Top Ten Predators

Top Ten Predators

Great White SharkTylosaurus

  1. Spinosaurus
    SpinosaurusSpinosaurus1Spinosaurus2Spinosaurus3Spinosaurus4Spinosaurus5
           Spinosaurus (meaning “spine lizard”) is a genus of theropod dinosaur which lived in what is now North Africa, from the lower Albian to lower Cenomanian stages of the Cretaceous period, about 112 to 97 million years ago. This genus was first known from Egyptian remains discovered in 1912 and described by German paleontologist Ernst Stromer in 1915. The original remains were destroyed in WWII, but additional material has come to light in recent years. It is unclear whether one or two species are represented in the fossils reported in the scientific literature. The best known species is S. aegyptiacus from Egypt, although a potential second species S. maroccanus has been recovered from Morocco. Spinosaurus may be the largest of all known carnivorous dinosaurs, even larger than Tyrannosaurus and Giganotosaurus. Estimates published in 2005 and 2007 suggest that it was 12.6 to 18 m (41 to 59 ft) in length and 7 to 20.9 tonnes (7.7 to 23.0 short tons) in weight. The skull of Spinosaurus was long and narrow like that of a modern crocodilian. Spinosaurus is thought to have eaten fish; evidence suggests that it lived both on land and in water like a modern crocodilian. The distinctive spines of Spinosaurus, which were long extensions of the vertebrae, grew to at least 1.65 m (5.4 ft) long and were likely to have had skin connecting them, forming a sail-like structure, although some authors have suggested that the spines were covered in fat and formed a hump. Multiple functions have been put forward for this structure, including thermoregulation and display.
    Links: Top Ten Terrestrial Dinosaurs, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spinosaurus,
  2. Predator X
    Predator X
           Predator X is an informal name for a prehistoric marine predator, thought by scientists to be a new species in the pliosaur family. The skull of the predator was excavated in mid-2008 in Svalbard, near the Arctic, by a Norwegian team lead by Dr. Jørn Hurum. It is claimed by researchers to be the “most fearsome animal ever to swim in the oceans.” The remains were discovered in June 2006 during a two-week expedition led by Dr. Hurum of the Natural History Museum at the University of Oslo. The team found 20,000 fragments of the creature’s skeleton, which is being assembled at the museum. Due to distribution pattern of pliosaurs, scientists believe that the species were cosmopolitan, like some groups of modern-day whales.
    Links: Top Ten Aquatic Dinosaurs, Top Ten Largets Animals, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Predator_X,
  3. Giganotosaurus
    GiganotosaurusGiganotosaurus1Giganotosaurus2
            Giganotosaurus is a genus of carcharodontosaurid dinosaur that lived around 97 million years ago during the early Cenomanian stage of the Late Cretaceous Period. It is one of the largest known terrestrial carnivores, slightly larger than Tyrannosaurus, but smaller than Spinosaurus. Its fossils have been found in Argentina. The name means “giant southern lizard,” derived from the Ancient Greek gigas, meaning “giant,” and notos meaning “south wind” and -saurus meaning “lizard.”
    Links: Top Ten Skulls, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Giganotosaurus,
  4. Tyrannosaurus Rex
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           Tyrannosaurus, meaning “tyrant lizard,” is a genus of coelurosaurian theropod dinosaur. The species Tyrannosaurus rex (rex meaning “king” in Latin), commonly abbreviated to T. rex, is a fixture in popular culture. It lived throughout what is now western North America, at the time an island continent termed Laramidia, with a much wider range than other tyrannosaurids. Fossils are found in a variety of rock formations dating to the Maastrichtian age of the upper Cretaceous Period, 67 to 65.5 million years ago. It was among the last non-avian dinosaurs to exist before the Cretaceous–Paleogene extinction event. Like other tyrannosaurids, Tyrannosaurus was a bipedal carnivore with a massive skull balanced by a long, heavy tail. Relative to the large and powerful hindlimbs, Tyrannosaurus forelimbs were small, though unusually powerful for their size, and bore two clawed digits. Although other theropods rivaled or exceeded Tyrannosaurus rex in size, it was the largest known tyrannosaurid and one of the largest known land predators, measuring up to 12.3 m (40 ft.) in length, up to 4 m (13 ft.) tall at the hips, and up to 6.8 metric tons (7.5 short tons) in weight. By far the largest carnivore in its environment, Tyrannosaurus rex may have been an apex predator, preying upon hadrosaurs and ceratopsians, although some experts have suggested it was primarily a scavenger. The debate over Tyrannosaurus as apex predator or scavenger is among the longest running in paleontology. More than 30 specimens of Tyrannosaurus rex have been identified, some of which are nearly complete skeletons. Soft tissue and proteins have been reported in at least one of these specimens. The abundance of fossil material has allowed significant research into many aspects of its biology, including life history and biomechanics. The feeding habits, physiology and potential speed of Tyrannosaurus rex are a few subjects of debate. Its taxonomy is also controversial, with some scientists considering Tarbosaurus bataar from Asia to represent a second species of Tyrannosaurus and others maintaining Tarbosaurus as a separate genus. Several other genera of North American tyrannosaurids have also been synonymized with Tyrannosaurus.
    Links: Top Ten Skullshttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tyrannosaurus,
  5. Megalodon
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           Although extinct, Megalodon was the largest shark to have ever lived, growing to lengths of 59 ft.
    Links: Top Ten Sharks, Top Ten Largest Animals, Top Ten Extinct Animals (Non-Dinosaurs)Top Ten Dinosaurs, 
  6. Tylosaurus
    TylosaurusTylosaurus1Tylosaurus2
           Tylosaurus (Greek for “protuberance, knob lizard”) was a mosasaur, a large, predatory marine lizard closely related to modern monitor lizards and to snakes. Along with plesiosaurs, sharks, fish and other genera of mosasaurs, it was a dominant predator of the Western Interior Seaway during the Late Cretaceous. Tylosaurus proriger was among the largest of all the mosasaurs (along with Hainosaurus and Mosasaurus hoffmannii), reaching maximum lengths of 15 meters or more (49+ ft). A distinguishing characteristic of Tylosaurus is its elongated, cylindrical premaxilla (snout) from which it takes its name and which may have been used to ram and stun prey and also in intraspecific combat. Stomach contents associated with specimens of Tylosaurus proriger indicate that this ferocious mosasaur had a varied diet, including fish, sharks, smaller mosasaurs, plesiosaurs, and flightless diving birds such as Hesperornis.
    Links: Top Ten Aquatic Dinosaurs, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tylosaurus,
  7. Utahraptor

