The great white sharks are imposing and dangerous predators of the oceans today. However, when matched up with some of the sea monsters of the past, it seems mild by comparison.
In the past 500 million years, earth has seen some fierce predators prowl the ocean that would make quick work of any swimming animal of today. Below you can check out some of the most scary predators from the sea that date back to prehistoric ages and possibly before!
#5. Dunkleosteus – This beast measured up the 33 ft long and weighted as much as 4 tons. It was basically an armored tank that opened its mouth to suck in its prey and then chomped down with its beak-like mouth to crush and annihilate anything it caught. This giant armored fish’s beak was said to be strong enough to crush chain mail with the force it generated. It prowled the seas roughly 370 million years ago and was a true terror of the deep.
#4. Liopleurodon – The apex predator of the Jurassic seas roughly 160 million years ago. This swimming reptile was around 25 ft in length(although some estimates say it was bigger, up to almost 50 feet in length) with a mouth full of razor-sharp teeth. It fed on fish, ammonites, and other large swimming reptiles of the time.
#3. Basilosaurus – Despite its name, this was not a reptile but a primitive whale of the large meat eating variety. It lived roughly 37 million years ago and could reach 60ft in length. It was one of the biggest sea predators of all time with that size and hunted small whales as well as fish as part of its regular diet. It was given its scientific name which means “king lizard” because when the first fossils of it were found, it was thought to be a sea serpent and not a whale. This is partly because the shape of its body is far more elongated than any current species of whale.
#2. Tylosaurus – The apex predator of the late Cretaceous period and a giant marine reptile that preyed upon fish, other marine reptiles, sharks, and basically anything that swam in its path from about 80 million years ago up until the end of the age of dinosaurs. Reaching up to 50 feet in length and sporting an aggressive personality, these lizards prowled the oceans of the world and the western interior seaway in search of any prey that it could find. Tylosaurs would also kill each other if one got into another’s territory.
#1. Megaladon – The largest shark ever to evolve. The creature lived in our oceans from about 28 million years ago and died out only about 1.5 million years ago. They grew to over 50ft in length and dwarf even the biggest of the great white sharks today. Its jaws alone when opened were easily big enough for a tall basketball player to stand up in. These powerful predators hunted whales, much the same way as white sharks hunt seals and sea-lions today. Even though recent evidence has suggested that this beast and the Great White of today are not as closely related as once thought, it would look like a Great White on steroids if you saw one today.