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Share your strangest prehistoric creatures!!


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dinosaur man

Hi I made this to show some of earths most strangest creatures by sharing your thoughts on the strangest prehistoric creature of all time!! One of my top five I would say would be the Cambrian Opabinia. What would be yours.

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Ooh, that's a good one.  I can't wait to see what this thread produces.  I'll have to do a little research to come up with my choice.  I'll get back to you.  Yours will sure be hard to top, me thinks.

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Wrangellian

The Tully Monster comes to mind... which someone proposed might be a relative of Opabinia.

The further back in time you go, the more strange things would tend to appear, so of course Burgess contains a number of oddballs, but if you go further back to the Ediacaran, you have even more weird and perplexing things, such as the Trilobozoans. No one knows what those were!

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The Amateur Paleontologist

Nipponites, an interestingly coiled ammonite from the Upper Cretaceous of Japan and Russia :) 

5e5cdbb664e12_ScreenShot2020-03-02at11_10_10.png.4becbb01bfbe64d6b3bf43ee378d0c9c.png

Specimens on display at the National Museum of Nature and Science, Tokyo, Japan

 

 5e5cdca31d084_ScreenShot2020-03-02at11_14_24.png.51d3dc2c780842a3ffad0cd71120116c.png

Artwork by Franz Anthony

Edited by The Amateur Paleontologist
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bqxfc-1565710625-263-show-flintstones-header-940x370-1-1566840793.jpg.a148d130b342ad1eb6b05fe8fad7ac08.jpg

 

:D

 

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gigantoraptor

Qiyia jurassica, a weird parasitic larva from the Jurassic Daohugou beds (China). It's believed this creature feeded on Amphibians. Probably my favourite invertebrate.

image.jpeg.a24583c77063c6df6ef90b2f8f2806ce.jpeg

Nature has done some weird things.

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dinosaur man
4 hours ago, Wrangellian said:

The Tully Monster comes to mind... which someone proposed might be a relative of Opabinia.

The further back in time you go, the more strange things would tend to appear, so of course Burgess contains a number of oddballs, but if you go further back to the Ediacaran, you have even more weird and perplexing things, such as the Trilobozoans. No one knows what those were!

I agree, it gets stranger the further back you go.

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Ainiktozoon is not too weird but still not very widely known, I could not find many illustrations of this Silurian animal online but this seems like a good representation of it.

Ainiktozoon_loganese-1.jpg

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dinosaur man
9 minutes ago, Misha said:

Ainiktozoon is not too weird but still not very widely known, I could not find many illustrations of this Silurian animal online but this seems like a good representation of it.

Ainiktozoon_loganese-1.jpg

Looks like an Alien!

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Definitely Hallucigenia :)))

 

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You only have to go back to the Pliocene to see something strange, although you'd get arguments from various zoologists that there are creatures living today that are just as weird as anything from the past.  My Pliocene candidate is Odobenocetops (image from Wikipedia).  Is it a walrus?  Is it a whale?  Some people out there want it to pick a lane.

 

I think there was a similar thread last year or the year before but it's fun to see what members come up with.

 

 

odobenocet.jpg

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Platybelodon is another good one. These bizarre proboscideans are known for their distinctive shovel shaped lower jaw. Here is one illustration of what they may have looked like.Platybelodon.jpg.1385666445f1965546bca4598c7d73e3.jpg

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dinosaur man

I'll add another, the 245 million year old Sharovipteryx, an ancestor of the Pterasaurs.  

Image result for sharovipteryx

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Tidgy's Dad

Leptodus, a pretty weird Permian brachiopod from Texas.

image.jpeg.ed94ed89efb99342b33f6c435fbcf245.jpeg

 

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How about Helicoprion - the Permian fish with the "spiral saw" of teeth???

 

This fossil (from http://www.sci-news.com/paleontology/article00906.html)

Helicoprion specimen preserving cartilages of the mandibular arch and tooth whorl (Leif Tapanila et al)

 

came from an animal that looked like this (from https://phys.org/news/2013-02-helicoprion-scientists-mysteries-ancient-shark.html)

Helicoprion: Scientists solve mysteries of ancient 'shark' with spiral-toothed jaw

 

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fossilsonwheels

Since I have sharks on the brain, I contribute this. We lucked into a tooth from this bad boy and the kids go nuts when we show the life reconstruction

Akmonistion zangerli - A Stethacanthid from Scotland. As if anvil-shaped spine brish complex, the denticle patch on the head and the fin whips was not strange enough, apparently they also had teeth on the outside of their lips. Strange creature for sure.

 

 

Akmonistion-zangerli-reconstruction-in-life-Extent-of-gill-covers-based-upon-branchial.png

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dinosaur man

I’ll add another, the first Dinosaur on this, the 165 million year old Epidexipteryx hui.

AA4B404C-3D67-45AF-BD98-376E75F51653.jpeg

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Here's another weird one. Synophalos xynos, a probable waptiid from the Lower Cambrian Chengjiang biota. Looks like a fairly standard and boring old shrimp?

 

5e5d88e897ffc_ScreenShot2020-03-02at4_27_43PM.thumb.png.dfd9664e9f7c9266052c7464a77e9e2d.png

 

Well it does, except for the peculiar fact that all but one specimen has been found interlocked head-to-tail with other individuals in long chains.

 

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https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/epdf/10.1111/j.1475-4983.2009.00889.x

 

Although linear associations are known to occur in other taxa, such as lobsters, the direct interlocking is unheard of for any arthropod, extinct or extant. The paper suggests that such behavior allowed for a pelagic lifestyle, similar to modern day salps.

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First up from my home town

The Charnia masoni holotype from Charnwood Forest, Leicestershire, England and from the Precambrian. 

 

They are not plants or fungi but they are some major higher order of organisms therefore Animalia. Pretty cool

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I really like the idea of this thread so here comes another obscure early Paleozoic animal: Kerygmachela

 

kerygmachela-8356de73-9d86-438f-b863-615a7eb0fcd-resize-750.jpeg

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Wrangellian

This was a good idea for a topic. Lots of weird things here, many of which I had seen but hadn't thought of! Even a weird brachiopod!

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One of my personal favorites is Ambulocetus.  

image.png.977a5aa99e6945a1f94a72f7fc9677c9.png

 

Believe it or not, this is a cetecean (whales, porpoises, etc.). Albeit one of their most distant relatives.  I took several evolutionary and vertebrate biology courses and these transitional fossils always blow my mind away.  Truly incredible to see how whales made their way from land to marine form.

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OK, I found an interesting one to me:

 

Hallucigenia

Hallucigenia Weird Prehistoric Creatures
Instead of swimming, this creature used to roam about on the sea bed on seven pairs of stilts, giving it a very scary appearance. To add to these stilts, the creature even had spines on its back as a form of defense mechanism.

 

image.png.d714ad309d928ffc0dbba1906b9de3a0.png

 

Here's an interesting site as well:  https://listverse.com/2009/10/05/15-unusual-prehistoric-creatures/

Check out #2

 

Also, see #5 on this site:  https://www.fossilera.com/blog/top-11-scariest-prehistoric-animals

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