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18 Craziest Fossils Ever Unearthed

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Published on Mar 12, 2018

The earth has been around a long time, though not all the animals that once roamed it still exist. Let’s take a look at all the creatures found from the age of the dinosaurs, the Ice Age, and even all the eras before, after, and in between. Here’s some of the craziest fossils of the past scientists have unearthed.

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7. The First Protoceratops Nest
The name Protoceratops means “first horned face” which describes this genus of herbivorous dinosaur. It stands out with its neck frill which was used to impress others in its species. Most measured 6 feet or 1.8 meters in length and about 2 feet or 0.6 meters tall. As published in 2011, it was reported that a nest of the species Protoceratops andrewsi was discovered in modern day Mongolia. These 15 juvenile protoceratops species mark the first nest of this type of dinosaur ever found. The findings also suggests that these dinosaurs also remained in their nests for a significant time after hatching.




6. The Shark Jaw
And not just any shark jaw. The largest set of prehistoric jaws ever assembled would was on sale for $700,000 at the Heritage Auctions in 2011. It makes sense considering that the animal it belonged to, the megalodon shark, measured to be 60 feet long. The jaw measures at 9 feet tall and 11 feet across, meaning even tall people can walk right through and around it. This prehistoric shark preyed primarily on whales and even other sharks. Many of the teeth of the jaw much bigger than this one were collected in rivers located in South Carolina, United States. The megalodon lived in the warm ocean waters about 25 to 1.5 million years ago.




5. The Mazon Creek Fossils
One of the most famous fossil beds can be found in Illinois at Mazon Creek. The fossils preserved in the concretions here at this conservation formed about 309 million years ago. Both the hard and soft tissues of plants and animals can be found at Mazon Creek, a unique characteristic since soft-tissue organisms rarely fossilized. One of the most famous prehistoric mysteries, the Tully Monster, was found here. Most the fossil fauna found here consists of animals such as shrimp, sea worms, and cephalopods. The most common ones found here include the Essexella jellyfish.




4. Velociraptor Vs Protoceratops
Most of the fossils paleontologists find are dinosaurs of the same species found together or a predator that was in the process of hunting or eating its prey, such as the case of the velociraptor found scavenging a protoceratops. This pair of dinosaurs were discovered in Inner Mongolia, China, their battle forever preserved in a set of their bones, seen here. The fossils were unearthed from red sandstone in 2008. These dinosaurs lived 65 million to 70 million years ago. Scientists guess something else hunted the protoceratops due to the puncture on its neck not matching the teeth of the velociraptor.




3. Preserved Mammoths
Many woolly mammoths have been found preserved in glaciers and other icy environments. But in 2013, the first mammoth discovered would flowing blood was discovered in the Siberian Ice in the Lyakhovsky Islands. The mammoth appears to be a female aged between 50 to 60 years old. The discovery prompted many to wonder whether scientists could bring the Ice Age animal back to life. It appears to have been frozen in Russian for over 10,000 years in ice that was at a temperature of negative 10 degrees Celsius.




2. The Sabre Toothed Squirrel
We’ve heard of the sabre toothed tiger. But an even more ferocious version of the squirrel you always see in the park, known as the sabre-toothed squirrel. This small mammal lived during the same time as the dinosaurs. It was the size of a mouse and had incredibly sharp teeth. Scientists classified this animal as the Cronopio dentiacutus, which had fangs 0.2 inches or 5 millimeters long. The species lived about 100 million years ago, primarily in South America. It was the oldest mammal skull ever found.




Sue The T. Rex
One of the most famous fossils ever recovered is that of Sue the Tyrannosaurus rex, whose skeleton was found nearly complete. Sue The T. Rex maybe also referred to as FMNH PR 2081 and ranks as one best preserved of its species. The name derives from the paleontologist who discovered it, Sue Hendrickson, who found it at the Cheyenne River Indian Reservation in South Dakota back in 1990. To this day, Sue can be found at the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago, Illinois.

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