After Dinosaurs Went Extinct, These Ten Giant Creatures Roamed the Earth

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Dinosaurs have always seemed larger than life. They lived during a time when almost everything seemed bigger—titanic herbivores stretching more than 80 feet long were not uncommon, and nine-ton carnivores had to feast on hundreds of pounds of flesh each day to survive. This popular view of the Age of Dinosaurs overlooks the innumerable small species that lived alongside Stegosaurus and Triceratops, just as we’re surrounded by insects, birds, rodents, and other small animals today. It also falsely frames the end of this era as an end to the heyday of gigantism—but that’s only an illusion.

Life didn’t shrink after the end of the Cretaceous. Long past the Age of Dinosaurs, Earth saw the evolution of impressive birds, snakes, crocodiles, rhinos, and more, including the largest animals of all time. While the broader story of life on Earth may best be told through the diminutive and meek creatures that are often overlooked, here are ten animals that underscore the fact that remarkable body size was not just the domain of the dinosaurs.


https://th-thumbnailer.cdn-si-edu.com/ckTQ0xZXjuv739CRHU4scNkkJaI=/1000x750/filters:no_upscale():focal(800x602:801x603)/https://tf-cmsv2-smithsonianmag-media.s3.amazonaws.com/filer_public/4c/6d/4c6dfe2d-e3c8-4860-8b6f-b3997144b335/animalsafterdinos-v2_web.jpgMany giant animals roamed the Earth after non-avian dinosaurs went extinct. Illustration by Emily Lankiewicz / Dmitry Bogdanov via Wikipedia under CC BY-SA 3.0 / Dmitry Bogdanov via Wikipedia under CC BY-SA 3.0 / Pagodroma721 via Wikipedia under CC BY-SA 4.0 / Sergiodlarosa via Wikipedia under CC BY-SA 4.0 / public domain



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