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The 5 Deadliest Predators of All Time

Updated on June 6, 2016

The Deadliest Cat of All Time

A reconstruction of Smilodon Fatalis- the species that lived in both North and South America
A reconstruction of Smilodon Fatalis- the species that lived in both North and South America | Source

Man and Beast

The size of smilodon in relation to a full grown man.
The size of smilodon in relation to a full grown man. | Source

Iconic Weapons

Despite appearances the sabres were actually rather brittle and were easily broken, meaning that they were largely useless during a hunt.
Despite appearances the sabres were actually rather brittle and were easily broken, meaning that they were largely useless during a hunt. | Source

A Fossil Treasure Trove

The La Brea Tar Pits as it may have looked in the time of smilodon.
The La Brea Tar Pits as it may have looked in the time of smilodon. | Source

5. Smilodon

Smilodon was a prehistoric cat that is often popularly referred to as the ‘sabre-toothed tiger’. In reality though, they weren’t closely related to living tigers at all. The correct term to use when referring to Smilodon and its kin is ‘sabre-toothed cat’. Smilodon was the largest of the sabre-toothed cats and among the largest mammalian carnivores to ever prowl the Earth. They lived in what is now the USA and South America, favouring habitat with a nice mixture of tree cover and open spaces that enabled it to hunt large, slow moving herbivores. It probably hunted in groups, perhaps living in prides, similar to African lions; compelling evidence suggests older or injured cats were supported by other members of the group, despite their inability to hunt.

During the hunt, several Smilodons’ would have worked together, stalking their prey through the long pampas grass. Each cat though could only give chase for a short time, as their short, stubby tails gave them a profound deficiency in terms of balance. Indeed, it’s likely that Smilodon had to utilise vegetation for cover and the art of ambush in order to secure a prey item. Surprisingly, the cat’s formidable 8.5 inch sabres were actually rather brittle and were prone to breaking; therefore the cat couldn’t grip onto its prey with its teeth like a Lion. Instead, using their sheer bulk and powerful forelimbs they literally wrestled their prey to the ground, once the victim was pinned, another cat would move in and clamp those sabres around the prey’s windpipe. They would then use their powerful jaw muscles to strangle it to death or rip out its throat.

The brittleness of Smilodon’s sabres meant that there was actually much of the carcass that it couldn’t possibly feast upon. It couldn’t risk biting onto bone, so instead ate only from the softest parts of the body such as the stomach region. While this wastefulness was bad for Smilodon, it was good news for the menagerie of mammalian and avian scavengers that inhabited the Americas at the time.

Fossils of Smilodon have been found right across the Americas, but the most famous ones come from the La Brea tar-pit in California. Tens of thousands of years ago, La Brea was a sticky swamp, which acted like a magnet for large herbivores wishing to cool off during the heat of the day. On occasion, the herbivores would become mired, and of course the smell of a trapped, distressed animal soon attracted predators, which became trapped themselves. There are so many Smilodon fossils in La Brea that scientists have been able to unravel much about its lifestyle. For instance, some fossils showed signs of serious injury, meaning that the animals couldn’t have possibly hunted, and yet it seems they managed to survive for some time after being injured. This means that they were probably feeding off other Smilodon kills, suggesting that they did live in groups.

At one time there were actually several sub species of Smilodon living across North America. Then, around 2.5 million years ago, South America joined onto its Northern neighbour creating the Isthmus of Panama. At least one species of Smilodon made the journey southwards and became the top predator on the Pampas grasslands. It’s clear that through the abundance of fossil evidence that Smilodon was a successful predator, which is why its extinction remains a mystery, although it seems likely that its demise was linked to the sudden extinction of large herbivores shortly after humans colonised the Americas some 13,000 years ago.

Smilodon in Action

Fossil of the First Super Predator

An image of the first complete fossil of anomalocaris, currently residing in the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto.
An image of the first complete fossil of anomalocaris, currently residing in the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto. | Source

Size Comparison

Anomalocaris was around ten times larger than any other animal it co-existed with.
Anomalocaris was around ten times larger than any other animal it co-existed with. | Source

One of the Strangest Faces Ever to Evolve

The strange frontal appendages of anomalocaris were totally unique to the species, and nothing like it has appeared in any animal that has evolved since.
The strange frontal appendages of anomalocaris were totally unique to the species, and nothing like it has appeared in any animal that has evolved since. | Source

4. Anomalocaris

In order to profile the fourth deadliest predator of all time, we have to travel far; far back into Earth’s past; right back to the Cambrian era, some 500 million years into the past. Our world would be almost totally unrecognisable, the land would be bare rock similar to Mars, but already at this point the oceans teemed with life. For millions of years, the gears of evolution had turned rather slowly; the majority of creatures that existed up to this point were simple, soft bodied creatures that blindly drifted in the currents.

But at this time life on Earth began to evolve in a whole new direction, the first predators had arrived, and the biggest and deadliest was a strange invertebrate called Anomalocaris; it was the largest animal on the planet at the time, at around 6 and a half feet long. It had a flexible, segmented body, large eyes and a circular mouth built from razor sharp plates. It was quite unlike any animal alive today, and its unique features were unfortunately destined to disappear with it. Indeed the Cambrian produced many bizarre and exotic animal designs that would ultimately become evolutionary dead ends.

