Top 15 Scariest Extinct Animals That Ever Lived

the names and pictures of some extinct animals

Source by: Extinctanimals

Indeed, the earth is full of amazing, strong, and terrifying animals. But even, it might interest you to find out that more scary animals might have walked past the surface of the earth.

The first animal that comes to mind has to be dinosaurs, the likes of the fearful T. Rex, deadly Allosaurus and all. But that’s not all there is about extinct animals. There were more deadly, terrifying, creepy, bloodthirsty and utterly disgusting animals that once inhabited the earth. In fact, we are so glad these animals have gone extinct.

Although these animals still induce nightmares, from ocean creatures bigger than the Titanic to elephant-sized crawlers, here are the 15 scariest extinct animals. We are so fortunate that they have gone extinct. Let’s start to explore!

1. Arthropleura, The Giant Centipede

Arthropleura, The Giant Centipede

Source by: YouTube

Are you afraid of centipedes? Then you should meet Athropleura. Similar to the centipede in virtually every way, except one; Size. Arthropluera, with over 7.5 feet of jointed ribs, was way bigger than the centipede.

Arthropleura was the largest species of invertebrate of all time. It walked the earth some  340 to 280 million years ago, from the Lower Carboniferous Period to the lower Permian Period, in today’s North America.

These hellish scariest extinct animals may have been herbivores, but they were that large that they did not have any predators and were free to scuttle around the forest floor, being generally terrifying.

Just thinking about it makes you squeamish.

2. Deinosuchus, The Giant Crocodile

A scary deinosuchus is fighting with a dinosaur beside the river

Source by: Hakai Magazine

Ordinarily, the crocodile is scary. But what’s more frightening is a 35-foot long, dangerous animal lurking beneath the water. Deinosuchus is a deadly extinct animal similar to modern-day crocodiles and alligators that lived between 80 and 73 million years ago during the Cretaceous.

Deinosuchus was one of the deadly animals we are so glad to have gone extinct. Measuring up to 12 meters in length and weighing up to 6.5 metric tons (14,330 pounds), this huge crocodile had large, sharp teeth capable of killing and eating sea turtles, fish, and even large dinosaurs. Yes, dinosaurs!

The Information About Deinosuchus

Source by: Deviantart

There is only so much you can do when faced with such a giant animal. And with its huge 4-foot skull, you can hardly run far without being snapped.

We should be thankful that these swimming nightmares haven’t made an appearance in the Thames or the Hudson!

3. Meganeura, The Giant Dragonfly

Meganeura sits on the tree

Source by: Twitter

If you’ve seen a dragonfly, you’d agree they are not entirely pretty. They are not even the kind that draws attention. Well, maybe that’s the dragonflies that buzz around our world.

If you were around some 300 million years ago, during the Carboniferous period, Magneura would have left your jaw-dropping. Not entirely because they were lovely, but they were significantly bigger than modern dragonflies.

Meganeura, The Giant Dragonfly

Source by: Posterazzi

Meganeura was a giant dragonfly-like insect with wings that reached up to 66 centimeters (2.16 feet), making them one of the largest flying predatory insects in the history of the world. That makes them more terrifying.

Imagine a Magneura buzzing over your head as you walk to work. Yikes

4. Dunkleosteus, The Giant Fish

a giant scary fish 1

Let’s set the scene. Say you were fishing, and suddenly, a 33-feet long fish pulled out of the river; what would you do? Well, you don’t have to worry about that; after all, you were not around some 360 million years ago.

Dunkleosteus was a large, voracious predatory fish, which lived during the Late Devonian period. It grew to a terrifying size of 33 feet and weighed almost 4 tons. Its body was powerful, almost like steel, making it a perfect predator paired with its massive and powerful jaw.

Its head and chest were covered with articulated armored plates, which made it a slow but very powerful swimmer.

One good thing about this deadly predator is that it has gone extinct. We are thankful!

5. Megalodon, The Giant Shark

Megalodon, The Giant Shark

Source by: Live Science

Megalodon is an extinct species of giant shark that lived between 2.8 to 1.5 million years ago, during the Early Miocene to the Pliocene. Its name means “big tooth,” and with one glance at the picture, you’d nod in agreement.

This scary extinct animal lived and hunted in the same waters as Livyatan Melville.

