Like HowStuffWorks on Facebook!

9 Extinct Exotic Sea Creatures


1
Pliosaur
The pilosaur was described as a crocodile on steroids; it could be as long as 59 feet. Nobumichi Tamura/Stocktrek Images/Getty Images
The pilosaur was described as a crocodile on steroids; it could be as long as 59 feet. Nobumichi Tamura/Stocktrek Images/Getty Images

Speaking of Jurassic, the pliosaur was the most fearsome beast the waters saw in those days. Described by one news outlet as a "crocodile on steroids," this creature ran up to 59 feet (18 meters) in length. The roughly 155 million-year-old mammoth featured a human-sized jaw and large teeth that may have been able to take down a Dearcmhara in one bite, as well as huge, melon-sized eyes that gave the animal impressive binocular vision. In the early 2000s, fossils of the beast have been located in England and Norway [source: Morelle].

A short-necked marine reptile, the pliosaur resembles a large croc with longer, paddle-shaped limbs. That made it faster than many of its counterparts, traveling at speeds of up to 6 mph (10 kph). The creature fed mostly on fish, mollusks and other marine reptiles, but paleontologists have also found something else in pliosaur stomachs: dinosaur remains. They don't believe that these beasts actually hunted dinosaurs, but instead probably feasted on discarded remains [source: BBC].


More to Explore