Anomalocaris probably lived in small shoals, cruising the tropical coastal waters in search of prey. During the Cambrian era, around 90 per cent of all hard shelled animals were arthropods (the group that today includes insects, spiders and crustaceans) so it doesn’t come as much of a surprise to learn that Anomalocaris itself was an arthropod, although its hard shell wasn’t quite as rigid as the smaller animals that it prey upon.

Anomalocaris possessed two large eyes that were mounted on stalks, meaning that it was one of the first animals on Earth to be able to track its prey by site. While, it was capable of eating anything, it seemed to favour the famous trilobites, of which there were many species around at the time. Trilobites though, weren’t exactly easy prey, as their hard shells gave them considerable protection. In order to overcome this Anomalocaris used its curled front appendages to grab and hold its prey; it would then flex it backwards and forwards continuously until the shell crack, giving it access to the soft meat inside.

On occasion this giant predator would use its sharp interlocking plates inside its circular mouth to take a bite out of a prey item. In fact, several trilobite fossils have been found with a wedge shaped bite mark in their shells. In addition to hunting, Anomalocaris also used its front appendages to rake the mud for soft bodied animals such as worms.

They swam by moving the flaps on the side of their body up and down in a wave like motion. In comparison to most other Cambrian animals it was rather manoeuvrable and capable of attaining a considerable speed or hovering while stationary. The evolution of Anomalocaris, arguably the world’s first super predator may have led to many other animals evolving hard shells to protect themselves from it.

Fossils of Anomalocaris have been found in Canada, China and Australia. Initially scientists were bemused as to what exactly the creature looked like and initially the fossils found were thought to belong to two different kinds of animals, and it wasn’t until the 1980’s that scientists realised that the fossils were actually a part of one large animal.

It’s now known that there were actually several species of Anomalocaris, and while most scientists agree that it was an arthropod, its mouth and side flaps are not found in any other type of animal. As a consequence it’s unclear how they are related to other arthropods.

Anomalocaris on Film

Staring into the Eyes of a Monster

A full frontal view of the famous 'Sue'- the most complete T-Rex skeleton found to date.
A full frontal view of the famous 'Sue'- the most complete T-Rex skeleton found to date. | Source

King of the Dinosaurs

One of the most instantly recognisable dinosaurs, Tyrannosaurus Rex.
One of the most instantly recognisable dinosaurs, Tyrannosaurus Rex. | Source

T-Rex Teeth

This picture shows a tooth from the lower jaw (above) and a tooth from the upper jaw (below) showcasing the extreme range in overall tooth size in an individual.
This picture shows a tooth from the lower jaw (above) and a tooth from the upper jaw (below) showcasing the extreme range in overall tooth size in an individual. | Source

3. Tyrannosaurus Rex

The most famous and influential of all dinosaurs, it was a massive bipedal creature with a powerful tail, a huge head and tiny arms. T-Rex, to give it its more affectionate name inhabited the dry open plains of Cretaceous North America, where it roamed widely in search of prey, mostly other large dinosaurs. It’s thought that it possessed an exceptional sense of smell, which it may have used to try to find a mate or possibly locate dead bodies from which it could scavenge.

T-Rex’s primary weapons were its huge mouth and serrated teeth. Its jaws alone could be up to 4 feet long with a gape up to 3 feet 3 wide. T-Rex’s curved and serrated teeth were often as long as a human hand and would be used to inflict a vice like grasp on the flanks of large dinosaurs, crushing bones, puncturing arteries and damaging major organs in the process, thus bringing death quickly to its prey.

Tyrannosaurus devoured its kill by tearing the flesh off its victim in strips, but its inability to chew meant that it had to swallow its food whole. It’s possible that Tyrannosaurus was capable of gulping down up to 154Ib’s of meat in one. Such a feeding strategy meant that T-Rex was always in danger of death through choking and indeed a fossil of a large theropod related to T-Rex shows that it met its end through choking on two bones that had become lodged in its throat.

One of the more intriguing and puzzling aspects of Tyrannosaurus was its two tiny, stubby, two fingered arms. What were they used for? They were too short to reach its mouth and far too weak to provide any means of defence or hunting. The best theory that scientists have devised is that they may have acted as a counterbalance to its gigantic head; or an alternate theory is they could have been used as part of a mating ritual. Some fossils do show tooth marks suggesting the T-Rex’s occasionally fought each other over territory.

The first Tyrannosaurus skeleton was discovered in Montana in 1902 by Barnum Brown, since then more than 20 skeletons have been unearthed in both Canada and the US. The most complete and thus the most famous is a specimen known as ‘Sue.’ Over the years, she became the subject of a long and bitter custody battle between its discoverer and the owner of the land she was found on. Eventually the matter was settled by virtue of ‘Sue’ being sold for over $7 million; nowadays she resides in the Chicago Field Museum.

T-Rex was just one of several related species that are collectively referred to as tyrannosaurids. All of them were predatory, theropod dinosaurs, but many were comparatively smaller than T-Rex who was more than 40 feet long and stood more than twice as high as a full grown man. According to the fossil record, they first evolved around 150 million years ago in the Jurassic era, but it wasn’t until the Late Cretaceous era (around 99 million years ago) that they experienced an explosion in diversity and spread themselves across the world. None of the tyrannosaurids managed to survive the mass extinction event that overwhelmed the Earth 65 million years ago. Tyrannosaurus was probably one of the last large dinosaurs to evolve on Earth.

