Top 10 DINOSAURS We’re GLAD ARE EXTINCT
When Jurassic Park released – or Jurassic World, if you’re in the younger crowd – we fantasized what a world with dinosaurs would be like. Sure, it may be cool to have a baby triceratops running around, but what about the monstrosities that once ruled lands as their own? Beasts like the ten dinosaurs in this Archive that we’re more than glad didn’t resist extinction.
The debate over whether Spinosaurus or T-Rex would win in a fight will likely go on for quite some time, but there’s no denying some of the more dangerous features of the sailed theropod. For one, Spinosaurus fossils show that the long-snouted carnivore could grow up to 50’ (15 m)-long, dwarfing the mighty Rex by 10’ (3 m). Spinosaurus also had the benefit of long, strong arms that sported three hooked claws perfect for tearing into flesh. Let’s also not forget that on top of its monstrous size, long talons, and very toothy, elongated snout, the Spino stalked within deeper waters like some sort of giant, mutated, bipedal crocodile.
What’s to fear about the Giganotosaurus? It’s right there in the name. It’s giganotic! Er, gigantic! While not the largest theropod, the Giganotosaurus was akin to an oversized T-Rex, growing up to 45’ (13 m) in length, rather than crush its prey, the Giganotosaurus may have delivered a more painful fate. Narrow rows of identical teeth were best used for slicing through skin and leaving large lacerations. Anything that may have survived an initial Giganotosaurus attack would likely bleed out. To make matters worse, the giant theropod was believed to have terrorized the late Cretaceous by hunting in packs.
The Tyrant King may not be the largest theropod to watch out for, but it would certainly be towering enough to have you quivering in your boots. At up to 40’ (12 m)-long and 20’ (6 m)-tall, its size isn’t even its most terrifying feature as a study released in May of 2017 determined that good ‘ole Rexy’s 7” (17 cm)-long teeth could generate up to 431,000 pounds per square inch (2,974 megapascals) of pressure. That would be enough to shatter and pulverize bone and break down carcasses of larger prey.
Nicknamed the “Meat-Eating Bull,” – as if that’s any comfort – the Carnotaurus was a unique creature that went through life with shorter arms than the T-Rex. That’s bound to aggravate anyone, but the Carnotaurus made up for its shortcomings by being one of, if not the, fastest theropods over 2,000 lbs (907 kg). Explaining being called a “bull” is a pair of horns directly over its eyes, which also gives it a devilish appearance. Either used as a display feature or for more physical and practical purposes like stabbing its prey, the Carnotaurus’ horns are a distinct feature of this 26’ (8 m)-long, agile beast.
Jurassic Park may have popularized the Velociraptor, but it did so in an untrue light. In the words of the great Dr. Alan Grant, they were “genetically engineered theme park monsters,” but don’t take a breath just yet. While the Velociraptor may not have been the towering carnivore depicted in the movies, the related Utahraptor could grow to 23’ (7 m)-long and weigh around 1,100 lbs (500 kg). Just like the Velociraptor, the Utahraptor also features that terrifying curved claw on its foot, which could reach a length of 9.4” (24 cm). Whether this raptor hunted in packs is still up for debate, not that one on its own wouldn’t be scary enough.
Yes, the fact that its name was inspired by the wizarding world of Harry Potter may be one of its more frightening features, but this herbivorous Pachycephalosauridae has more going for it that has us delighted it’s long been extinct. First off, its skeleton looks like a skeletal dragon just waiting to be resurrected. Of course, we also can’t imagine what it would be like to accidentally set this creature off and be on the receiving end of that spiked domed mess it calls a head. Based on the skull located in the Hell Creek Formation of South Dakota, the “dragon king of Hogwarts” was believed to get up to around 8’ (2.4m)-long.
Oh, it’s just a 39’ (12 m)-long carnivore that either hunted in an organized pack or used its numbers to mob its prey? Psh, that’s nothing. No, that’s a lie. The thought of a flesh-eating, oversized theropod with the potential hunting skills of a pack of wolves is by far one of the scariest concepts to appear on this list. The Mapusaurus roamed during the Late Cretaceous, leaving its footprints all over Argentina as it stalked a larger meal. With its serrated teeth, the dino was believed to have inflicted multiple bite wounds on its target to leave it to die of blood loss or infection.
We probably don’t have to spend too much time pointing out precisely what about the Masiakasaurus lands it on this list of prehistoric nightmares, but in case you happened to miss it… look at those chompers! The uncomfortable dentistry of this 6’ (2 m)-long theropod was likely used to catch small prey, but that doesn’t mean it wouldn’t hurt if you somehow found yourself on the wrong end of them. Toning down the horrific image of this extinct creature is the fact that it was named after Dire Straits frontman, Mark Knopfler.
Though the Eocarcharia was far from being a “land shark,” its name literally means “dawn shark,” and that’s not just some silly, nonsensical nickname. It refers to its rather formidable rows of teeth that are quite similar to those of a shark. Does it get any worse than a bipedal beast sporting the same implements a shark uses to rip through flesh? Yeah, it does. Researchers also believe the Eocarcharia’s bony growth above its eyes was used to head-butt whatever got in its way.
This mid-sized dino from the Late Triassic may look harmless enough from a distance, but as you get closer you start to see all the ways it could ruin your day It may have only weighed approximately 50 lbs (22 kg), but Coelophysis was a 10’ (3 m)-long agile speedster with 100 razor-sharp teeth and three hooked talons perfect for ripping through flesh. Don’t let its small size fool you, Coelophysis would be able to do some serious damage to an average human adult, especially as they were known to congregate in large packs.