From Past to Present: Prehistoric Animals That Still Exist

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From Past to Present: Prehistoric Animals That Still Exist

The term “prehistoric” seems strange at first glance—how could something come before history? In truth, the term prehistoric simply refers to something that occurred or existed before written records. Although Earth has existed for billions of years, prehistoric broadly refers to the Paleozoic, Mesozoic, and Cenozoic eras, up until written history, which began as little as 5,500 years ago. For perspective, the Paleozoic era began over 500,000 million years ago!

Needless to say, that is a long time, and many of the creatures that existed during these periods are long gone. However, that doesn’t mean we can’t get a good glimpse of the past, as there are quite a few prehistoric animals that still exist!

The Komodo Dragon

While the prehistoric period doesn’t just include dinosaurs, few animals look as dinosaur-like and prehistoric as Varanus komodensis, the Komodo dragon. These reptiles can grow up to roughly 9.8 feet long and weigh up to 150 lbs. Paired with their venomous bite and their ability to run up to speeds of 12mph, you don’t want to be on this predator’s bad side.

Today, you can find the Komodo dragon in Indonesia, but the oldest Komodo dragon fossil was found on the mainland of Australia. Scientists dated this fossil back to the late Pliocene era about 3 million years ago.

The Chambered Nautilus

Nautilus pompilius, more commonly known as the chambered nautilus, is the master of evolution and is the only cephalopod with an external shell. It’s shell be why the chambered nautilus has managed to stick around for over 480 million years. For reference, that’s the Cambrian period at the very beginning of the Paleozoic era!

These little guys only grow up to be about eight inches long and have 90 tentacles that help them swim around and catch prey. Part of the reason why they’re called the chambered nautilus is because of the chambers in their mantle cavity. It uses these chambers to pump air and water in and out of the shell, allowing it to move using jet propulsion!

The Purple Frog

The Komodo dragon has venom, strength, claws, and teeth to be the apex predator of its environment. The chambered nautilus has an incredibly hard shell that keeps its soft body safe from larger predators. It’s clear to see how both animals have lasted so long. However, one of the most surprising prehistoric animals to still exist is the purple frog or Nasikabatrachus sahyadrensis. Its evolutionary history dates back around 100 million years ago, during the time of the dinosaurs, making it one of the oldest frog lineages on Earth.

This amphibian looks more like a tiny gelatinous blob and only grows up to 9cm in length, and barely weighs a third of a pound. The purple frog is also known as the pig-nosed frog due to its elongated snout, which allows it to acquire plenty of termites to eat. It uses its feet like spades and pointed head to dig through the dirt and can flatten its body to squeeze through cracks and crevices, spending most of its time underground.

Although we will never be as lucky to exist in harmony alongside dinosaurs as the nautilus or the purple frog once did, you can have a piece of the Mesozoic era in your home. Creative Beast Studio has highly detailed dinosaur figures for sale, lovingly crafted to bring accuracy and life to these incredible models.

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