For a long time, Tyrannosaurus was known as the largest meat eating dinosaur, and indeed animal of all time. But in recent years, it has lost its crown to the Giganotosaurus from South America, who amazingly preyed upon the largest land animals to ever exist, the huge sauropod, Argentinosaurus. However, despite this, T-Rex remains the most famous dinosaur, appearing as the main subject for countless books, films and TV programs. Its familiar, unmistakable shape makes it one of the icons of science, and is considered by many in the field as the most important fossil of all time.

An Awesome Scene From an Awesome Film

The Skull of Liopleurodon

This is the largest predatory skull ever known, more than three times bigger than tyrannosaurus.
This is the largest predatory skull ever known, more than three times bigger than tyrannosaurus. | Source

Clash of the Jurassic Titans

The biggest predator of all time harassing the biggest fish of all time Leedsicthys.
The biggest predator of all time harassing the biggest fish of all time Leedsicthys. | Source

Liopleurodon in Action

2. Liopleurodon

One of the most amazing things about the Age of the Dinosaurs was the fact that the mightiest predator alive at the time wasn’t even a dinosaur. Liopleurodon was a marine reptile and a colossal one at that, measuring up to 82 feet in body length. Despite its bulk, it was capable of gliding silently through the warm, tropical shallow seas of the Late Jurassic. It propelled itself by alternately flapping its gigantic flippers. Such a form of swimming was totally unique to Liopleurodon and its relatives known collectively as the plesiosaurs; no other animals before and since have used such a method of locomotion.

The skull of Liopleurodon was enormous, accounting for nearly half of its total body length. It attached itself to the body through a comparatively short neck. The long jaws housed rows of needle sharp teeth that were capable of killing any other marine animal at the time. Both the skull and jawbones were specially strengthened to help them withstand the powerful biting force of its jaws. Liopleurodon is the largest predator known, its jaws were three times larger than Tyrannosaurus, and thus it comes as no surprise to learn that it preyed predominantly on other giant marine reptiles and fish. It particularly favoured marine crocodiles, sharks, ichthyosaurs and other pliosaurs, but most impressively they preyed upon the largest fish to ever exist, the 90 foot giant known as Leedsichthys.

Most marine reptiles had to close their nostrils while swimming, through obviously not wanting to drown, but pliosaurs such as Liopleurodon had evolved a nose that allowed them to smell while holding their breath under water. With this heightened sense, Liopleurodon could have smelt its prey from a considerable distance, and similar to sharks follow the scent right up to its source. It had very good eyesight, and once it spotted a suitable prey item, it put on a quick burst of speed using its enormous flippers, before finally gobbling up its prey, swallowing them whole when possible.

Being a reptile meant that Liopleurodon still needed to breathe air, but even so it spent its entire life at sea, and was far too large and bulky to leave the water, even for short periods of time. As a result, it would have probably given birth to live young, and like modern whales may have sought out the relative safety of shallow water to do so. The juveniles would have probably remained in the safety of the shallows until they had grown to a sufficient size.

Liopleurodon fossils were initially uncovered in France in 1873, with the longest measuring 59 feet in length. But recently another large marine reptile has been found with deep tooth marks in its flanks, probably from a Liopleurodon that was estimated to be at least 82 feet long.

The pliosaurs were a group of animals that belonged to the highly successful plesiosaur order, and Liopleurodon was part of a group that is sometimes referred to as the ‘short-necked plesiosaurs’. Their origins lie in the late Triassic Period (227-206 million years ago); they quickly diversified into many different species and by the Early Jurassic were among the commonest large animals in the oceans. As well as the short necked variety, the plesiosaurs also contained among their ranks, the more famous long necked species that often serve as source for the Loch Ness Monster legend. There were many species of pliosaurs alive during the Jurassic, but by the Cretaceous Period, they had become rare, and by 80 million years ago. The plesiosaurs, as an order continued to thrive right up until the cataclysmic events that overtook almost all life on Earth 65 million years ago.

How Brain Triumphs Over Brawn

Evidence of Complex Behaviour

An elaborate carving known as the Venus of Dolni  Vestonice figurine- it dates from around 25,000 years ago.
An elaborate carving known as the Venus of Dolni Vestonice figurine- it dates from around 25,000 years ago. | Source
An image of a horse from the Lascaux Caves dating from around 17,000 years ago.
An image of a horse from the Lascaux Caves dating from around 17,000 years ago. | Source

The Turning Point

The adoption of agriculture meant that humans no longer had to rely on the availability of wild food. By producing their own food, human populations could now grow exponentially.
The adoption of agriculture meant that humans no longer had to rely on the availability of wild food. By producing their own food, human populations could now grow exponentially. | Source

1. Homo Sapiens

So here we are, the most deadly predator of all time, and it’s a very familiar animal, if you wish to see one, all you have to do is look in the mirror. We often refer to ourselves as human, but scientifically we’re known as Homo sapiens, which is a mixture of Greek and Latin, meaning ‘wise or knowing man’. We first evolved in Eastern Africa around 190,000 years ago, and for a long time that’s exactly where we stayed, indeed for much of our history there seemed to be precious little evidence that we were going to one day dominate the planet. But by 90,000 years ago things had begun to change, we left Africa initially in small numbers, but in just 50,000 years there were established human populations in Asia, Europe and the Far East, including Australia.

