Prehistoric Animals | List of Prehistoric Animals With Description

Prehistoric Animals: Prehistoric Animals are those that lived more than 5,000 years ago and dated back millions of years. Although most people associate prehistoric animals with “dinosaurs,” this is not precisely correct. Dinosaurs are a category of reptiles typically giant and had hind legs that extended directly underneath their bodies. Prehistoric animals, on the other hand, lived during three significant historical periods.

They lived during the Paleozoic, Mesozoic, and Cenozoic epochs. Most animals had lived in the waters until the beginning of the Paleozoic era. However, throughout this period (600 million to 240 million years ago), animals capable of living on land evolved. Reptiles, amphibians, and insects were among them. Crocodiles and alligators, and several shark species are the closest living relatives to prehistoric creatures.

In this article, we have made a list of prehistoric animals with pictures to help you get knowledge about them, starting from the scary prehistoric animals to the most significant prehistoric animals.

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List of Prehistoric Animals

Name of Prehistoric Animals

Description of the List of Prehistoric Animals

Andrewsarchus

Andrewsarchus was a Paleogene-era big animal. It was a type of artiodactyl (hoofed animal) that was related to hippos and whales. Naturalist Roy Chapman Andrews discovered Andrewsarchus in Mongolia and named the genus after him. According to skull measurements, andrewsarchus was a large-snouted predator who may have been the largest carnivorous animal ever (that lived on land).

Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Mammalia
Order Artiodactyla
Clade Cetancodontamorpha
Genus Andrewsarchus
Scientific Name Mongoliensis​

Arsinoitherium

Arsinoitherium is a genus of ancient paenungulate mammals in the extinct order Embrithopoda. Elephants, sirenians, hyraxes, and the extinct desmostylians are all relatives. Arsinoitheres were rhinoceros-like herbivores in northern Africa during the late Eocene and early Oligocene periods, 36 to 30 million years ago, amid tropical rainforests and at the edge of mangrove swamps.

Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Mammalia
Order Embrithopoda
Family Arsinoitheriidae
Genus Arsinoitherium
Scientific Name Arsinoitherium

 

Arthropleura

Arthropleura is a genus of ancient millipede arthropods that existed in northeastern North America and Scotland between 345 and 295 million years ago, during the VisĂ©an stage of the lower Carboniferous Period and the Asselian stage of the lower Permian Period. The genus’ species are the largest known land invertebrates of all time, with few predators.

Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Arthropoda
Class Diplopoda
Order Arthropleurida
Family Arthropleuridae
Genus Arthropleura
Scientific Name Arthropleura

Basilosaurus

Although the word ‘Saurus in its name suggests that Basilosaurus was a reptile, it was eventually discovered to be a mammal. In actuality, Basilosaurus was an early whale that lived during the Paleogene period’s Eocene epoch. Basilosaurus were around 21 m (70 ft.) long with a 1.5 m (5 ft.) skull. Its jaws were crammed with long, dagger-like fangs. According to the analysis of its head, it may have had the most vital bite force of any mammal!

Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Mammalia
Order Artiodactyla
Family Basilosauridae
Genus Basilosaurus
Scientific Name Zeuglodon

Prehistoric Animals 1

Brontotherium

Megacerops is one of the extinct genus of the prehistoric odd-toed ungulate (hoofed mammal) family Brontotheriidae, including rhinoceros-like browsers related to horses. It was indigenous to North America during the Late Eocene era and lived there for around 4.1 million years.

Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Mammalia
Order Perissodactyla
Family Brontotheriidae
Genus Megacerops
Scientific Name Brontotherium

Brygmophyseter

Brygmophyseter was an early sperm whale from the Miocene epoch. Its name translates as ‘biting sperm whale,’ for a good reason: its teeth could reach 14 cm in length, and it was an apex predator. Brygmophyseter ran a distance of around 7 m (23 ft.).

Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Mammalia
Order Artiodactyla
Family incertae sedis
Genus Brygmophyseter
Species B. shigensis
Scientific Name Brygmophyseter shigensis

Camarasaurus

Camarasaurus was a quadrupedal, herbivorous dinosaur genus. It was the most common of the North American giant sauropods. Its fossil remains were discovered in Colorado and Utah’s Morrison Formation during the Late Jurassic epoch, between 155 and 145 million years ago. Camarasaurus had a striking cranial appearance that included a blunt snout and an arching skull that was highly square. It most likely traveled in herds or at the very least in family groups.

Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Clade Dinosauria
Genus Camarasaurus
Scientific Name Camarasaurus lentus

Camelops

Camelops is a genus of prehistoric camels that flourished in Western North America from Alaska to Mexico between the middle Pliocene and the end of the Pleistocene. It is more closely related to the Old World dromedary, bactrian, and wild bactrian camels than to the New World guanaco, vicuna, alpaca, and llama, making it a natural Camelini camel.

Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Mammalia
Order Artiodactyla
Family Camelidae
Genus Camelops
Scientific Name Camelops

 

Castoroides

Castoroides were a 2.5 m (8 ft.) long Pleistocene epoch gigantic beaver that lived in North America. It was the giant beaver ever to live, yet it had a modest brain compared to its body size and might not have been as intelligent as its modern equivalent.

Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Mammalia
Order Rodentia
Family Castoridae
Genus Castoroides
Scientific Name Castoroides

Ceratosaurus

Ceratosaurus lived in the Late Jurassic epoch and was a carnivorous theropod dinosaur (Kimmeridgian to Tithonian). Othniel Charles Marsh, an American paleontologist, defined this genus in 1884 based on a complete skeleton recovered in Morrison Formation rocks in Garden Park, Colorado. Ceratosaurus nasicornis is the type species.

Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Clade Dinosauria
Family Ceratosauridae
Genus Ceratosaurus
Scientific Name Ceratosaurus

Prehistoric Animals 2

Coelodonta

The woolly rhinoceros is another name for Coelodonta. This massive creature was coated in thick fur and had two big horns on its nose and could be discovered in Europe, Africa, and Asia, with multiple species recognized. Coelodonta existed during the end of the last ice age.

Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Mammalia
Order Perissodactyla
Family Rhinocerotidae
Genus Coelodonta
Scientific Name Coelodonta antiquitatis

Daeodon

Daeodon is one of the extinct genus of entelodont artiodactyl that lived in North America between 23 and 20 million years ago, during the Oligocene and Miocene eras. The type species is Daeodon shoshonensis, which Cope described using a dubious holotype. Some writers associate it with Dinohyus hollandi and numerous other species, although this is doubtful at best due to a lack of diagnostic evidence.

Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Mammalia
Order Artiodactyla
Family Entelodontidae
Genus Daeodon
Scientific Name Daeodon

Doedicurus

Doedicurus is a South American extinct glyptodont genus with only one species, D. clavicaudatus. Glyptodonts belong to the Chlamyphoridae family, which includes several extant armadillo species, and are classified in the order Xenarthra with sloths and anteaters. It was a glyptodont; therefore, it was a rotund creature with thick armour and a carapace.

Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Mammalia
Order Cingulata
Family Chlamyphoridae
Genus Doedicurus
Scientific Name Doedicurus

Entelodon

Entelodon was a hoofed animal that existed during the Paleogene epoch. It was once assumed to be a prehistoric pig, but it is now understood to be more closely linked to whales and hippos. From the mid-Paleocene to the early Neogene, it inhabited North America, Europe, and Asia.

Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Mammalia
Order Artiodactyla
Family Entelodontidae
Genus Entelodon
Scientific Name Entelodon

Glyptodon

Glyptodon was a Pliocene and Pleistocene era enormous armadillo. It would have been a sight to see strolling through the South American forests and grasslands with a shell that was roughly 1.5 m (5 ft.) long and a total body length of 3.3 m (11 ft.) in average.

Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Mammalia
Order Cingulata
Family Chlamyphoridae
Genus Glyptodon
Scientific Name Glyptodon

Hyaenodon

Hyaenodon is a genus of big carnivorous mammals that existed during the Eocene to mid-Miocene epochs. The largest Hyaenodons were among the most powerful predators of their era. It would have had little to fear from other creatures because of its long cranium and robust, doglike body.

Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Mammalia
Order Hyaenodonta
Family Hyaenodontidae
Genus Hyaenodon
Scientific Name Hyaenodon

Mammoths

Mammoths were elephant-like prehistoric creatures. They existed between the Pliocene and Pleistocene epochs. The woolly mammoth, Mammuthus subplanifrons, was a mammoth species that lived at the end of this epoch. The woolly mammoth was almost the size of an African elephant and was coated in fur to survive during the ice era.

Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Mammalia
Order Proboscidea
Family Elephantidae
Genus Mammuthus
Scientific Name Mammuthus

Mastodon

The Mastodon was an elephant ancestor who roamed the Earth between 10,000 and 11,000 years ago during the Pleistocene epoch. It lived in the North American forests and had long tusks and a trunk.

Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Mammalia
Order Proboscidea
Family Mammutidae
Genus Mammut
Scientific Name Mammut

Megalania

Megalania is the world’s most giant lizard. It lived during the Pleistocene epoch in Australia. Megalania is a carnivorous reptile related to modern-day goannas.

Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Reptilia
Order Squamata
Family Varanidae
Genus Varanus
Scientific Names Varanus priscus

Megaloceros

Megaloceros is one of the extinct genus of deer whose members were important herbivores during the Ice Ages and flourished throughout Eurasia from the early Pleistocene to the beginning of the Holocene. Megaloceros giganteus, popularly known as the “Irish elk” or “Giant elk,” is the largest and most well-known species. Their nearest surviving relatives are likely to be fallow deer.

Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Mammalia
Order Artiodactyla
Family Cervidae
Genus Megaloceros
Scientific Name Megaloceros giganteus

Megalodon

Megalodon, which means “mighty tooth,” was a Neogene-era shark. With a length of 18 m, it is not only the giant shark ever to have existed but also one of the world’s largest predators.

Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Chondrichthyes
Order Lamniformes
Family Otodontidae
Genus Otodus
Scientific Name Otodus megalodon

Megatherium

Megatherium was a massive ground sloth that lived in South America from the Pliocene to the Pleistocene era. It was one of the enormous beasts of its day, weighing up to 4 tonnes and measuring 6 m (20 ft.) in length. Megatherium possessed huge claws that they likely utilised for burrowing rather than climbing.

Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Mammalia
Order Pilosa
Family Megatheriidae
Genus Megatherium
Scientific Name Megatherium

Mesonychids / Mesonyx

Mesonyx was an ancient creature that looked like a wolf but had hoofed feet. It was a predatory animal from the Mesonychid family. It was present in North America from the early to mid-Paleogene periods.

Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Mammalia
Order Mesonychia
Family Mesonychidae
Genus Mesonyx
Scientific Name Pakicetus

Mosasaurus

Mosasaurus is the type genus of mosasaurs, a group of ancient aquatic squamate reptiles. It existed between 82 and 66 million years ago, during the Campanian and Maastrichtian phases of the Late Cretaceous period.

Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Reptilia
Order Squamata
Family Mosasauridae
Genus Mosasaurus
Scientific Name Mosasauridae

Paraceratherium

During the Oligocene epoch, this massive, hornless rhino existed. Paraceratherium was distinguished by a tall neck and broad, sturdy legs. It possessed tusk-like front teeth, and fossils indicate that it had a short trunk. It may have been the largest terrestrial mammal known to have existed, weighing up to 20 tonnes and with a height up to 4.8 m tall.

Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Mammalia
Order Perissodactyla
Family Hyracodontidae
Genus Paraceratherium
Scientific Name Indricotherium

Procoptodon

The 2 m (6.5 ft.) tall Procoptodon is the world’s most giant kangaroo. It was a member of the Sthenurinae, or short-faced kangaroo, a subfamily that lived in Australia during the Pleistocene era.

Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Mammalia
Order Diprotodontia
Family Macropodidae
Genus Procoptodon
Scientific Name Procoptodon

Propalaeotherium

Propalaeotherium was a bit prehistoric horse relative. During the Eocene epoch, it inhabited Europe and Asia. Scientists detected that the animals had been eating berries after discovering fossils in Germany that were so beautifully preserved!

Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Mammalia
Order Perissodactyla
Family Equidae
Genus Propalaeotherium
Scientific Name Propalaeotherium

Pterodactyl

Pterodactylus is an extinct genus of pterosaurs, the members of which are often referred to as pterodactyls. It is supposed to be home to only one species, Pterodactylus antiquus, the first pterosaur to be named and classified as a flying reptile.

Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Clade Ornithodira
Order Pterosauria
Genus Pterodactyl
Scientific Name Pterodactyl

Saber-tooth cat

Several prehistoric cats with long canine teeth have been unearthed. They are collectively known as ‘saber-toothed cats.’ The most well-known is the Smilodon, often known as the saber-toothed tiger.’ Smilodon species have been discovered in three different locations. Smilodon populator, the largest, was more significant than a tiger and may have been the largest cat species ever. Smilodons lived in both North and South America throughout the Pleistocene epoch.

Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Mammalia
Order Carnivora
Family Felidae
Genus Smilodon
Scientific Name Smilodon

Spinosaurus

Spinosaurus is a genus of spinosaurid dinosaurs that lived in North Africa during the Late Cretaceous era, between 99 and 93.5 million years ago.

Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Clade Dinosauria
Family Spinosauridae
Genus Spinosaurus
Scientific Name Spinosaurus

Terror Bird

Terror Bird was a species in the Phorusrhacidae family, popularly known as ‘horror birds.’ These massive, flightless meat-eaters lived up to their moniker, sporting formidable hooked beaks and big claws. Phorusrhacos Longissimus, which lived in South America during the Miocene epoch, was most likely an apex predator.

Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Aves
Order Cariamiformes
Family Phorusrhacidae
Genus Phorusrhacos
Scientific Name Phorusrhacos Longissimus

Titanoboa

Titanoboa is the world’s most giant snake. It was almost 13 meters (43 feet) long and weighed around 1,135 kilogrammes. During the Paleocene epoch, it inhabited South America.

Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Reptilia
Order Squamata
Family Boidae
Genus Titanoboa
Scientific Name Titanoboa

Uintatherium

Uintatherium was a giant herbivore that lived in the Eocene period. Two new species have been found, one in the United States and the other in China. Uintatherium has tusk-like canine teeth that might have been utilised as defensive weapons or as tools for food manipulation.

Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Mammalia
Order Dinocerata
Family Uintatheriidae
Genus Uintatherium
Scientific Name Uintatherium

Velociraptor

Velociraptor is one of the genus of dromaeosaurid theropod dinosaur that lived between 75 and 71 million years ago, during the Cretaceous era. There are now two species recognised.

Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Clade Dinosauria
Family Dromaeosauridae
Genus Velociraptor
Scientific Name Velociraptor

Woolly Mammoth

The woolly mammoth, Mammuthus subplanifrons, was a mammoth species that lived at the end of this epoch. The woolly mammoth, which was almost the size of an African elephant, was coated in fur as an adaptation for surviving during the ice era.

Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Mammalia
Order Proboscidea
Family Elephantidae
Genus Mammuthus
Scientific Name Mammuthus primigenius

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