West African arachnid known as the
Emperor Scorpion is one of the largest scorpions on the planet. Despite their proportionately hulking size,
though, these clawed beasts are actually fairly harmless. The behavior of emperor scorpions is typically
docile. While the pinch of their claws is still fairly
painful for humans, it’s much less dangerous than it is for the scorpion’s prey, which
include animals as big as rodents and lizards! Its stinger contains a toxic venom, but these
toxins don’t affect people other than those with an allergy. Thus, they make for common pets for collectors
of creepy crawlers. This has created a problem for the species
though as the accumulation of individual specimens spirals out of control. While not necessarily endangered, the trends
of emperor scorpion trading have worried some organizations who suggest their trade be highly
regulated to curb potential population issues. And after being around for more than 400 million
years, regulation is the least humans can do to respect their elder. Number 3. Horseshoe Crab
While it may be called the Horseshoe Crab, this strangely scuttling, carapaced creature
is actually much older than the crustaceans of today. This sharp tailed coast-crawler is still an
arthropod, but it’s really a bit closer related to its arachnid cousins than it is traditional
shellfish. These strange looking animals make their homes
in the soft sand and muddy waters of marine and brackish coastlines and have done so for
around 450 million years! They can be found across the Earth’s oceans,
either on beaches, on the shore, or swimming upside down nearby. In modern times, though, the horseshoe crab
is endangered for the first time in its existence thanks to the destruction of its natural habitat
along with human harvesting. Used as fish bait, fertilizer, a source of
some medicinal chemicals, and even as a delicacy in certain regions, horseshoe crabs have seen
their population diminish as demand for the creature rises. Number 2. Velvet Worms
Crawling in the dark corners of tropical regions across the southern hemisphere is an awkward
animal that resembles a caterpillar spliced with a slug. These Velvet Worms are their own unique type
of many-legged arthropod. Hundreds of different species of velvet worm
exist in the wild, with many believed to still be undiscovered. While closely related to animals like insects,
arachnids, crabs and even water bears, these slithering critters have certain traits that
are distinctly their own. Aside from existing for more than 500 million
years, velvet worms are also recognized for their eating and birthing behaviors. These worms have the capability to spew a
sticky slime that snares prey after stalking it slowly and carefully to examine its nutritional
value. As far as birthing goes, the velvet worm actually
varies from species to species, with some laying eggs like their relatives while others
actually engage in live birth! Number 1. Jellyfish
One of the most enigmatic creatures of the sea, the jellyfish, has roamed the ocean for
the past six to seven hundred million years. Fossils of jellyfish and their relatives have
been found proving such, but with no solid body parts, fossil evidence of the animal
is rare. This animal could have been around for even
longer, and with billions of individuals roaming the ocean currently, it looks to be here for
many years to come.

Author Since: Mar 11, 2019

  1. Exactly why didn't these animals evolve? There was no evolution at all? Not one thing in 50 billion years changed that could be utilized and part of the natural changing that it's said all life goes thru? Not one? Not Larger, smaller? Not a single change? Seems you need a lot of faith to believe in evolution.

  2. Notice Asian places have more ancient animals 😤 probably because they didn’t kill them all everytine they found a new species in the name of science of course

  3. While I disagree with almost everything scientist call time nothing is over 7,000 years old in this entire existence.

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