Icadyptes salasi, prehistoric penguin

Icadyptes salasi was a giant penguin species from the late Eocene period, in the tropics of South America. "Ica" for the Peruvian region where it was found, "dyptes" from the Greek word for diver, and "salasi" for Rodolfo Salas, a noted Peruvian paleontologist.

The fossilised remains of the penguin, which lived 36 million years ago, were found in the coastal desert of Peru by the team of North Carolina State University palaeontologist Dr. Julia Clarke, assistant professor of marine, earth and atmospheric sciences. Its well-preserved fossil skeleton was found on the southern coast of Peru together with an early Eocene species Perudyptes devriesi (comparable in size to the living King penguin), and the remains of three other previously undescribed penguin species, all of which seem to have preferred the tropics over colder latitudes. Perudyptes devriesi is named after the country, and Thomas DeVries, a Vashon Island High School science teacher who has long worked in Peru.

Standing 1.5 metres (5 ft) tall, the penguin was much larger than any of its modern-day cousins. It had an exceptionally long spear-like beak resembling that of a heron. The researchers who discovered the penguins believe the long, pointed beaks to be the likely ancestral shape for all penguins. Icadyptes salasi is the third largest penguin ever described.

Icadyptes salasi and Perudyptes devriesi appear to have flourished at warmer latitudes at a time when world temperatures were at their warmest over the past 65 million years. Only a few modern-day penguins, such as the African and Galapagos penguins prefer such a balmy climate.

The discovery of the fossils has caused a re-evaluation of penguin evolution and expansion. Previously, scientists believed that penguins evolved near the poles in Antarctica and New Zealand, and moved closer to the equator around 10 million years ago. Since Icadyptes salasi lived in Peru during a period of great warmth, penguins must have adapted to warm-climates around 30 million years earlier than previously believed.

Homo floresiensis, our last and small brother.

Homo floresiensis ("Flores Man"; nicknamed Hobbit) is a possible species in the genus Homo, remarkable for its small body and brain and for its survival until relatively recent times. It was named after the Indonesian island of Flores on which the remains were found.One largely complete subfossil skeleton (named LB1, because it was the first specimen found in the Liang Bua cave) and a complete jawbone from a second individual (LB2),[3] dated at 18,000 years old, were discovered in deposits in Liang Bua Cave on Flores in 2003. Parts of seven other individuals (LB3–LB9; the most complete is LB6), all diminutive, have been recovered as well as similarly small stone tools from horizons ranging from 94,000 to 13,000 years ago.

Small brains.
The type specimen for the proposed species is a fairly complete skeleton and near-complete skull proposed to be that of a 30-year-old female (LB1), nicknamed Little Lady of Flores or Flo, about 1.06 m (3 ft 6 in) in height. This short stature is also supported by the height estimates derived from the tibia of a second skeleton (LB8), on the basis of which Morwood and colleagues suggest that LB8 might have stood 1.09 m (3 ft 7 in) high. These estimates are outside the range of normal modern human height and considerably shorter than the average adult height of even the physically smallest populations of modern humans, such as the African Pygmies (< 1.5 m, or 4 ft 11 in), Twa, Semang (1.37 m, or 4 ft 6 in for adult women), or Andamanese (1.37 m, or 4 ft 6 in for adult women).

The species is thought to have survived on Flores until at least as recently as 12,000 years ago making it the longest-lasting non-modern human, surviving long past the Neanderthals (H. neanderthalensis) which became extinct about 24,000 years ago.[

The Cave lion.

The cave lion (Panthera leo spelaea) also known as the European or Eurasian cave lion, is an extinct subspecies of lion known from fossils and multiple examples of prehistoric art.The difference of size with a Bengal tiger is seen in the photo.

This subspecies was one of the largest lions. An adult male, which was found in 1985 near Siegsdorf (Germany), had a shoulder height of around 1.2 m (4 ft) and a body length of 2.1 m (7 ft) without tail. This is similar to the size of a very large modern lion. The size of this male has been exceeded by other specimens of this subspecies. Therefore this cat may have been around 5-10 % bigger than modern lions, but it didn´t reach the measures of the earlier cave lion subspecies Panthera leo fossilis or those of the huge American lion (Panthera leo atrox).[1] The cave lion is known from Paleolithic cave paintings, ivory carvings, and clay figurines. These representations indicate that cave lions had rounded, protruding ears, tufted tails, possibly faint tiger-like stripes, and that at least some had a "ruff" or primitive mane around their neck, indicating males. Other archaeological artifacts indicate that they were featured in Paleolithic religious rituals.

I put a very interesting video.


Pre-dating the dinosaurs by millions of years and once thought to have gone extinct with them, 65 million years ago but....

