Extinct Animals. Normally one would hear those words used to describe the dinosaurs - or perhaps the Dodo Bird. But what people don't often think of are the thousands of interesting creatures that lived and died on this planet of ours in the "in-between" years. The last dinosaurs vanished 65 million years ago, the last Dodo died over 300 years ago. The millions of years between the two (The Cenozoic Era) have been populated (off and on) by some of the largest mammals the world has ever seen. Some familiar, some bizarre - often gigantic, these Megafauna (Latin for "large animals") can be every bit as intriguing as the dinosaurs.
This site gathers 30 representative animals together for a glimpse at some of the remarkable beasts that walked the same Earth we now live on. All images have a human figure, used for scale. His name is Graham, he is 5ft 10in (1.8m) tall and he gets around. They also list the generally accepted height of the animal, the time period it walked the earth, a short description, and several outside links for more information.
While the 30 animals chosen were somewhat arbitrary, most are well-known, like the Mammoth and the Sabretooth cat. Those that are less well-known are certainly interesting - for instance, Harlan's Ground Sloth, a large furry beast from North America had "dermal ossicles", or bony plates, deep under its skin. These plates meshed together into a sort of hidden shield, protecting the sloth's neck and back from attack. Another favorite is the group of animals called Chalicotheres. Chalicotheres look like nothing else alive today. Eight to ten feet tall, they have the shortened face of a horse, the neck of an ox, the arms and shoulders of a massive ape, the front claws of an anteater and short rear legs to support its massive bulk.
The site is divided into four parts - Interesting Names, a group of creatures with evocative or odd names, like the Bone-crushing dog or the American Scimitar Cat - Woolly and Huge, a collection of Giant Sloths, Mammoths, Mastodons and a Rhino to boot - Strange and/or Massive, a group of some of the largest and more bizarre creatures from the Ice Age, and - Resources, a collection of links to other related sites and a listing of many books and videos relating to Prehistoric Megafauna as well. Enjoy your visit.
Full list of Animals
Strange and/or Massive
Woolly and Huge
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