Many creatures inhabited the earth even before the first hint of human life. Some prehistoric creatures like dinosaurs have thankfully become extinct, but others are still alive and well today.
Goblin sharks are still found in our oceans today. These eerie-looking marine creatures can measure up to four metres in length when at full adult size. Although they look terrifying, they are actually harmless. Their scary appearance may be attributed to their prehistoric ancestry because Earth’s original goblin sharks lived some 125 million years ago. Unfortunately, those seeking out goblin sharks for the thrill may never be successful because these interesting creatures live in the deepest expanses of the world’s oceans.
Frilled sharks are the oldest shark species in the world still in existence, although they are rarely spotted. The frilled shark is the least evolved shark, which explains why it resembles a type of shark and eel hybrid. One would be tempted to wonder, “Is it a shark, or is it an eel?” Just like goblin sharks, frilled sharks prefer inhabiting the deepest and darkest expanses of the ocean, which is the reason why some sceptics believed their existence is a myth.
The Chinese Salamander
The Chinese salamander is the largest amphibian in the world and can reach a length of 180cm. This species is a member of the Cryptobranchidea lineage dating back 170 million years. Understandably, it is an endangered species since water pollution and global warming are destroying its habitat. What’s more is that it’s considered a delicacy in China.
Alligator Snapping Turtle
You wouldn’t want your fingers caught in the sharp beak of this alligator snapping turtle, as its bite can be quite painful. This fierce looking fossil-like creature is native to the United States and is a member of the Chelydridae genus, a prehistoric lineage dating back some 72 million years. It can weigh a massive 180kg, which makes it the heaviest freshwater turtle species in the world.
Some may not be aware of the fact that jellyfish are the oldest living creatures on this planet. Scientists speculate they may have inhabited the oceans for the past 700 million years. They’re found gracefully gliding about at various depths, from shallow to deep, in all the world’s oceans.
The platypus is a bizarre-looking creature with the 3-in-1 appearance of duck, beaver and otter. The oldest platypus fossil discovered dated back somewhat 100 000 years ago, while it’s thought their ancestors roamed the first continent, Gondwana, about 170 million years ago.
We can’t promise that you’ll ever be afforded an opportunity to set eyes on the obscure goblin or frilled shark, but you can come eye-to-eye with one of the ocean’s fiercest predators, the great white shark. Although the great white isn’t classified as being among the world’s oldest species, it still has an impressive ancestry and is a truly spectacular creature to behold in its natural habitat.