They also got surprisingly large. Some are venomous. Their 30ft long harmful tentacles … Thanks to a fluke of geology, the conditions that produced the Burgess Shale were also capable of preserving soft tissue, giving palaeontologists a rare chance to look into what the seas looked like during the first days of the animal kingdom. Here we shall find the NIGHTMARE SHRIMP. Estimates have Livyatan as sitting a touch smaller than its modern friends, but those teeth indicate that it would have been significantly more vicious, fully capable of cutting a sperm whale into very bloody chunks. They were absolute apex predators, preying on sharks and basically anything it could catch (everything). Of the 20 crew, only eight survived, and the incident went on to inspire a famous book about whales which you may have heard of. It’s quite hard to imagine it chasing anything around, so it presumably surprised trilobites etc. Well, a lot carried away. What you probably haven’t heard of is Livyatan. What were those huge jaws for? Salties are strong, fast and surprisingly smart. Its flippers were nearly 7 feet (2m) long, allowing it to swim the depths with deadly efficiency. Here are ten of the largest, most fearsome sea monsters ever to prowl the oceans: 10. Aren’t you glad they’re dead? Somewhere around 30 feet long, T. emnodontosaurus was a powerful swimmer with strong jaws, well-equipped to chow down on other Jurassic swimmers. Which, as it turns out, is the sort of inspiration nature needs to come up with some better predators*. Scientists believe the Dunkleosteus had the strongest bite of any fish ever discovered - one that could be compared to the bite of a Tyrannosaurus rex. There are hundreds of accounts of these creatures – any culture that had contact with the sea has at least one form of sea monster reported in their mythological history. Measuring at more than 50 feet long, the megalodon was the largest known shark of all time. Fast-forward a little bit and you have primitive ichthyosaurs, creatures so well adapted to oceanic life that they ended up looking like a cross between a crocodile and an extremely ill-tempered, extremely large dolphin. Let’s make the required tweaks. In the aftermath of the Permian extinction, which killed off a frankly horrifying number of creatures, a group of terrestrial reptiles took to the depleted seas. Scientists have crunched the numbers and determined that, just at the tip of its fang, this fish’s bite could measure at 8,000 pounds per square inch. With good eyes set on flexible stalks and a surprising turn of speed, Anomalocaris canadensis cruised the Pre-Cambrian seas in death-shrimp mode. Dunkleosteus was also 33 feet long from tooth to tail and covered in thick armor-like plating, making it one of the ocean’s first giant predators. Sea scorpions were a thing. Modern sperm whales are enormous creatures, but very rare boat attacks aside, they’re only really dangerous to their favorite prey, deep-swimming squid. One of the problems with studying the very earliest phase of animal life — we’re talking half a billion years at this point — is that it’s squishy, and squishy is not of much benefit when it comes to preserving fossils. The fauna found in the Burgess Shale was almost obnoxiously uncategorisable. A sea monster is, by definition, any creature that comes from the sea – real or mythical – and is unusually large or threatening. Researchers confirmed that the last megalodon died only 2.6 million years ago, right around the same time the evolution of the first humans began to take place. The ability to kill a whole-ass whale with one bite is honestly horrifying, even if whales in Megalodon’s day were a little smaller than the current batch of great rorquals. In 1820, the Essex was lost in the southern Pacific Ocean. While not quite as dangerous as Ancient Dragons, these monsters tote a staggering 341 HP and have an armor class of 20, making them quite the hassle to put down. Plus, science-minded entertainment sources like the Discovery Channel love creatures that could pass for a movie monster. Whales. The fossil record is full of scary sea animals that would make Jaws look like a little guppy in comparison - so many that it’s a miracle that none of them are alive today (maybe). Like all crocodiles, they’re ambush predators who use water as cover to attack their prey. One closely-related species possessed the largest eyes of any known animal, perfect for hunting in deeper oceanic waters; another has been found with the remains of a different ichthyosaur in is stomach. It is so odd, in fact, that when it was discovered its various body parts were assigned to several different animals. Leviathan. These are some of the deadliest creatures of all time, the ones who epitomize the phrase “there’s always a bigger fish.”. This monster considered 13-foot oceanic reptiles a delicious snack. Ammonites weren’t the only armored cephalopod prowling the ancient seas, however. Modern sperm whales are enormous creatures, but very rare boat attacks aside, they’re only really dangerous to their favorite prey, deep-swimming squid. That’d be a bad day. But it’s much more fun to imagine this guy roaming the seafloor chomping down on everything, so that’s what we’ll do. Scientists believe that megalodons hunted whales by first ripping off their tails and fins - immobilizing their prey so they could more easily feast. Giant fish, sharks, and reptiles dominated the oceans for millions of years, becoming the apex predators of one of the craziest and most diverse environments on our planet. It wouldn’t be quite big enough to swallow the Millennium Falcon, buuuuuuuuut ... 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