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Old 07-18-2011   #2
Kain
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#6.The Prehistoric Whale With 14-Inch Teeth





For being the biggest animals in the ocean, whales are usually nothing more than floating islands, filter-feeding on tiny shrimp. But set your time machine back far enough, and you'll find the waters full of insanity:

That thing could eat humans by the handful like popcorn.

Yep, Moby Dick had nothing on Livyatan Melvilli. If you haven't guessed, this thing was named after Herman Melville, and a giant sea monster from the Bible.

That's not the whole animal. That's just its freaking skull.

This thing was the same size and shape of a modern sperm whale (that is, four times as long as the largest great white sharks), with a head built like a battering ram and a tail as big as a small car. Only with one major difference: while the sperm whale's mouth is built for gently swallowing animals with no skeleton, Livyatan had teeth up to 14-inches long.

Those are individual teeth. Holy Crap!


What could a katana-toothed sperm whale eat, though? Whatever the hell it wanted to.

Artist's rendition of evolution just flipping the hell out.

The Livyatan lived in a time when the ocean's whale species were growing larger and diversifying, which means Moby Monster feasted mainly on other whales. It was a hypercarnivore, which means it got 70 percent of its sustenance from meat, which puts it in the same category as big cats, eagles and sharks. Though we prefer to think "hypercarnivore" means it hunted like Gary Busey with a pound of stimulants and a mouthful of steak knives.

Honestly, it doesn't even need the teeth. It could just swallow you like a pill.

It shared the same oceans as another giant thank-God-for-extinction-events horror, the Megalodon. So if you decide to go swimming during your time travel adventure, your fate will either be "eaten by giant shark" or "eaten by murderous sperm whale," and in both cases, it'd probably happen because the monster accidentally devoured you while trying to eat the comparatively smaller creature that was in the process of eating you.
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