Its the Homo sapiens who initially colonised Europe though that attract the most attention, because of the extraordinary discoveries that elude to the fact that they possessed a highly complex culture and an artistic ability that still stuns us today. The first humans of Europe are often called Cro-Magnons, after the place in France where they were first found.

The Cro-Magnons shared the continent of Europe with another very famous human species, the Neanderthals. While these more ancient humans were specifically adapted to their environment, the Cro-Magnons’ ability to think abstractedly, solve complex problems meant that they were able to adapt to the Ice Age environment relatively quickly. They fashioned advance flint knives and spearheads, ropes and close fitting woven clothes. Using their extraordinary tool making skills, the Cro-Magnons were able to hunt more efficiently and make more of their food by processing it more effectively; they even learned how to store it for later use. The Cro-Magnons also supplemented their meat diet with edible plants, fruit and vegetables, meaning that they were probably weren’t as reliant on hunting as the Neanderthals.

The best insight into the burgeoning brainpower of our species comes from their magnificent cave art and the exquisite sculptures and carvings that they left behind. The most famous cave art sight in the world is at Lascaux in France, and the drawings there depict mostly large animals such as mammoths and rhinos, as well as abstract art such as coloured dots and handprints. It’s certain that some of these paintings had some sort of religious significance, and thus provide conclusive evidence that Cro-Magnon men were every bit as modern as us, both in terms of appearance and behaviour.

For most of their history, Homo sapiens shared the world with other humans, but by 28,000 years ago both the Neanderthals and the last surviving Homo erectus in Asia were gone, and finally around 12,000 years ago, Homo floresiensis, those tiny island dwelling humans in Indonesia had also vanished. The resourcefulness of Homo sapiens allowed them to survive the Ice Age, colonise more of the globe, and discover new ways of living together through the power of invention. The invention of agriculture in the Near East 11,000 years ago transformed our species and set us on the road towards the world we live in today, a world of constant technological change.

The extraordinary inventiveness of Homo sapiens has allowed them to effectively step outside the natural order, they produced their own food through farming that allowed populations to grow exponentially. This process has gained speed down the millennia, to the point where the human presence now stands at 7 billion. The seemingly overwhelming number of humans on the planet has put enormous pressure on Earth’s limited resources and many of its ecosystems, as a result its accurate to term us as the most deadly predator to ever evolve. Moreover our inventiveness allows us to produce weapons to kill anything from flies to whales and we even attempt to wipe out certain harmful bacteria and viruses by using various forms of medicine.

Which was the Deadliest?

In your opinion, which was the deadliest predator of all time?

See results

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    • profile image

      INeedToWorkOnMyCaps 3 months ago

      not surprised about the last one. just didn't see that coming. made me imagine how deadly the deadliest predator can be, and now I can't agree more...

    • profile image

      Rahul 3 months ago

      This list is incorrect. Spinosaurs was larger and more dangerous than T-Rex

    • profile image

      MAUSIZU 4 months ago

      Good article but i have to disagree in a few things. Liopleurodon is no were near 82 feet. That was first thought because of its giant head, but a giant head doesnt always mean a giant body. Andrewsarchus is another prehistoric animal which many believe to be huge because of the head. By all means Andrewsarchus could be really big, but a head isnt good enough to give the animals proportions. The bbc documentary were Liopleurodon showed up was very exciting but back then they didnt think about that pliosaurs normally had giant head. Also T-rex arms is stronger than most people think. I think you could replaced Liopleurodon with Megalodon Charcarocles or Livyatan Melvillei. Despite of that it was really entertaining to read.

      A little off topic news in the end is that there is evidence that the modern human goes as far back as 300 000 years.

    • profile image

      Nick 9 months ago

      Megalodon?

    • profile image

      Mark 9 months ago

      Other than us, I would say the large mosasaurs. Of the large predators, they were the least picky eaters. I would put it like this- A great white is to a megladon what a saltwater crocodile is to a mosasaur. Though both powerful and fierce, I would rather meet a great white diving than a saltwater crocodile, simply because the saltwater crocodile is a less picky eater.

      So IMO the large mosasaurs were probably the most dangerous predators if you were to meet one in its habitat.

    • profile image

      martin saposnekoo 12 months ago

      100 foot Megalodon

    • profile image

      Ted 16 months ago

      Liopleurodon 82 feet ? Check your facts and data right guys. It's been a long since the super-Liopleurodon myth has been debunked.

    • profile image

      Karakurt 20 months ago

      IMO:

      4. Carnotaurus

      4. Megalodon

      3. Mosasaurus/Liopleurodon

      2. T-Rex/Giganotosaurus

      1. Spinosaurus

    • profile image

      darren Pelli 2 years ago

      I would like to put in a vote for the Chimpanzee as one of the top predators for the most deadly. At 5'7" and 220 pounds that are raw power mixed with ingenious hunting strategy. That have some groups numbering over 180 individuals and by no means has any biologists been able to get near these dominant groups. They are like night and day compared to Jane Goodall's group of chimps. They have a very detailed social structure largely based on small loyal clicks vying to ascend socially. When they hunt the leader of the group gives his authority to the best hunter like a dictator allowing his best general to lead the troops. Their physical strength is off the charts and coupled with their brilliance they truly are nearly the deadliest animal to walk the Earth.

