6 Hilariously Stupid Prehistoric Versions of Modern Animals


Like every other long-term project ever attempted, the night before evolution was due, the office floor was littered with hastily scribbled blueprints, empty coffee cups, and reams and reams of crumpled up Post-it notes containing the stupidest ideas imaginable. Ideas like ...

#6. Sharovipteryx, aka the Kite Lizard

Nobu Tamura

Wings had to start somewhere, and that somewhere was apparently the unassigned area between the feet and ass. Meet the sharovipteryx, a clear case of a dinosaur evolving into a bird without ever actually seeing one. Its front forearms contained tiny little gliders, while the actual wings were attached to their very long hind legs, leaving scientists baffled as to how it could either fly or walk.

Quick: Picture every flying creature on Earth. Done? All right, how many of them fly with their legs? If you answered anything but zero, get out of the house now -- there's a gas leak. No flying animal has wing-feet. One theory is that bird legs are incredibly strong, and this strength allowed early birds to walk upright, which in turn allowed their increasingly strong breast muscles to develop into wings. That's why you never see kickin' little ankle-to-taint wings; the limbs would be too goddamned heavy to work.

However, it did give them prime twerking form.

So the sharovipteryx faced the ultimate in almost-bird dinosaur conundrums: If you walk with those legs, they become way too heavy and muscular to fly on, and if you fly with them, you're not walking anywhere. Some scientists, attempting to justify this thing's existence, theorize that the sharovipteryx actually had wing membranes between its legs and its arms, as well as membranes between its arms and its neck, making it more aerodynamic and shaped roughly like a kite -- hence the nickname.

Dmitry Bogdanov
They would then kill their prey with dive-bomb teabaggings.

Other scientists then promptly pointed out that this looks even stupider than before and then fell down laughing, having proven their hypothesis sound by drawing a stupid dinosaur face on a paper airplane and throwing it at the first scientists during Science Recess.

#5. Stethacanthus and Edestus, aka Sharks Too Creepy Even for SyFy


Sharks as a predatory concept are elegant in their simplicity: basically, make murder come to life and give it the ability to swim. But Nature, clearly in the mood to experiment back in the day, came up with a couple of creative variations on the shark theme, neither of which stuck around much past the first draft stage.

We're just bummed we missed out on future anvilhead vs. hammerhead fights.

First, you had the stethacanthus, which took all the psychological terror of the iconic dorsal fin cutting through the water and flushed it right down the toilet. In its place was the business end of a meat tenderizer. If a normal shark is an aquatic jet fighter full of teeth, this was one of those goofy radar planes that look like they're wearing an oversized yarmulke. Feeling pretty good about the mallet shark, nature huffed herself some glue, then went and created the edestus, a shark with both an under and an overbite from hell that made it look like a perpetually braying donkey being ripped open by a chainsaw.

The species died out due to suicide after too many rejections at shark prom.

Notice how it looks distressed, like it doesn't understand what's happening to it and wants an adult to come help? That's not just a goofy drawing. That's how it looked all the time, because the edestus' teeth were so large, they didn't actually fit into its mouth. It was a biologically enforced duckface. And it gets worse: The edestus' teeth and gums didn't fall out as they got older, like sharks today. No, new teeth just grew behind the old ones, pushing them forward until they completely jutted out of its mouth. And it gets even worse! All of these teeth were in one row. No teeth-lining-the-entirety-of-the-jaw bullshit for this shark; just a protruding, gummy stick of teeth on top and a protruding, gummy stick of teeth on the bottom. The edestus is obviously extinct today, which is a shame, because with the help of a good orthodontist, it could've been a hell of a predator.

#4. Uintatherium and Eobasileus, aka Bumpy-Headed Rhinos

Charles R. Knight

These rhinos look like they're suffering from a terrible The Last of Us-style fungal infection that manifests itself in completely random growths of horn and paternal melodrama. Uintatherium and eobasileus were distant relatives of modern rhinos and sported up to six giraffe-style horns that seemingly served no purpose aside from confounding the haberdasher.

"Great, another douche who doesn't realize that he can't pull off a fedora."

So what were they there for, exactly? Well, if you ever figure it out, let science know, because they have no clue. Hell, they're not even sure what the horns looked like -- some think they stuck out of the skull like cleats on a football shoe, while others are holding out hope that the horns extended into some bitchin' sword-like protrusion, and that part is just missing from the fossils we have.

"What? It could happen ... oh, you assholes have no imagination."

Although we half suspect that eobasileus started that rumor himself to stop his classmates from making fun of him in Rhino High School.

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