Without evidence, it's hard to imagine that there was once something bigger than you; or your 6ft tall cousin. Elephants weren't hard to accept. Whales made it a bit more difficult. Then they threw dinosaurs at us! They (being scientists, explorers, excavators and whatnot) drew us a picture of a T-Rex and said "this happened". At first it was such an outlandish theory that some people easily tossed aside. They said that it wasn't biblically correct or that it basically sounded like crap. Then, people like Steven Spielberg came 'round and made it happen!
Suddenly, people were all about dinosaurs! Kids were begging their parents to get one from the pet store (harhar). Teenagers were sneaking out to the Jurassic Park films even though they were underage. And adults, well, they accepted it and moved on. The point being that we were finally introduced to the biggest and baddest of them all. The Tyrannosaurus Rex. Or so we thought...
Believe it or not, there is actually more than one deadly dinosaur out there. Some are equivalent to the T-Rex (which is still terrifying), while others are much more fearsome. All we're saying is, Steven Spielberg only introduced one. So here's a list of 15 others that could've fit the bill if the T-Rex hadn't, because these guys definitely had nightmare potential.
The Giganotosaurus (not to be confused with the Gigantosaurus which sounds like "giant") came to be in the mid-Creatceous period. A lot of evidence would agree that these guys are pretty similar to the T-Rex, but since there's no complete bone remains of this dinosaur, it's quite possible that these guys were much, much bigger. Giganotosauruses are thought to have a metabolism that resembled both reptiles and mammals, which is what most likely caused their significant growth in such a short time span. They weren't considered the fastest creatures, moving at only 14 metres per second (even though that is the entire lengths of some people's house!). Giganotosauruses were suspected of going after smaller sauropods (think of baby long-necked dinosaurs) using their extremely powerful, teeth-riddled jaws. Although let's be honest, they probably ate anything in their path.
Think of them as mini T-Rexes. They're strong and toothy, but also feisty and armoured with belly-slicing claws. The Utahraptor.
Arriving in the early Cretaceous period (seems funny how Jurassic Park picked these dinosaurs since there were literally hundreds of others to choose from that were actually from the Jurassic period), these guys could stretch as long as 23 feet and reach about 9 feet tall— take a moment to let that sink in; these are "mini T-Rexes". They were known for their agility and fearsome toe claws (ranging around 15 inches each) used for leaping on the backs of prey and digging into their skin. It's actually unclear whether these guys hunted in groups or alone, but if they did then it wouldn't be difficult for them to take on bigger dinosaurs. Which we all know, they are well equipped in doing. Funnily enough, the Utahraptor was almost named after Steven Spielberg, who made the dinosaur famous in his films. Of course, that idea fell through when Steven didn't live up to his end of the bargain to fund further dinosaur research.
If you've ever seen Disney's Dinosaur from 2000, then you'd know a little bit about these next predators. Carnotaurus got its name due to its protruding horns. Its name literally translates to "meat-eating bull", because those were its two distinctive qualities. The Carnotaurus showed up in the late Cretaceous period. They're lightly built dinosaurs with heavily armoured skulls presumably used for bashing with the horns there as shock absorbers.
It's not clear whether they hunted larger dinosaurs or smaller ones, but either one is manageable to tackle given its size. Reaching 9 metres long and 3 metres tall. They are also one of the fastest, large predators known to exist. They were probably the most agile of the apex bunch. Despite having arms even smaller than the T-Rex! It's not said whether they travel in packs, but it's assumed that since they're a larger predator they're most likely territorial, which means no wingmen allowed.
Although technically not a dinosaur, this beast had to be mentioned ever since its big debut in Jurassic World. You remember the scene where a humongous mammal bursts out of the water to eat a freaking shark? Well that's called a Mosasaurus.
In reality, these guys are classified as marine reptiles, not dinosaurs. They arrived in the Cretaceous period, evolving from Aigialosauridae (other aquatic lizards). These babies could grow up to 17 metres long, their head accounting for 10% of their length. It was presumed they swam like snakes or eels, moving side to side. However, recent evidence suggests they moved more like sharks due to flukes on their tail. Which means their bodies remained straight while their tail did all the wagging.
The interesting thing about these guys was how they hunted. They didn't stalk their prey. What they would do is loiter or lurk around, possibly showing no visible interest to any prey nearby, then out of no where they would pounce. An aggressive lash out at whatever was close by. Which would explain why the water was so calm during the movie scene, then exploded out of nowhere. The mosasaurus didn't chase their prey, they ambushed it.