    • profile image

      Byron 2 years ago

      Interesting, apart from the fact that the Megalodon has been named the deadliest predator ever

    • ladyguitarpicker profile image

      stella vadakin 2 years ago from 3460NW 50 St Bell, Fl32619

      A very interesting Hub. These animals are very large and tend to be real fighters. A great Hub, Stella

    • profile image

      master land sea 2 years ago

      i like this but a few improves would be nice like basilosaurus,mosasaurus,Predator X, or even giant orthocones.

    • profile image

      WTF 3 years ago

      Wrong !!!

      Dude Liopleurodon is not 82 ft or smthing.. it was stated in the Walking With The Dinosaur BBC and it was a mistake.. they have mistakenly identified the Monster Of Aramberri as a Liopleurodon Ferox. Even MOA was 15m(lower estimate)-which means 49.5 ft..So This is incorrect ..

      And The Tyrannosaurs Rex Can be grown up to 50ft in length and 20ft in height.. although the famous Sue is 42 ft long and 13 ft tall to its hip..

      and Megalodon had a more powerful bite even than a T-rex..but it is not 5 times of T-rex's bite force.. T-rex bite was 12800 pounds while megalodon's is 41000 pounds ..clearly not 5 times but 3 times

    • JKenny profile image
      Author

      James Kenny 3 years ago from Birmingham, England

      Yes why not. I'll certainly read it anyway :)

    • Vin Chauhun profile image

      Vin Chauhun 3 years ago from Durban

      Yep. I am looking forward to the publishing of the Red Deer Cave people genome, it should make for some interesting reading.

      P.s

      Maybe my next hub should be on debunking the Out of Africa (OoA) theory...LOL

    • JKenny profile image
      Author

      James Kenny 3 years ago from Birmingham, England

      Well, that's what I like about our evolutionary story, there are always new mysteries to be unravelled. One of the things that fascinates me is that as little as 30,000 years ago, we still shared this world with as many as four other species of human.

    • Vin Chauhun profile image

      Vin Chauhun 3 years ago from Durban

      Highly unlikely humans evolved in Africa - there are too many inconsistencies in the that theory. Ex 1- the age of the haplotypes of the First Peoples of Australia cannot be explained. Some lineages go back beyond the accepted age of first fossils. Ex-2 the Red Deer Cave people look archaic but their frontal lobes look modern. These hominids have features from homo erectus/similar hominids, but some parts of their facial features look "modern"

      Ex3 No one has yet been able to explain why a percentage of Cro- Magnon and other human fossils in Europe (even Eurasia) have the typical neanderthal occipital bun.

      U should check out Rokus Blog- Its starting to look like humans may have actually migrated into Africa, then moved out again.

      There is such a wealth of info :)

    • JKenny profile image
      Author

      James Kenny 3 years ago from Birmingham, England

      Yes the Neanderthals certainly did, I'm probably testament to that ;). But in all seriousness, we did originally evolve in Africa, but then some of us left via the Middle East, and along the way those travellers encountered and bred with Neanderthals and possibly Homo erectus, thus ensuring that all non-African peoples, even Australian Aboriginals carry Neanderthal and other archaic DNA.

    • Vin Chauhun profile image

      Vin Chauhun 3 years ago from Durban

      ..and its extremely controversial to say that humans(homo sapiens) originated in Africa. The latest genetics show Neanderthals made an incredible genetic input to our current genome :)

    • JKenny profile image
      Author

      James Kenny 3 years ago from Birmingham, England

      Well if I'd done a top 10, then megalodon, would have definitely made the list. It was hard enough thinking of my top 5, apart from number one of course, that was easy.

    • profile image

      dhanush 3 years ago

      where is megaledon???????????????

    • profile image

      koocoo 3 years ago

      dunkleosteus terrelli is a lot stronger then the saber tooth tiger

    • profile image

      Abdul 4 years ago

      Liopleurodon was a mere 20-25 feet, not 82 feet as you stated. The Megalodon on the other hand grew 50+ feet and it had 5 times the biting force of a T-Rex

    • JKenny profile image
      Author

      James Kenny 4 years ago from Birmingham, England

      First, I only included animal predators. Second, how many species have been wiped out by a natural virus...probably none. How many species have been wiped out by humans...tens of thousands at least.

    • profile image

      Snaeem 4 years ago

      Hello! Viruses?

    • JKenny profile image
      Author

      James Kenny 4 years ago from Birmingham, England

      Ah, but we still have our brains, and as long as we have them, we'll always have technology. Thus, we'll always be the cruelest and the deadliest. I mean, even stone age hunters managed to eliminate over 80% of the Earth's megafauna, long before the advent of written history.

    • profile image

      hi 4 years ago

      Really? Us as the deadliest? Cruelest, yes I can see that. But take away technology and what do we have? Just out fists and feet. Plus, Liopleurodon ferox (The largest Liopleurodon) was only 21-23 feet max. Megalodon is the deadliest predator of all time, 58-60 feet long and weighing many tons.