Although now represented by only two known living species, as a group the coelacanths were once very successful with many genera and species that left an abundant fossil record from the Devonian to the end of the Cretaceous period, at which point they apparently suffered a nearly complete extinction. It is often claimed that the coelacanth has remained unchanged for millions of years, but, in fact, the living species and even genus are unknown from the fossil record. However, some of the extinct species, particularly those of the last known fossil coelacanth, the Cretaceous genus Macropoma, closely resemble the living species.[citation needed] The most likely reason for the gap is the taxon having become extinct in shallow waters. Deep-water fossils are only rarely lifted to levels where paleontologists can recover them, making most deep-water taxa disappear from the fossil record. This situation is still under investigation by scientists.

They first appeared in the fossil record in the Middle Devonian.[4] Prehistoric species of coelacanth lived in many bodies of water in Late Paleozoic and Mesozoic times.

Coelacanths, are lobe-finned fish with the pectoral and anal fins on fleshy stalks supported by bones, and the tail or caudal fin diphycercal (divided into three lobes), the middle one of which also includes a continuation of the notochord. Coelacanths have modified cosmoid scales, which are thinner than true cosmoid scales. Coelacanths also have a special electroreceptive device called a rostral organ in the front of the skull, which probably helps in prey detection. The small device also could help the balance of the fish, as echolocation could be a factor in the way this fish moves.

The average weight of the living West Indian Ocean coelacanth, Latimeria chalumnae, is 80 kg (176 lb), and they can reach up to 2 m (6.5 ft) in length. Adult females are slightly larger than males. Based on growth rings in their ear bones (otoliths), scientists infer that individual coelacanths may live as long as 80 to 100 years. Coelacanths live as deep as 700 m (2300 ft) below sea level, but are more commonly found at depths of 90 to 200 m.

Coelacanth this one near Ichthyostega ( prehistoric animals), the first fish that emerged the superfcie.


Arthropleura was a 0.3–2.6 metre (1–8.5 feet) long relative of centipedes and millipedes, native to the Upper Carboniferous (340-280 million years ago) of what is now northeastern North America and Scotland. It is the largest known land invertebrate of all time, and would have had few predators.

What Arthropleura ate is a matter of debate among scientists, as none of the fossils have the mouth preserved. However, it is reasonably certain that it would have had a sharp and powerful set of jaws. Based on this assumption, it used to be thought that Arthropleura was carnivorous, but recently discovered fossils have been found with pollen in the gut,[citation needed] suggesting that the creature ate plants. It is possible that the smaller Arthropleura species were vegetarian, while the largest ones were omnivorous, using their jaws to tackle vegetation, as well as to hunt small animals and insects. It is estimated that the average Arthropleura could have eaten its way through a ton of vegetation a year.

Fossilized footprints from Arthropleura have been found in many places. These appear as long, parallel rows of small prints, which show that it moved quickly across the forest floor, swerving to avoid obstacles, such as trees and rocks. When moving at speed, its body would stretch and become longer, giving it a greater stride length and thus allowing it to move faster.

As it moved about, Arthropleura would have brushed against many different types of plant, and may have helped the forest reproduce by moving pollen or spores about the place. It is also thought that Arthropleura was capable of travelling under water, and that it may have returned to lakes and rivers in order to moult its shell. This would have made it vulnerable to attack by large fish and amphibians. On land an adult Arthropleura would have had few enemies.

Sarcosuchus imperator. The biggest crocodile of the history

When fully mature, Sarcosuchus is believed to have been as long as a city bus (11.2–12.2 meters or 37–40 ft) and weighed up to 8 tonnes (8.75 tons).[1] The largest living crocodilian, the saltwater crocodile, is less than two-thirds of that length (6.3 meters or 20.6 ft is the longest confirmed individual) and a small fraction of the weight (1,200 kg, or 1.3 tons).
The very largest Sarcosuchus is believed to have been the oldest. Osteoderm growth rings taken from an 80% grown individual (based on comparison to largest individual found) suggest that Sarcosuchus kept growing throughout its entire 50–60 year average life span (Sereno et al., 2001). Modern crocodiles grow at a rapid rate, reaching their adult size in about a decade, then growing more slowly afterwards.

Its skull alone was as big as a human adult (1.78 m, or 5 ft 10 inches). The upper jaw overlapped the lower jaw, creating an overbite. The jaws were relatively narrow (especially in juveniles). The snout comprises about 75% of the skull's length (Sereno et al., 2001).

The huge jaw contained 132 thick teeth (Larsson said they were like "railroad spikes"[citation needed]). The teeth were conical, adapted for grabbing and holding; instead of narrow, adapted for slashing (like the teeth of some land-dwelling carnivores), and more like that of true crocodilians. Sarcosuchus could probably exert a force of 80 kN (18,000 lbf) with its jaw, making it very unlikely that prey could escape.
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