When mentioning large, extinct animals, most people automatically think about T-Rex and the gang, considering dinosaurs as the largest beasts that ever roamed the Earth. What you may not know, however, is that there were a huge number of imposing giant mammals, birds and reptiles that may have been equally impressive. Let's take a look at a few of them.
Although, compared to a few other members on this list, the Smilodon wasn't technically a giant, it was one of the largest, most feared predators of its time. This saber-toothed cat weighed 500 lbs on average (more than some of the largest tigers on Earth today), and its large canines allowed it to dominate the wild for about 2 million years.
As one of the largest animals that succeeded the dinosaurs, Basilosaurus is also the largest prehistoric whale that ever lived. It measured 60 feet from head to tail and weighed an impressive 100 tons. Although it was a marine mammal, its name was given due to it being mistaken for a marine reptile.
The Glyptodon was one of the oddest looking giant animals to succeed the dinosaurs. It was about the size (and shape) of a VW Beatle, and it boasted a large carapace that also made it look like one. Despite its imposing stature, this giant armadillo was eventually hunted to extinction by early South American settlers.
Finally, here is a land mammal that could really compete with the largest dinosaurs in terms of size. The indricotherium was the largest terrestrial mammal ever, weighing about 20 tons and being twice as large as any elephant. Although it was distantly related to prehistoric horses, its evolutionary line stopped millions of years ago in the Oligocene Epoch.
This “Giant Roamer” used to be the most feared predator in Australia, measuring up to 25 feet in length and 2-4 tons on the scale, also being considered by some as a modern-day dinosaur. The reptile went extinct about 40,000 years ago, but not before feasting on the megafauna in the area for about 2 million years.
This fella was almost twice as large as the modern bear, and it could reach speeds of up to 40 mph when chasing its prey. The short-faced bear had an imposing stature, rising up to more than 12 feet in height when standing up and being comparable in stature to the dinosaurs of old.
This is definitely one of the most impressive, as well as the most famous giants that succeeded the dinosaurs. A little shorter and stockier than mammoths, mastodons were still pretty big, reaching heights of around 10 feet while roaming North America until their disappearance more than 10,000 years ago.
I can't end my list without presenting this remarkably large bird that dominated the skies of Argentina during the late Miocene period. The Teratorn had an amazing 25-30-foot wingspan, and its weight was about 150 lbs. The Andean Condor is considered to be its closest relative currently still in existence.
Which of the above giants do you think were the most impressive? Do you know of any other large and fearsome animals from the past 65 million years that should belong on this list?
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