    • JKenny profile image
      Author

      James Kenny 4 years ago from Birmingham, England

      Thanks very much Swinter. :)

    • Swinter12 profile image

      Swinter12 4 years ago from Earth

      Never heard of any, in exception for the T-Rex and of course, the Homo Sapiens. I was hoping we´d be number 1 and was glad we got nominated. Perhaps, if people start viewing themselves as predators, they´ll change their ways.

      Surviving dosen´t mean leading others to extinction!!!

      I really enjoyed all the details about the extinct and deadly creatures.

    • Hezekiah profile image

      Hezekiah 4 years ago from Japan

      Very interesting hub there.

    • JKenny profile image
      Author

      James Kenny 4 years ago from Birmingham, England

      Yes it was, it was quite hard to select the creatures on this list, apart from the one at number one of course.

    • profile image

      ncmnf 4 years ago

      the megalodon shark was one of the best predators

    • BigBlue54 profile image

      BigBlue54 4 years ago from Hull, East Yorkshire

      African hunting dogs do go under several names but I think my favourite if Painted Wolf. I once watched a TV programme about them and before they went hunting they would roll around in the dung of another animal. The programme said that nobody knew why. My thoughts were, so nobody knows why they are covering themselves in another scent before they go hunting. How many guesses do I get?

    • JKenny profile image
      Author

      James Kenny 4 years ago from Birmingham, England

      Thank you very much.

    • JKenny profile image
      Author

      James Kenny 4 years ago from Birmingham, England

      Very true, and don't forget African hunting dogs, which apparently are the most successful hunters on the planet, bar humans, with up to 90% of their hunts ending in a kill.

    • BigBlue54 profile image

      BigBlue54 4 years ago from Hull, East Yorkshire

      Pound for pound the leopard is more deadly then a lion. Another thing is that lions will scavenge other kills more then hyenas do. In fact hyenas are more likely to kill then scavenge whereas lions will scavenge more then kill. Scavenging includes taking kills of other animals like the hyena.

    • PaoloJpm profile image

      John Paolo B.Magdaluyo 4 years ago from Philippine

      your right. really interesting facts you have their.

    • JKenny profile image
      Author

      James Kenny 4 years ago from Birmingham, England

      Yes we often think of lions as deadly killers, which of course they are. But when you look back through the whole history of life, you realise that lions were comparative pussy cats. And of course, today there is one species walking the planet that is far more deadly than any pride of lions.

    • PaoloJpm profile image

      John Paolo B.Magdaluyo 4 years ago from Philippine

      I find it interesting. Cause I actually thought you were listing such as lions and etc. Then when I read it, it blows my mind! Great hub! I really think T-Rex always the killer cause from it size itself land where ruled by his teeths.

    • JKenny profile image
      Author

      James Kenny 4 years ago from Birmingham, England

      Thanks very much for popping by Jen, and welcome to Hubpages.

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      Jen Corrigan 4 years ago

      Really interesting hub! I especially liked learning about the Liopleurodon. However, my favorite prehistoric marine predator will forever be the plesiosaur.

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      BigBlue54 4 years ago from Hull, East Yorkshire

      So true. I have noticed on TV programmes presenter mentioning that like other hunters we are bifocal, which means we can focus in on our pry. No mention of the fact that is true use is to make sure when we jumped from one branch to another we did not miss and fall off. Those who could not focus would, of cause, fall out the tree and remove themselves from our future. Which goes to show that evaluation does have a sense of humour.

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      James Kenny 4 years ago from Birmingham, England

      Thanks for the interesting information BigBlue54, you've also got to factor in the ability to kill multiple animals in a short space of time, which is something only we, with our weapons can do. Whereas a lion has to operate within its own physical limits.

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      James Kenny 4 years ago from Birmingham, England

      I suppose it's surprising in the sense that we're not particularly ferocious physically. But our oversized brains make us the most dangerous creatures to have ever evolved. Thanks for popping by.

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      BigBlue54 4 years ago from Hull, East Yorkshire

      Great hub JKenny. I am pleased you included humans, something we often forget. Sometime ago a came across the statistics which showed a lion was successful on 60% of it hunts whereas a man with a high powered rifle will kill on 98% of his hunts.

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      Jane Katigbak 4 years ago from Philippines

      I was actually surprised by the #1 predator of all time. I was expecting something "weird" or "off". Good read I had.

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      James Kenny 4 years ago from Birmingham, England

      Thank you very much Pamdora and specializedparts. I really appreciate you taking the time to stop by.

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      specializedparts 4 years ago

      Really Cool Hub! It is obvious you know your stuff! I love the layout of your hub as well and all the extra content and pictures.

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      Pamdora 4 years ago

      I grew up reading anything that wasn't fiction, so you'd think I might have come across these five predators. However, either I missed the Liopleurodon or my brain demyelination wiped out the memory along with my spelling (I have to use my husband as a spell checking program).

      Homo sapiens certainly qualifies as deadly, all right, but also seems to be the dumbest prey animal around at times, too. :)

      Voted Up and More.

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      James Kenny 4 years ago from Birmingham, England

      Thank you very much Eileen.