The largest and most carnivorous dinosaur to ever exist is the Spinosaurus. The reason we say most carnivorous is because these bad boys were the first dinosaurs to learn how to swim. Which meant both land and sea prey couldn't hide from it.
The Spinosaurus, unlike all other apex predators, had a distinctive sail on its back that's both a blessing and a fatal flaw. The sail could make the dinosaur look twice its regular size when exercised. There's also a lot of debate about whether the sail could be used for warding off other predators, regulating body temperature or attracting potential mates, but that answer isn't clear. The bad news is that if the dinosaur is ever knocked over onto its sail, the pressure would break its back and spine, killing it instantly.
What we truly know about the Spinosaurus is that these guys could run at speeds as high as 15 mph and weighed more than both the T-Rex and Giganotosaurus, which were thought to be the biggest dinosaurs of them all. They were the most dominant of the Cretaceous period. In the end, these guys weren't killed by the asteroid, but instead died due to the environment and not being able to adapt.
From the late Jurassic, the Allosaurus was born. During its reign, the allosaurus was at the top of the food chain. Eating both large herbivores and even small or average sized predators. They are one of the few giant, meat-eating predators said to have a better social construct. Which means there's no conclusive evidence that says they didn't travel in packs, or that they were extremely aggressive towards each other. Allosauruses could travel up to 20 mph and seemed to have a never-ending supply of teeth. Every time one would fall out, due to battling or eating, another one would grow in its place.
Some would agree that the Allosaurus is quite similar to the T-Rex, seeing that their size and weight were similar, but their lifestyle habits could have been substantially different. Depending on whether the Allosaurus did travel in packs or not, because we know that the T-Rex was a loner and entirely territorial. Also, it should be said that the Allosaurus did have a more terrifying face. With all the horns and ridges poking out. It was a lot more intimidating than the T-Rex, but in the end, they were both pretty scary.
Coming from the early Cretaceous period, the Tyrannotitan is said to be related to the Giganotosaurus. The difference being that these guys had thicker teeth. Much thicker teeth, than any of the other predators as well. It also had longer arms, although they were still considered short.
Sadly, it wasn't considered one of the biggest. It's predecessors and even the T-Rex do have a few feet on it, but that doesn't make it small by any means. The Tyrannotitan can run up to 20 mph and is predicted to have been able to swim, but there's no solid evidence to prove that. It got its name due to its ungodly size and reign of tyranny. There's still a lot that's unknown about this dinosaur but its anatomy has helped a lot of scientists with theories of evolution related to that kind of dinosaur.
The Therizinosaurus was probably the freakiest carnivourous dinosaur to date. It was like Edward Scissorhands, if he were a dinosaur. They have the longest claws ever recorded, not only with dinosaurs, but all other animals in existence. Some of the most unsettling ones could reach up to two feet! On top of that they also had bizarre feet. While all their ancestors rested on three toes, they had four. Which is why it took a long time for them to be placed in the history books.
It's actually unclear whether the Therizinosaurus was a carnivore or herbivore, but who's to say it couldn't take on their T-Rex cousin with its superior claws? We do know that it reached lengths of 10 metres long. It was fast moving and could fly— kidding. However, the dinosaur did have feathers all over its body. It's one of the few actually proven to ever have any, while the rest are merely speculation. In the end, whether they're meat-eaters or not, it should be pretty obvious that these guys aren't the ones you'd want to pick a fight with.
The largest known flying animal to ever live is the Quetzalcoatlus, who arrived in the Cretaceous period. That's due to its estimated 50-metre wing span! They also have a scary, blunt-looking snout and odd body form. Standing up straight, they somewhat resembled a giraffe, with a long neck and had similar leg movement when walking. They stood up to 20 feet high and left a darkening shadow behind. They didn't typically travel in packs so, when they ran into each other, there was usually a bicker between the two.
Their victims were assumed to be either fish, smaller prey or already dead carcasses. These guys' most terrifying attribute was their towering appearance. Whether it be when they're standing or when they're soaring, they always seem much taller than they actually are. Making them creatures not to be messed with.
Okay, so this guy is obviously not a dinosaur, but its terrifying impression would make anyone swimming with it wish they were standing with a T-Rex instead. Imagine a shark as big as a ship! Some of them stretched up to 70 feet and it's predicted that they can open their mouths over 7 feet wide and 6 feet long.