Thanks to its incredible size of up to 18 meters (59 feet), it is considered one of the largest and most powerful predators that have ever existed on Earth. Quite terrifying!

a giant shark is going to eat a human

Source by: Sevenpie

It could weigh up to 65 metric tons (143,000 pounds), looked like a giant, more terrifying version of the modern great white shark, and could be found worldwide.

What’s more terrifying about this extinct animal is that it only went extinct some 2.8 million years ago, meaning it ate many animals that still exist today, like giant sea turtles, porpoises, and even whales. Creepy!!!

6. Titanoboa, The Giant Snake

the model of a titanoboa in the museum

In the modern world, the Green Anaconda is the largest snake. It has 6 to 9 meters (20 to 30 feet) and 180 to 250 kilograms (400 to 550 pounds) in weight. Massive, yeah? Right!

That’s probably because you haven’t met Titanoboa! Okay, you probably wouldn’t, except maybe in your dreams.

Some 58 million years ago, during the Paleocene, the extinct Titanoboa snakes roamed the Earth, being the largest and heaviest snake ever discovered.

the comparison of a titanoboa and a human 2

Source by: Prehistoric-wildlife

Paleontologists and scientists estimate that the Titanoboa could have a total length of 12 meters (40 feet) and weighed around 1.1 metric tons (2,425 pounds).

This one appeared not long after dinosaurs went extinct, but it went extinct, luckily enough, way before we ever appeared. Their diet generally consisted of crocodiles and turtles. That’s how deadly these predators were.

If Snake On A Plane or Anaconda gives you nightmares, you should scroll past this one faster than you can blink.

7. Arctodus, The Giant Bear

two arctoduses are hunting in the water

A name like “Short-faced bear” in our modern world sounds cute, and it will give an impression of a lovely, calm-looking animal. Arctodus was anything but pretty or peaceful.

This extinct animal inhabited North America during the Pleistocene. It is one of the most recent creatures on the list, as it roamed the Earth until 11,000 years ago.

Despite this, its size is worthy of prehistoric animals, reaching up to 3.5 meters (11.4 feet) in height when standing and weighing more than one metric ton (2204 pounds). Scientists and paleontologists believe they were 50 percent larger than the biggest polar bears in recorded history

Arctodus would have needed about 35 pounds of meat a day to get by. However, they lost much of their food supply with the arrival of humans in the Americas.

8. Phorusrhacidae, The Giant Bird

Phorusrhacidae, The Giant Bird

Source by: Roaring Earth

The name “Terror Bird” pretty much should tell you all about these deadly extinct animals. Well, if it doesn’t, here is what you should know. Terror birds were terrifying animals.

They stood at 10 feet tall and weighed up to 500 kilograms (1,102 pounds), making them the largest non-flying predator that ever existed. Their diet consisted of mammals and marsupials that are currently extinct.

They developed in South America around 60 million years ago and lived with few other predators in Central America.

Phorushracidae went extinct about 2 million years ago. Their massive beaks were terrifying, and you wouldn’t want to get a strike of that to the head in any situation.

9. Argentavismagnificens, The Giant Condor

an argentavis is flapping its wings

Argentavismagnificens was a prehistoric vulture. It was as tall as a human and preyed on cattle. Despite its size, it could still fly, making it the largest flying bird ever existed.

These extinct animals had a wingspan between 5.8 to 7 meters, an incredible height of 1.5 to 1.8 meters (4.9 to 5.9 feet), and a weight of 110 kilograms (242 pounds).

Due to its weight, this species had less aerodynamics for predatory flights than other birds. For this reason, Argentavis preferred to scavenge for carrion.

10. Cameroceras, The Giant Squid

Cameroceras, The Giant Squid

Source by: Prehistoric Earth

Still on the list of scariest extinct animals, with weird and extremely hard to pronounce names, the  Cameroceras is the next creature.

Cameroceras was an ancient and giant ancestor of modern squids and octopuses and lived during the Ordovician, 470 to 460 million years ago.

Almost everybody has experienced this horrible feeling of a piece of seaweed rubbing against their leg when paddling and assuming a creature of the deep will eat them. Well, that might have been true if the Cameroceras were still alive today.

Cameroceras, The Giant Squid

Source by: Ordovician

These scariest extinct animals made life extremely difficult for creatures beneath the sea. The most distinctive features of this mollusk were the huge cone-like shell and tentacles, which they used to catch fish and other sea creatures.

They weighed around 900 kilograms (2,000 pounds), and their size estimates range from 6 to 12 meters (20 to 40 feet).

