Magnificent Giants from the Past

Trilobites dozens of centimetres long; dragonflies with 30cm wingspans; marine reptiles whose skull alone measures between 1m and 1.3m, as you can see for yourself in the Gallery of Evolution, dinosaurs are far from being the only giant animals in the history of the Earth.

Dyatrima and other species of giant flightless birds appeared after the K-T extinction (at the boundary between the Cretaceous and the Tertiary), occupying ecological niches left empty by the now-extinct dinosaurs. Size: approximately 2 m tall

In Dorudon atrox, one of the intermediary species between modern whales and their terrestrial ancestors, the hind legs have already shrunk considerably (while they are still very visible on Rhodocetus, another species on display in the Gallery of Evolution). Size: about 5 m long

Placoderms such as Dunkleosteus marsaisi were the first jawed fish. Their powerful jaws didn’t have teeth, but sharp, bony plates. The front of their body was covered with an armour of bony plates. Placoderms died out at the end of the Devonian period, leaving no descendents. Actual size of the skull: about 110 cm long, 60 cm high, and 60 cm wide