7 Terrifying Prehistoric Creatures (That Are Still Around)

#3. Giant Chinese Salamander

Coming in at a tie with the panda bear in the list of real animals most resembling Pokemon, giant salamanders have been plodding around for about 30 million years, which means they survived giant bears and hyenas as big as cows.

Fortunately for us, they are the one creature on this list least likely to devour you and everyone you care about, being nearly blind and feeding mainly on smaller salamanders, worms and crayfish. Although they do get aggressive around mating season, when the males fight over the holes they have dug in the mud, often killing each other in the process. We're scratching our heads over how something this stupid could survive long enough to be a living fossil.

Jesus! Where Do They Live?!

China, the the land that eats monsters. We're still a little nervous about this, because on the one hand, we think they're kind of cute. On the other hand, that's probably just how they sucker you in. After all, something killed all those dinosaurs.

"Dear god, why China? They ate Godzilla's mom! What chance do I have?"

#2. Triops

Quick, is that the name of a prehistoric, three-eyed, hell-shrimp, or a He-Man villain? If you guessed hell-shrimp, you were correct.

Incidentally, every time we watch a horror movie about genetically engineered parasites that escape the lab, there is at least one scene where a human body bursts like a pinata and releases three hundred of these into the world:

Triops have been haunting our waterways and nightmares since the Triassic period, about 200 million years ago, meaning they sent some of the first dinosaurs screaming out of the ponds. Their eggs are damn near indestructible, and if the conditions aren't right, they can just go into suspended animation, lying dormant and unhatched for decades like the alien conspiracy from The X-Files.

Jesus! Where Do They Live?!

Basically everywhere, including your living room, because you can order them online. For those of you whose idea of the perfect pet is "like sea monkeys, but evil."

We're pretty sure Dio songs echo from the tank 24/7.

#1. Lamprey

There's really no way to ease you slowly into the following analogy, so we're just going to go ahead and say it: condoms full of teeth.

If you're thinking those are tiny little worms you might find sucking on the side of your aquarium, think again. These bastards grow to about three and a half feet long, and feed by literally eating their way into the sides of fish until their guts come out the hole.

Lampreys are so old, evolutionarily speaking, that they are barely considered vertebrates, and hardly even fish. The closest thing we have to genuine Lovecraftian elder gods, Lampreys are upwards of 360-million-years old, and are basically the missing link between fish and whatever came before fish. We're guessing devils.

Jesus! Where Do They Live?!

Coasts and freshwater around the world. In the great lakes, they have become a disgusting plague feeding off of other fish, mostly the delicious ones like trout. On the other hand, countries like Finland, South Korea and Sweden consider the blood-sucking spineless worm-fish a delicacy.

But don't worry, lampreys are unlikely to try to eat humans. Unless they are starving.

You can find more from David at Associated Content.

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