11. Carbonemys, The Giant Turtle

Carbonemys, The Giant Turtle

Source by: Wikipedia

Carbonemys is an extinct giant turtle that lived about 60 million years ago during the Paleocene. This means that they survived the mass extinction (KT extinction event) that killed most dinosaurs.

This turtle was carnivorous and had massive jaws, powerful enough to eat large animals like crocodiles. Wow!!

A fossil found in Colombia suggests that its shell measured about 1.72 meters (5.64 feet), but its entire body was 3 meters (10 feet) long and weighed around 453 kilograms (1,000 pounds).

12. Gigantopithecus

Gigantopithecus Stands In The Forest staring at a man

Source by: Reddit

Moving a little closer to home, the Gigantopithecus was a huge and powerful ape that roamed across areas of Asia as recently as 100,000 years ago.

Gigantopithecus, standing up to 9.8 feet tall and weighing up to 540kg, was the largest apes to have walked the face of the earth. They were seven times heavier than the modern orangutan.

A little terrifying fact: The modern-day orangutans are up to seven times stronger than a male human. Now, you can imagine how powerful the Gigantopithecus was. Definitely not an animal you want to bump into.

the comparison of gigantopithecus and human beings

Source by: Prehistoric-wildlife

Fortunately, if you did bump into it, maybe in your dreams, you would have nothing to worry about unless you were a piece of fruit or bamboo. Gigantopithecus was mainly herbivores.

Nevertheless, seeing something this big appearing through the trees must have been quite a sight for the early men.

13. Kaprosuchus

the information from a book about kaprosuchus

Source by: Ark.fandom

Next on our list of the scariest extinct animals is the Kaprosuchus. This crocodile on steroids grew up to a length of up to 21 feet, and that is the least scary thing about it!

Kaprosuchus is not like the crocodiles we know today. This beast chased down its prey using its four long legs, and it would have been able to take down all but the largest of animals alive at the time.

Once It had caught up with the poor creature it had decided would become dinner, things would all be over swiftly with a sudden bite from the boar-like teeth that protruded from its mouth.

We are lucky the “saber-tooth cat in armor” is not lurking in our lakes and rivers anymore.

14. Spinosaurus

A Fossil Of Spinosaurus 3

Source by: National Geographic

The list won’t be complete without a mention of these incredible extinct creatures. You probably, already know about the King of dinosaurs, The Tyrannosaurus Rex; hence, let’s introduce you to another deadly extinct dinosaur.

Without further ado, meet the largest carnivorous dinosaur of all time; The Spinosaurus.

The Spinosaurus was bigger than the T-Rex, and it grew up to 18 meters long, weighing up to 10 tons. This species feed on fish, turtles, and even other dinosaurs. If we were alive at the time, we probably would have wound up part of its diet.

15. Josephoartigasia

A Josephoartigasia Is Running Through The Water

Source by: DevainArt

Finally, on our list of the scariest extinct animals are the Josephoartigasia. These giant rodents resembled gigantic capybaras the size of cows, with an estimated weight of 1 ton.

Imagine a bunch of killer rats roaming around, 10 feet long, with another 5 feet of tail. They might have been herbivorous, but their foot-long incisors would have packed such a strong bite, it would be hard not to shriek in fear.


a man is going to touch a mammoth in the ice

Source by: Sciencefocus

Nature is scary; there is no doubt about that, and extinction is one of the severe issues facing our world. Yeah, that’s right!

But we are glad and thankful that we don’t have to encounter these deadly creatures. Or how do we contend with crocodiles that could swallow us down in one gulp or a Titanoboa that deadly?

Well, that’s a wrap on our shortlist of the scariest extinct animals. This list is not exhaustive as there are still more scary extinct animals. However, we hope you have learned a few new things.


Source by: Onlydinosaurs

If you find any of the listed extinct animals fascinating enough that you wish you were alive to see it, fortunately, a genie just might have granted that wish.

You can house one! And definitely not the live animal; they are extinct already, remember!

But we have the animatronic products of some discussed extinct animals and more like the Dimetrodon, the Megatherium. Not just that only, but also the animatronic animals.

Do well to check them out!!

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This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Jeff

    Quite an interesting and insightful article. I was glued to the end. Now I know a few more things

    1. WANGTAO

      Hey Jeff,

      Glad to know you enjoy this article.

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