Monster WhaleCredit: Brian Choo / Source: Museum VictoriaThis ancient whale, extinct 25 million years, was a vicious hunter, scientists figure. Though likely an ancestor of modern baleen whales, gentle giants of today’s seas this beast had monstrous teeth and huge eyes thought to have been good for hunting.
Plesiosaur Credit: Nicolle Rager, National Science FoundationThis artist s rendering reveals what an ancient marine reptile called a plesiosaur discovered in Antarctica may have looked like. The plesiosaur described in a forthcoming issue of the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, though not the same species, also sported four fins and a long neck. Analyses of shark teeth embedded in the reptile s bones suggest a feeding frenzy of sorts once the reptile died.
Dunkleosteus terrelliCredit: Mark Westneat This prehistoric fish, Dunkleosteus terrelli, was big, mean, and it could bite a shark in two. Scientists say Dunkleosteus terrelli might have been "the first king of the beasts." The prehistoric fish was 33 feet long and weighed up to four tons. The creature lived 400 million years ago. Art by Karen Carr in the Field Museum s Evolving Planet exhibit.
Aerosteon dinosaurCredit: Todd Marshall c 2008, courtesy of Project Exploration. This flesh rendering of the predator Aerosteon shows its lungs (red) and air sacs (other colors) as they might have been in life about 85 million years ago. This huge carnivorous dinosaur that lived about 85 million years ago had a breathing system much like that of today s birds, a new analysis of fossils reveals, reinforcing the evolutionary link between dinos and modern birds.
Credit: Ludger Bollen, from "Der Flug dAirplane-Size Birdes Archaeopteryx", Quelle+Meyer Vlg. Imagine a bird like an ocean-going goose almost the size of a small plane. That was this ancient, giant pseudo-toothed bird, or pelagornithid. It lived around what is now England 50 million years ago.
Three-Fingered DinosaurCredit: Portia SloanThe fossilized hands from this plant-eating dinosaur reveal a transitional step in the evolution of modern wings from dino digits. The finding could resolve a debate over which fingers ultimately became embedded in the wing. This dinosaur, Limusaurus inextricabilis, may have used its three-fingered hands to help it stand upright from a lying position.