    Although the velacirapto gets the majority of the attention, the Utahraptor was truly king of the raptors. The Utahraptor, meaning “Utah’s predator,” was a genus of theropod dinosaurs, which included the largest known members of the family Dromaeosauridae. Fossil specimens date to the upper Barremian stage of the early Cretaceous period (in rock strata dated to 126 ± 2.5 million years ago). It contains a single species, Utahraptor ostrommaysorum. The largest described U. ostrommaysorum specimens are estimated to have reached up to 7 m (23 ft) long and somewhat less than 500 kg (1,100 lb) in weight, comparable to a grizzly bear in size. Some undescribed specimens in the BYU collections may have reached up to 11 m (36 ft) long, though these await more detailed study.
    Links: Top Ten Terrestrial Dinosaurs, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Utahraptor,
  8. Titanboa

    Titanoboa is a genus of snake that lived approximately 60–58 million years ago, during the Paleocene epoch, a 10-million-year period immediately following the dinosaur extinction event. The only known species is Titanoboa cerrejonensis, the largest, longest, and heaviest snake ever discovered, which supplanted the previous record holder, Gigantophis. Researchers estimated T. cerrejonensis reached a maximum length of 12 to 15 m (40 to 50 ft), weighed about 1,135 kg (2,500 lb).
    Links: Top Ten Snakes, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Titanoboa,
  9. Killer Whale (48 MPH)
    Killer Whale
           The killer whale (Orcinus orca), also referred to as the orca whale or orca, is a toothed whale belonging to the oceanic dolphin family. Killer whales are found in all oceans, from the frigid Arctic and Antarctic regions to tropical seas. Killer whales as a species have a diverse diet, although individual populations often specialize in particular types of prey. Some feed exclusively on fish, while others hunt marine mammals such as sea lions, seals, walruses, and even large whales. Killer whales are regarded as apex predators, lacking natural predators. Killer whales are highly social; some populations are composed of matrilineal family groups which are the most stable of any animal species. Their sophisticated hunting techniques and vocal behaviors, which are often specific to a particular group and passed across generations, have been described as manifestations of culture. In late 2005, the “southern resident” population of killer whales that inhabits British Columbia and Washington state waters were placed on the US Endangered Species list. Killer whales feature strongly in the mythologies of indigenous cultures, with their reputation ranging from being the souls of humans to merciless killers.
    Links: Top Ten WhalesTop Ten Fastest Animalshttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Killer_whale,
  10. Great White Shark
    Great White SharkGreat White Shark1Great White Shark2Great White Shark3
           The great white shark, Carcharodon carcharias, also known as the white pointer, white shark, or white death, is a species of large lamniform shark which can be found in the coastal surface waters of all the major oceans. The great white shark is mainly known for its size, with the largest individuals known to have approached or exceeded 6 m (20 ft) in length, and 2,268 kg (5,000 lb) in weight. This shark reaches its maturity around 15 years of age and can have a life span of over 30 years. The great white shark is arguably the world’s largest known extant macropredatory fish, and is one of the primary predators of marine mammals. It is also known to prey upon a variety of other marine animals, including fish and seabirds. It is the only known surviving species of its genus Carcharodon, and is ranked first in having the most attacks on humans.
    Links: Top Ten Sharks, Top Ten Deadliest Animalshttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_white_shark,
  11. Giant Short Faced Bear