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      Eileen Hughes 4 years ago from Northam Western Australia

      You have collected a lot of great information on these thanks for sharing

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      James Kenny 5 years ago from Birmingham, England

      Hi ignugent- yes it is sad in a way, but very very true. There simply hasn't been a predator like us before, and hopefully there never will be again- for the planets sake more than anything. Thanks for popping by.

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      ignugent17 5 years ago

      Thanks for this full of information hub. It is sad to know that the number 1 predator and the most deadly are the humans and yet it is true. Voted up and more for you Jkenny.

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      James Kenny 5 years ago from Birmingham, England

      Thanks cydro, if I had done a top 10 list, then megalodon would have certainly featured. It was such an awesome creature- shame they're extinct.

      I had to put humans first, simply because of our impact on the planet in the very short time we've been around.

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      Blake Atkinson 5 years ago from Kentucky

      Great idea for a hub. I was really hoping for a megalodon, but I really appreciate that you put humans at number one. That's something it doesn't hurt us to be reminded of.

      Also, nice job on the depth that you describe all of these animals.

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      Suhail Zubaid aka Clark Kent 5 years ago from Mississauga, ON

      Again, William Stolzenburg's book 'Rat Island' indicates that rats trapped on islands were / are probably the deadliest predators. At one point of time they were contributing one extinct bird species per day.

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      James Kenny 5 years ago from Birmingham, England

      Yep, it would be decent thing to do wouldn't. We should be allowed to solve our own problems, but as you say there is no sentiment in nature and it would be all too easy to take us out.

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      Cogerson 5 years ago from Virginia

      A very interesting hub. Humans are the number predator of all time......I just hope mother nature lets us stay around awhile longer, because she can take us all out very quickly.....voted up and interesting.

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      James Kenny 5 years ago from Birmingham, England

      Thanks Trees for me, I've lost count of the amount of times I've seen Jurassic Park and Walking with Dinosaurs. The predators of the Mesozoic were just so awesome, it almost seems a shame that the deadliest of all time was a weird looking naked ape with a large head.

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      Trees for me 5 years ago from www.treesforme.com

      Very interesting! Glad we don't have anything similar still around today but I must confess, I saw Jurassic Park in the theater 5 times. Gotta love that T-Rex!

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      James Kenny 5 years ago from Birmingham, England

      Thanks Sunshine, yep I don't know a human alive who isn't fascinated by dinosaurs and T-Rex especially. Glad you liked it :)

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      Linda Bilyeu 5 years ago from Orlando, FL

      I am a fan of T-Rex. Not that I'd ever want to meet one, but they truly fascinate me. Dinosaurs in general do. Amazing creatures. Well done hub!!

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      James Kenny 5 years ago from Birmingham, England

      Thanks for that Suhail, I've read a lot about the megafauna extinction, mostly books by Paul Martin and Tim Flannery, they are both strong advocates for humans killing off the megafauna. I've never heard of 'Rat Island' so thanks for that, I'll definitely check it out.

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      Suhail Zubaid aka Clark Kent 5 years ago from Mississauga, ON

      In order to see how ruthless we humans are as predators, read recently published book by William Stolzenburg - 'Rat Island'. This books tells us how our forefathers wiped the earth clear of millions of animals, especially those majestic flightless birds living on various islands. A scientist, I am unable to recall his name at the moment, has postulated that the extermination of mega-fauna of Americas is also attributable to Man as he entered the new world from Europe.

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      James Kenny 5 years ago from Birmingham, England

      I have heard a theory that the tiny arms were used to help raise it from the ground after sleeping, but I'm not sure whether they would have had the strength to lift it off the ground.

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      Vin Chauhun 5 years ago from Durban

      i do have one question about t-rex...Jkenny.....what function on earth could those tiny shriveled arms served...its not like it was going to catch something. I could try and literally try and throw myself into its arms but i would have fallen to the Jurassic grassy ground with a thud

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      James Kenny 5 years ago from Birmingham, England

      Thanks guys, yes there does seem to be a fundamental change occurring in our perception of T-Rex, bit of a shame really considering that in many eyes its the archetype nightmarish monster.

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      Vin Chauhun 5 years ago from Durban

      Quite correct Suhail......we have perfected the art of OVERKILL.....and we defied natures curbs our population...i wonder when the next species will come around smart enough to out hunt us

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      Suhail Zubaid aka Clark Kent 5 years ago from Mississauga, ON

      Well written hub with great examples and supporting videos. I agree that humans are both deadliest and most ruthless predators. No other animal treats its prey more unfairly than us. All non-human hunters / predators of today have a hunt success rate of no more than 30%. Humans have a 100% success rate. We can kill our prey anytime and every time after keeping them caged, fenced, or trapped in the most terrible conditions. Even our 'hunters' have a very high success rate of killing the prey due to availability of all the modern gadgets.

      On another note, I think of T. Rex more as an equivalent of today's Hyenas rather than pure hunters. Imho, they were opportunist carnivores, carrion eating and hunting as and when the situation desired.

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      Vin Chauhun 5 years ago from Durban

      JKenny......i'd give the lion the odds.....lions are extremely vicious...they major the disadvantage for the sabre is the lack of bite force.....lions have a much greater force...i'm not sure but i think ranks only slightly behind the hyena...then there is the sheer power of the these tawny kitties[if there are any Lions out there, reading this blogs, don't be offended by the term kitty, it's a term of endearment :) ]........

