Although it comes several thousand years after they have become extinct, our fascination for megafaunal animals keeps us in front of the TV when they show the most recently discovered fossils. From amazing dinosaurs and prehistoric sea monsters to giant lemurs and 12 meters reptiles, here are the biggest under water fossils ever found.
The largest under water creatures
No complete specimens have been found, but we can estimate the size of the prehistoric animals based on the fossils discovered. In some cases, just one bone was enough to approximate the species and its dimensions. Did you know that the largest rodent of all time was about 3 meters long and 1.5 meters height? However, the biggest creatures lived under water. The largest known fossil belongs to the toothed whale – Odontocete – the whale Livyatan melvillei, a Miocene physeteroid that measured about 13.5-17.5 meters in length.
From February to March 2016, the scientists have discovered more than a ton of 71 million-year-old fossils in Antarctica. They analyzed the prehistoric birds and marine reptiles to provide a detailed snapshot of life in Antarctica at the end of dinosaurs’ era. During the Jurassic Period, the Plesiosaurs lived in the water but breathed air. In the years 2002, 3004, 2006, and 2008 numerous such fossils were discovered in the UK, Norway, and Antarctica. The prehistoric creature could have reached 15 meters in length when adult.
The largest known crocodylomorph (Sarcosuchus imperator) was weighing 8 tons and measured 12 meters long. Do you think that lizards are cute these days? During Late Cretaceous, the marine lizard called Tylosaurus – a mosasaur – was a dominant predator living in the Western Interior Seaway and could have reached to 14 meters length. Can you believe the beast is closely related to the snakes and lizards that populate the Earth now?
Biggest fossil graveyards ever found
Despite the fact it’s a desolate place on our planet, the Gobi Desert of Central Asia is a heaven for paleontologists. 80 million-year-old fossils have been discovered here. They belonged to over 200 skulls of mammals and 25 theropod dinosaurs.
An impressive hillside dinosaur graveyard hid numerous skeletons in New Mexico. In Alberta, Canada, a cemetery of many dinosaur bones stretches for hundreds of miles. Alluvial deposits have blocked about 9,000 animals in a graveyard from Agate Springs, Nebraska. Hundreds of rhinos, giant wild boars, camel, three-toed horses, fish, and seashells are mixed in sites from Belgium, Mongolia, and Tanzania. The Ashley Beds from the southern United States you will find remains of man with both sea and land animals: sharks, whales, rhinos, plesiosaurs, mammoths, mastodons, deer, and porpoises, among many others.
Not even turtles and tortoises were small. The largest fossils ever found measured 4 meters. If Steller’s sea cow reached to 9 meters long, the largest dinoceratan – Uintatherium – had 2 tons and approximately 4 meters long. The funny thing is that its brain was only as large as an orange.
The biggest under water fossils ever found can be admired in museums and exhibits throughout the world.
Why do the prehistoric creatures fascinate you?