    The short-faced bear or bulldog bear, or Arctodus, is an extinct genus of bear endemic to North America during the Pleistocene about 3.0 Mya – 11,000 years ago, existing for around three million years. Arctodus simus may have once been Earth’s largest mammalian, terrestrial carnivore. The species described are all thought to have been larger than any living species of bear. It was the most common of early North American bears, being most abundant in California.
    Links: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Giant_Short_Faced_Bear,
  12. Cave Lion

    The American lion (Panthera leo atrox or P. atrox), also known as the North American lion, Naegele’s giant jaguar or American cave lion, is an extinct lion of the family Felidae, endemic to North America and northwestern South America during the Pleistocene epoch (0.34 mya to 11,000 years ago), existing for approximately 0.33 million years. It has been shown by genetic analysis to be a sister lineage to the Eurasian cave lion (Panthera leo spelaea or P. spelaea). The American lion is one of the largest types of cat ever to have existed, slightly larger than the Early Middle Pleistocene primitive cave lion, P. leo fossilis and about 25% larger than the modern African lion.
    Links: Top Ten Big Cats, Cave Paintings, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_lion,
  13. Saber-Tooth Tiger

    A saber-toothed tiger, is any of various groups of predatory mammals related to modern cats, characterized by long, sabre-shaped canine teeth. These animals belonged to subfamilies of Machairodontinae (Felidae), Barbourofelidae and Nimravidae (both Feliformia) as well as two families related to marsupials that were found worldwide from the Eocene Epoch to the end of the Pleistocene Epoch (42 mya—11,000 years ago), existing for approximately 42 million years. The large maxillary canine teeth extended from the mouth even when it was closed. Despite the name, not all animals known as saber-toothed cats were closely related to modern felines. The Nimravidae are the oldest, entering the landscape around 42 mya and becoming extinct by 7.2 mya. Barbourofelidae entered around 16.9 mya and were extinct by 9 mya. These two would have shared some habitats.
    Links: Top Ten Big Cats, Top Ten Extinct AnimalsTop Ten SkullsTop Ten Human SkullsTop Ten Skull Artifactshttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saber-toothed_cat,
  14. African Lion
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    The lion is one of the four big cats in the genus Panthera, and a member of the family Felidae. With some males exceeding 250 kg (550 lb) in weight, it is the second-largest living cat after the tiger. Wild lions currently exist in Sub-Saharan Africa and in Asia with an endangered remnant population in Gir Forest National Park in India, having disappeared from North Africa and Southwest Asia in historic times. Until the late Pleistocene, about 10,000 years ago, the lion was the most widespread large land mammal after humans. They were found in most of Africa, across Eurasia from Western Europe to India, and in the Americas from the Yukon to Peru. The lion is a vulnerable species, having seen a possibly irreversible population decline of 30 to 50% over the past two decades in its African range. Lion populations are untenable outside designated reserves and national parks. Although the cause of the decline is not fully understood, habitat loss and conflicts with humans are currently the greatest causes of concern. Lions live for 10 to 14 years in the wild, while in captivity they can live longer than 20 years. In the wild, males seldom live longer than 10 years, as injuries sustained from continual fighting with rival males greatly reduce their longevity. Lions are unusually social compared to other cats. A pride of lions consists of related females and offspring and a small number of adult males. Groups of female lions typically hunt together, preying mostly on large ungulates. Lions are apex and keystone predators, although they scavenge as opportunity allows. Highly distinctive, the male lion is easily recognized by its mane, and its face is one of the most widely recognized animal symbols in human culture. Depictions have existed from the Upper Paleolithic period, with carvings and paintings from the Lascaux and Chauvet Caves, through virtually all ancient and medieval cultures where they once occurred. Lions have been kept in menageries since the time of the Roman Empire and have been a key species sought for exhibition in zoos the world over since the late 18th century.
    Links: Top Ten Big Cats, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/African_lion,
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