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      James Kenny 5 years ago from Birmingham, England

      Thanks very much Alicia, appreciate it.

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      James Kenny 5 years ago from Birmingham, England

      Thanks Vin, yes it is wise to say that our scientific name is now a misnomer. I also think that the sabre-tooth would outmatch a lion due to its sheer physical strength. Although a Siberian tiger might give it a decent contest.

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      James Kenny 5 years ago from Birmingham, England

      Thanks very much Sherry for your kind words, appreciate the share too, thank you.

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      James Kenny 5 years ago from Birmingham, England

      Thanks fpher48 hehehe...yes you're right, the only thing more dangerous than a man is a jealous woman :)

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      Linda Crampton 5 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      This is a fascinating hub! I love the videos - they are amazing. Thank you for all the wonderful details, James.

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      Vin Chauhun 5 years ago from Durban

      great hub JKenney...the sabre-kitty looked fearsome..but really couldn't do much ..the local lion in the Kruger Park ..would be more than a match...as for Homo sapiens...the words homo sapien...is oxymoronic...the species is more a parasite than an animal....and ain't wise.at all...:)

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      Sherry Hewins 5 years ago from Sierra Foothills, CA

      Wow JKenny, your hubs always blow me away with the sheer volume of information. I think an average human could have made 4 hubs out of this. Voted up, awesome and shared.

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      Paula 5 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      This is not only fascinating but extremely educational. Have not ever heard of any....with the exception of smilodan...which I recently learned of, vis Weman's hub. Of course, "dinosaurs," being of great interest to my grandsons, I have read many a story book on Tyrannosaurus Rex!

      This is an awesome hub, J Kennyand so well-written....easy to read.

      I did take the opportunity to vote my opinion on the deadliest predator of all time......I chose "other"......as in, "jealous woman." Do I really need to ELABORATE? UP +++

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      James Kenny 5 years ago from Birmingham, England

      Hehehe...yeah you go ahead Wesman, I should probably do some of that interlinking stuff myself. The short-faced bear now there was a scary customer, can't wait to see the hub. I'm actually going to write a series of hubs about the extinction of the megafauna on each continent, so that'll be a good interlinking opportunity.

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      Wesman Todd Shaw 5 years ago from Kaufman, Texas

      Oh I feel it belongs....it's me that doesn't seem to much fit in.

      Hey, of course you know I love these. I need to go through my stuff and yours and interlink them some...linking to good stuff is the way to go.

      I'm going to do one on the Short Faced Bears...what a nightmare creature that thing was!

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      James Kenny 5 years ago from Birmingham, England

      Cheers Wesman, yeah the anomalocaris, its pretty strange isn't it, you almost feel that it didn't belong here on Earth, that it was bought here from outer space :)

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      James Kenny 5 years ago from Birmingham, England

      Thanks Christopher, I'd forgotten about creatures like the mosquito, there's also viruses to consider too, especially things like smallpox and influenza. Thanks as always my friend.

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      Wesman Todd Shaw 5 years ago from Kaufman, Texas

      Gosh I sure like the way you describe things. I'd rather read your stuff than mine.

      I've never in my days heard of or seen images of that really strange looking sea creature you've got here! Thanks for the education! :)

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      Christopher Antony Meade 5 years ago from Gillingham Kent. United Kingdom

      Brilliant hub James. I nominated the Malaria Mosquito as the deadliest predator. It may only drink a tiny drop of blood but it kills more people and animals than any other creature.

      We can't be too far behind mind you.

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      James Kenny 5 years ago from Birmingham, England

      Indeed, appearances can be deceptive can't they? I would further argue that out of all of them, that we are the only truthfully cruel predator, as we often kill for the sheer pleasure of it. It seems a bit of come down from the likes of T-Rex and Liopleurodon doesn't it? Yep, I heard that about T-Rex too, but even so it would be an animal you'd want to avoid.

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      AnimalWrites 5 years ago from Planet Earth

      Funny how such a relatively puny creature as ourselves could turn out to be so deadly? Fascinating stuff JKenny, thought I've read quite a bit of stuff recently about T-Rex being a scavenger rather than a predator, but I'm not sure whether I would hang around long enough to test the theory?

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      James Kenny 5 years ago from Birmingham, England

      Thank you Poohgranma, really appreciate it.

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      James Kenny 5 years ago from Birmingham, England

      Thanks Nell, yes, it has to be one of the strangest creatures ever to evolve. The only way I'd heard of it is through the 'Walking with Monsters' series. Cheers Nell.

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      Poohgranma 5 years ago from On the edge

      A very well laid out article full of fascinating facts. Great job!

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      Nell Rose 5 years ago from England

      This was great, fantastic detail, and I discovered one that I had never heard of before, the Anomalocaris, what a strange looking creature! fantastic JK, voted up and shared, nell

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      James Kenny 5 years ago from Birmingham, England

      Thanks so much Debbie, yes it is fortunate that most of them are extinct, but of course as we all know the deadliest of all is still alive and kicking hehehe. Thanks :)

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      Deborah Brooks Langford 5 years ago from Brownsville,TX

      wow so interesting.. thank you for posting this.. I really enjoyed it.. I am glad they do not live today..a t least I hope .. lol

      Great hub

      Debbie