Megalodon are said to having the largest and strongest jaws to date. Used for crushing their victim's rib cage and inner bowels. They would attack anything, such as whales, dolphins, seals and other sharks.
The only way of avoiding these giant sharks was by staying on land. They didn't like roaming near the shore for the risk of being beached. So instead they take control over the entire sea. Skeletal remains of Megalodon have been found on North and South America, India, New Zealand and many more countries. It seems there's no water they aren't comfortable in.
The Albertosaurus is one of the many ancestors to the T-Rex. It's basically the prototype, having similar qualities and appearance. Except it's not quite as durable. The Albertosaurus has a thinner skull and a weaker bite, which wouldn't do much good if it ever had to put up a fight with a T-Rex. Luckily, the Albertosaurus comes a few years prior to the T-Rex's debut.
There's also its one unique quality that the T-Rex doesn't have (although it's yet to be proved). The Albertosaurus is said to have a "septic bite". Which is due to the way his teeth rest. So whenever the dinosaur bites into one of its snacks, the victim may eventually fall ill due to deadly bacteria from all the old crud that had been trapped in the Albertosaurus' mouth. If that doesn't do the trick, the Albertosaurus also has some pretty sharp claws that aren't only there for show. It can also run as fast as 40 mph, so that's a big problem too.
If you hadn't guessed it, the Rajasaurus comes from India and survived in the Cretaceous period. It became famous for its notable head crest. Most dinosaurs lost their crest as a part of evolution, but the Rajasaurus clearly refused to give it up. Making it appear as if it were a "Royal" dinosaur, if such a thing even existed.
They were fast, strong dinosaurs. Very similar to the T-Rex in the sense that both were bullies who ate meat. Rajasaurus was also bulky and menacing to look at. They shook the ground when they moved and vibrated the trees with their roar. Their diet consisted mostly of smaller herbivores. There's still a lot unknown about it, seeing as the only known bone fragments are not complete. We can only assume it was land-based, hunted down its food and was probably territorial.
Fluffy and fierce (ever think those two words would be in the same sentence?), that's how most would describe the Yutyrannus. The name translates to "beautiful feathered tyrant". It's a relative to the T-Rex but noticeably different in appearance. They were much smaller, stretching only about 9 metres in length, which is 1 fifth the size of its cousin, the T-Rex, but it's also considered the heaviest feathered dinosaur that can't fly. The reason for their evolution of feathers is mostly due to climate change. It got colder in the late Cretaceous so the feathers were probably used to regulate body temperature.
So despite it being much smaller than the T-Rex, the Yutyrannus was still a massive, towering dinosaur with a luxurious bed of feathers to protect its skin from direct contact. Its appearance was new worldly and most likely terrified the prey it was about to eat. Maybe the Yutyrannus is the oldest ancestor to the chicken... who knows?
The Acrocantothaurus is another dinosaur that closely resembles the T-Rex. From the early Cretaceous period, it's only about two feet shorter in height, but has the same basic structure. Unlike the T-Rex, however, these guys actually used their small 'hands'. When a prey was close enough to bite, the Acrocanthosaurus would also use its arms to pull its prey towards its torso. Making it even harder to escape by giving a never-ending lethal hug.
Its diet was also more expanded than the T-Rex. This dinosaur wouldn't limit itself to certain prey, but would also go after bigger targets if it wanted. Tackling even the most armoured of prey such as the ankylosaur (which had back bones so tough it's like it has its very own turtle shell). It was the apex predator of its time and very territorial. Only sharing its home with one other predator, the pterodactyl. Which was smart enough to always stay out of its way since it couldn't exactly teleport to a different time period.
Sorry, but this one was irresistible to mention. Imagine a dinosaur that still existed today! Well there's only one besides Barney and that one is Godzilla! Although some would argue it's a giant lizard or simply a monster. The legend of Godzilla originated in Japan as a nuclear-powered being who would reign terror over anyone and anything. Some would claim it breathed fire, while others said it could breath underwater.
Godzilla's height ranges between 50 and 122 metres tall, depending on which source you believe, with a roar that sounds like a hundred animals all shouting together. Its diet consists of multiple different possibilities; building rubble, broken bridges, unique creatures, humans and much more. It's still unsaid whether Godzilla was actually destroyed or killed. Or whether there's another lurking in the shadows... Maybe Michael Bay knows. He seems to know a lot about explosions and remakes—er, revisits.
Sources: wikipedia.org, livescience.com, about.com, primermagazine.com, mentalfloss.com
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