From ancient lizards to million year old birds…stay
tuned to number 1 to find out what is the oldest living animal still alive today! Number 10: Crocodiles. Perhaps the most obvious prehistoric animal
is the crocodile, which even looks like a floor bound version of a T-Rex. But, things evolve and change over time, just
look at photos of your parents from before you were born, but of all reptiles alive today…crocodiles
are the least changed. The earlier crocodiles of the Triassic and
Jurassic periods had a few “design features” that didn’t stick around for too long, but
for the most part, crocodiles have remained exactly the same for 65 million years: Like
Conan O’Brian’s hair. The Mesozoic Era croocdiles developed the
3 main traits they are known for, their “brand” if you will: stubby legs, sleek bodies and
marine lifestyle. Many people get confused between crocodiles
and alligators, but there ARE subtle differences. For starters: there are 14 known species of
croc, but only two known species of alligator. Crocodiles have more webbing on their feet
than alligators and are better at tolerating saltwater. And, most importantly, you see crocodiles
in a while, but you don’t see alligators until later. Number 9: Sandhill Crane The fact that birds are descended from dinosaurs
is a fact as universally acknowledged as humans breathing air. But as the centuries rolled by, they gained
feathers, and lost some size. It may seem odd to think of the likes of pigeons
being part of the same family as T-Rex’s but sometimes the apple DOES fall far from the
tree. To get technical birds are evolved from a
group of dinosaurs know as manirapotoran therpods. That may sound like gobbledygook from Harry
Potter, but manirapotoran therpods were small, meat-eating dinosaurs, such as Velociraptors. And when you really take a look, birds are
more similar to velociraptors than you might think! We would love to be there for THAT family
reunion. One notable example is the sandhill crane. Native to Northeastern Siberia and North America,
some of the oldest known Sandhill Crane fossils date back 2.5 million years, which is much
older than any other bird fossil, with another fossil suspected as belonging to a sand hill
crane going back a remarkable 10 million years. They could get pretty big too, with some of
the largest examples having a wingspan of 6ft 11! Number 8: Chinese Gian Slamander. Individually, the chinese giant salamander
can reach as old as 60 years, there are even undocumented claims of some being as old as
200. But, as a species, the Chinese giant salamander
is the oldest, and longest, amphibian in the world with some growing as long as 5 foot
9 inches. If it were to stand up on it’s hind legs that
would be exactly as tall as Robert Downey Jr, 1 inch taller than Tom Holland and 4 inches
taller than Bruno Mars. The Chinese giant salamander’s long-time on
the planet could sadly be coming to an end though. Over collection of the animal, due to its
use in traditional medicines and its meat being considered a delicacy, has left the
Chinese giant salamander a critically endangered species. Despite them being so endangered, the criminal
penalty for hunting them is surprisingly low, just 50 yuan, which is a mere six dollars,
U.S. With their dying out being such a crisis,
14 nature reserves were established in the 80’s to focus solely on chinese giant salamander
conservation, but it’s been little help. Before we move on, take a second to like this
video, and while you’re there, hit the subscribe button below! Number 7: Martialis Heuruka Ant. Discovered in the year 2000, the martialis
heureka ant is the ACTUAL millennium bug. Remarkably, seeing as they weren’t known about
until as late as the 2000’s, the martialis heureka ant is estimated to have lurked in
the nooks and crannies of the world for as long as 120 million years. It belongs to the oldest known distinct lineage
to have diverged from the ancestors of all other ants. The first proof of their existence, found
in Germany in the year 2000, was damaged. A new specimen wasnot found until 2003 by
a graduate of the Univeristy of Texas. Their name relates to their appearance looking
somewhat martian. Their orangeish coloring and unique features
definetly make them look like something out of an old sci-fi movie. Number 6: Horse Shoe Crab. Its name is something of a misnomer. The horseshoe crab actually has more in common
with spiders, ticks and scorpions than any crab. Some people change their “look” ever couple
of years, maybe a new haircut, or a new piercing. But not the horseshoe crab! This little fella has remained unchanged for
450 million years. They discovered their look early and stuck
to it! Considered the closest living relative to
trilobites, horseshoe crabs are one of the best examples of what experts call “living
