Intriguing Extinct Animals

Daeodon

Daeodon is an extinct pig-like omnivore that roamed North America 19 million years ago. Unlike a pig, however, it was not very docile. In fact, its name “Daeodon” translates to “dreadful teeth” (from ancient Greek). It had a stocky and robust build, with feet ending in cloven hoofs. Its skull was tall and elongated, with powerful jaws. At its shoulder, it was about 5.9 feet tall and 11.8 feet long. Its skull alone was 3 feet long, and most of it was the jaw and its flared out cheekbones. Its dentition resembled other omnivores such as bears and modern-day pigs. Hence, it was speculated that Daeodon was an omnivore. It was also speculated to be aggressive and opportunistic. Newer evidence suggested that Daeodon tracked other carnivorous animals and intimidated it with their powerful jaws, just to steal their kill.

 

Gigantopithecus

Gigantopithecus is a large, hairy ape-like creature that went extinct less than 100,000 years ago. Modern humans and Gigantopithecus belong to the same family: Hominidae. However, that is where the similarities end. Based on a handful of fossil evidence, this animal was at least 9.8 feet tall and weighed anywhere between 550 and 600 kilograms. This makes Gigantopithecus weigh almost three times as much as a modern gorilla, or ten times as much as an average human. It may have walked on all four like a gorilla, too, but there is not enough fossil evidence to support the same. Others have speculated that it was bipedal, walking upright on its hindlimbs just like humans. Based on the analysis of its teeth, scientists have concluded that the animal subsisted on a diet of leaves, fruits, seeds, and bamboo. It eventually became extinct as its habitat changed, and it was unable to adapt. Furthermore, competition from other herbivorous animals also pushed it towards the verge of extinction.

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