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. 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? You may not know Athropleura yet. This is a prehistoric bipedal arthropod. modern millipedes and centipede are its distant relatives, but although it is called Athropleura, it is closer to millipede than centipede.
Arthropleura is the largest known land invertebrate species ever, reaching an adult size of up to 2.5 meters! It walked the Earth some 34 to 280 million years ago, from the Lower Carboniferous to the Lower Permian in what is today North America.
These hellish scariest extinct animals may be herbivores, but they are huge, have few natural predators, run freely on the forest floor, and are generally terrifying.
Just thinking about it makes me sick.

2. Deinosuchus, The Giant Crocodile

A scary deinosuchus is fighting with a dinosaur beside the river

Source by: Hakai Magazine

In general, crocodiles are scary. But even more terrifying is the 10-meter-long dangerous animal lurking underwater. Deinosuchus is one of the most dangerous extinct animals, whose genus name means terrible crocodile in Greek, and lived in the Cretaceous period about 82 million to 73 million years ago.

The Deinocrocodile is a deadly animal and we are glad it is extinct. One of the largest crocodiles ever seen, this crocodile can reach lengths of up to 12 meters and weigh over 6.5 tons (14,330 lbs), with large, sharp teeth capable of killing and eating turtles, fish, and even large Dinosaur. Yes, dinosaurs!

There’s only so much you can do with such a huge animal. With its massive 4-foot skull, it’s hard to run far without getting bitten off.
We should be thankful that these swimming nightmares didn’t take place on the Thames or the Hudson!

The Information About Deinosuchus

Source by: Deviantart

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 because 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

Let’s set the scene. Say you were fishing, and suddenly, a 33-foot-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!

wikipedia 2 1

Source by: wikipedia

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,” human beings are just creatures inferred from tooth fossils and some vertebral fossils.
This scary extinct animal lived and hunted in the same waters as Livyatan Melville.

Among prehistoric sharks, megalodons are undoubtedly the most dangerous predators of marine creatures, it has the most powerful bite force among ancient and modern animals, reaching 28-36 tons, which is larger than the 15 tons of Funk pliosaur. It can easily bite off the bones of whales, which is quite terrifying!

Megalodon is definitely the most giant shark in history, even comparable to Mosasaur. Its maximum size is 20.3 meters, the average size is 16-18 meters, the heaviest is 103 tons, and the average weight is 60-70 tons. This incredible size was a larger, scarier version of the modern great white shark. Without a doubt, it is the most formidable predator that the planet has ever seen.

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!!!

wikipedia 2

Source by: wikipedia

iflscience 3

Source by: iflscience

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.

Paleontologists and scientists estimate that the Titanoboa could have a total length of 12 meters (40 feet) and weigh 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.

the comparison of a titanoboa and a human 4

Source by: Prehistoric-wildlife

7. Arctodus, The Giant Bear

two arctoduses are hunting in the water

A name like Short-Faced Bear sounds cute in modern times and can give the impression of a cute, calm animal. But Arctodus is neither pretty nor peaceful.
The extinct animal was the most common bear in early North America between 18 million and 11,000 years ago. It’s one of the newest creatures on the list, and it didn’t roam the Earth until 11,000 years ago.
Still, it was about the size of a prehistoric animal, standing up to 3.5 meters (11.4 feet) tall and weighing more than a metric ton (2,204 pounds). Scientists and paleontologists believe they are 50 percent larger than the largest polar bear in history.
Giant short-faced bear needs about 35 pounds of meat per day to survive. However, they lost most of their food supply as humans arrived 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 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 that 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.

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).

Cameroceras, The Giant Squid

Source by: Ordovician

11. Carbonemys, The Giant Turtle

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).

Carbonemys, The Giant Turtle

Source by: Wikipedia

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 were 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

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 feeds on fish, turtles, and even other dinosaurs. If we were alive at the time, we probably would have wound up part of its diet. It is also on the list of Top 8 Swimming & Water Dinosaurs and the Titanosaurs: Top 15 Biggest dinosaurs of the world.

A Fossil Of Spinosaurus 5

Source by: National Geographic

15. Josephoartigasia

A Josephoartigasia Is Running Through The Water

Source by: DevainArt

Finally, on our list of the scariest extinct animals is 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, that 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. If you wanna know more special dinosaurs like these, the blog 10 Dinosaurs with Head Crests That are Fun to Learn About is also a good choice.


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 animals; 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 3 Comments

  1. Maizee

    All of these animals are creepy

  2. 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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