fossils.” And if you’ve ever been accused of being a
messy eater, you are NOTHING compared to the horseshoe crab. Given their lack of jaw, the horseshoe crab
mashes up its prey with its legs before eating. You could argue they are the most royal creature
on this list because, unlike vertabrates, horse shoe crabs do not have heomglobin in
their blood, instead using hemocyanin. There’s a lot of copper in hemocyanin, meaning
horse shoes crabs literally have blue blood. They are also extermely important to medical
research. The animal’s blood is used in the widely used
Limulus amebocyte lysate, or LAL test, to detect bacterial endotoxins in pharmaceuticals
and to test for several bacterial diseases. And before you ask: Yes- that is just a quote
from Wikipedia. And no, I don’t know what it means. Number 5: Australian Ghost Shark. Australian Ghost Sharks may sound like the
name of a terrifying heavy metal band, but it’s actually an alternative name for “elephant
sharks.” If you do something to annoy one, they’ll
NEVER forget! These terrifying things have been haunting
the seas for 420 million years. The australian ghost shark has actually had
a bit of an identity crisis and has changed its name a lot, having gone under the names
makorepe, whitefish, and plough-nose chimaera. Despite their many names suggesting they are
unbeatable monsters of the sea, not to be tammed by man, they’re actually rather goofy
looking things, and it’s common for them to be served up with chips in New Zealand. Number 4: Tadpole Shrimp. Tadpole shrimps first started to evolve in
the days of dinosaurs and have been found happily still kicking around in little old
Scotland. Growing more than 10cm long the tadpole shrimp
has, remarkably, survived not 1, not 2, but THREE major extinctions in earths history. Only Keith Richards rivals them for endurance. They live in temporary pools of water in which
they lay eggs. When the pools dry out, the adults die off,
but their eggs remain dormant until the pools fill up again. It was researchers as Glasgow University who
discovered this wee critter. They collected samples of mud, dried them
out, then made them wet again and placed them in tanks. Two weeks later a research student spotted
one of the shrimps happily swimming in the tank. She said: “I hadn’t expected to find it and
was just going in to check on the heat and lights. It was great to see everyone in the lab gathering
round and peering into the tank to look at this ancient survivor from the past. Number 3. Jellyfish. Jellyfish are like the comedian Betty White:
Millions of years old, but watch out- they can still sting you better than most! Having roamed the seas for 500 million years
and maybe even 700 million, they are the oldest multi-organ animal and probably look down
at T-Rex’s as “cute young whipper-snappers.” They have been proven to be the most energy
efficient swimmers of all animals. Presumably swimming out of the way of danger
is how they survived for so long. Despite jellyfish as a whole having existed
for 500 million years, each individual jellyfish doesn’t last quite as long, with the average
lifespan being between just a few hours and a couple months. Number 2: Coelacanth. The coelacanth, and no- I don’t know if I’m
pronouncing that right, is the oldest living lobe-finned fish. They evolved into their current form approximately
400 million years ago. In 1938, the coelacanth was rediscovered after
having been thought extinct for 66 million years. The coelacanth was believed to have been extinct
since the end of the Cretaceous period but lthey definitely made an unexpected comeback. There are only two species of coelacanth and
both are threatened, currently making it the most endangered animal in the world. Luckily for them they are at no risk of being
eaten. Their body produces an excessive amount of
oil and their scales emit mucus making them pretty un-tasty. Number 1: Ctenophora. While jellyfish MAY have loitered in the oceans
for 700 million years, Ctenophora definitly have- making them the oldest creature on this
list. Known more commonly as “comb jellies” they
look like translucant spherical blobs but,interestingly, those that live deeper in the oceans are more
pigmented with one species, the tortuga red, being…welll…you guessed it. Bright red! The closer they live to the surface the less
likely they are to be colourful. Presumably the disgusting sight of humans
has made them go pale! Despite looking like the playful children’s
ballons of the sea…they are far from friendly. Ctenophora are predators and can eat up to
ten times their own body weight in just a single day! Tell us which prehistoric creature you liked
the most in the comments below and take care!

Author Since: Mar 11, 2019

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