Strangest Beasts to Ever Die


A collection of strange animals whose fossils have been discovered.

More than 99 percent of all species that have lived on Earth are now extinct. Sometimes extinctions actually accelerate the evolution of life on Earth. As some forms of life weaken and die off, they create opportunity for other species to grow and flourish. Take a look at these creatures and imagine what life would be like if they had survived!

Shown is the 11-foot-long armor-plated shark-eating Dunkleosteus. Link

From the Upcoming ueue, submitted by itschrome.

Newest 5
Newest 5 Comments

It's amusing how the "one species dies, opening the door for another" concept can be used as both curious archeological footnote or modern day battle cry for species preservation. I suppose the difference is that we humans are the cause of most modern species disappearances, and we don't ultimately understand how this will all affect us.

I mean, I love me some lions and tigers and such, but what would really happen if they all were gone? So many species are artificially supported already (even in the "wild") that their loss would be negligible on a planetary scale. Again, not that that's a *good* thing, just sayin'.

And the 99% number is not surprising at all when you consider the tens of thousands of species that existed on the planet from 400 million to 65 million years ago.

#6 - LOL
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Extinction is the name of the game, which is somewhat amusing to me to read that humans are the "culprit" in species dying off. Heck, they've been dying off since before we evolved from apes :)
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I think the ninety-nine percent statistic is based on estimates of evolutionary die-off needed to achieve the species that exist today. I would like to see the estimate of extinct species that is made from found fossil species in comparison with living species today. I've also seen news articles where just because the creature is fossilized, it is described as an ancestral species even when clearly noted as identical with or indistinguishable from living species.
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