9 Huge Prehistoric Animals That Lived Before Dinosaurs


Scutosaurus, also known as the "shield lizard," was an extinct genus of pareiasaur parareptiles that lived during the Permian period, approximately 264 to 252 million years ago. It was a large reptile covered in plates of armor, which earned it the nickname "shield lizard"


Pterygotus was a giant sea scorpion that lived during the Devonian period, approximately 390 million years ago. It was an enormous predatory aquatic arthropod that reached lengths of almost six feet, about the size of a modern human.

Dimetrodon Angelensis

Dimetrodon Angelensis lived during the early Permian period and is not related to dinosaurs. It is more closely related to mammals, although not technically mammalian. It belongs to the Sphenacodontidae family, a group of advanced carnivores


Arthropleura was a gigantic millipede arthropod that roamed the massive forests of North America and Europe approximately 345 million years ago. It was the largest land invertebrate ever to exist. Arthropleura grew to well over seven feet and could stand upright.


Gorgonopsids are an extinct group of saber-toothed mammals that lived during the Middle-Upper Permian Era. They had narrow skulls and elongated teeth, which they used to slash and stab prey and predators. Gorgonopsids were vicious hunters, taking chunks out of their target


Jaekelopterus was a giant scorpion that lived during the Devonian period approximately 390 million years ago. It was the largest arthropod ever to inhabit the Earth, growing over eight feet long. Unlike modern scorpions, Jaekelopterus developed in freshwater systems like river beds


Meganeura was the largest flying insect in existence, resembling a modern-day dragonfly but much larger. It inhabited the carboniferous forests alongside Arthropleura and was predatory, mainly consuming other insects. Meganeura had a wingspan of up to 25.6 inches


Titanichthys was a giant-armored fish that lived during the late Devonian period. It lived in the shallow seas of Morocco, Eastern North America, and Europe. Titanichthys was the first large-sized vertebrate filter feeder, using its mouth to inhale anchovy-like fish.


Aegirocassis was a stem-group arthropod that lived during the early Ordovician period, approximately 480 million years ago. It was the largest animal to exist during this era and the earliest giant filter feeder.