10 ancient brutes your pet might be related to.


Today is Charles Darwin’s 207 th birthday! Darwin, who famously wrote “On the Origin of Species, ” the book that introduced much of the world to evolution and the hypothesi of natural selection, didn’t just be talking about animals. He also kept quite a few of them as pets, including several puppies, a tortoise( kind of ), and pigeons.

Just like Darwin, Mother Nature shares her home with some interesting animal companions. And if you squint, you can see the similarity they have to more familiar animal faces.

So in celebration of Darwin’s birthday and his pets, here are 10 cool animals that don’t appear precisely like your domesticated Fluffys, Pollys, and Rexes but just might be related to them.

1. Your fluffy home cat may be related to the smilodon.

Image from Sergio De la Rosa Martnez/ Wikimedia Commons.

Smilodon! One of the fabled saber-tooth cats. They lived up until about 10, 000 years ago in North and South America.

2. And your dog has some household to match dire wolves.

Image from Sergio De la Rosa Martnez/ Wikimedia Commons.

Yeah, George R. R. Martin didn’t merely make up House Stark’s emblematic animal out of whole cloth. Like the smilodon above, these guys roamed up until about 10,000 years ago. While superficially similar to modern wolves, your average dire wolf would have weighed about 25% more.

3. But it’s Lamb Chop’s cousin you have to really watch out for.


What do you get if you cross a sheep with a wolf? This guy! He’s an andrewsarchus, and though he might appear more like some kind of prehistoric hyaena, proof indicates he belongs in the same order as goats, sheep, and deer.

4. Babe’s cousins are no slouch either.


And people think warthogs are ugly! These distant relatives of swine, known as entelodonts, lived about 33 million years ago.

5. Guess your brightly colored, talkative parrot is a handful? Try sharing your home with Haast’s eagle.

This featured animal also has the distinction of being the only thing on the list to have lived in modern times up until the year 1400. The species lived in New Zealand, where it preyed on the giant, flightless birds known as moa. They may even be the giant man-eating birds of Maori legend!

6. The creature in this illustration is related to today’s ponies. Truly, I swear. I’m not making it up.

Image from Jay Matternes/ Wikimedia Commons.

Though they might looking more like a gorilla( or Joe Camel) than Black Beauty, these are in fact distant relatives of modern ponies known as chalicotheres. They succumbed out about 3.5 million years ago.

7. This massive titanoboa simply wants to give you a hug.


Megalodon is not just the superstar of bad science fiction movies! The megalodon truly did munch its style through the ocean from about 16 million to about 3 million years ago. If your goldfish could LARP, it’d likely go as one of these toothy giants.

9. Even turtles have some impressive relatives in their family trees.


Finally, I’m so sorry, but I have to include at least one huge glitch on this list. Appear away now if you hate creepy crawly critters.

10. This is a pulmonoscorpius.

Some people like to keep scorpions as pets, but even they would probably think twice before adopting pulmonoscorpius.

The thing was more than two feet long! Luckily, of all the beasts on this list, we’re the furthest away from the time that spawned this massive glitch the species died out over 300 million years ago. Thank goodness.

It might be hard to imagine trying to keep any of these beasts as a pet. But, Fluffy and Rex aren’t the only animals with weird cousins.

After all, it’s not too long ago that we looked like this ourselves 😛 TAGEND

A reconstruction of homo habilis. Image from lilyundfreya/ Wikimedia Commons.

Everything on Earth is, ultimately, related to each other. That’s one of the greatest ideas that Charles Darwin handed down to us. Humen, animals, even our pets. We’re all one big, weird sometimes unbelievably weird family.

And if homo habilis up there is what we looked like 2 million years ago, what are we going to look like 2 million years in the future? Maybe we’ll out-weird them all .

Read more: www.upworthy.com

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