Many of our favorite cute animals to fawn over online have a prehistoric relative that is less photogenic and often downright terrifying. Long before the squeal-inducing viral videos and Instagram feeds these cute animals followed an evolutionary path that wasn't so cute. In fact, many of these adorable animals evolved from terrifying monsters.
Keep scrolling if you're not afraid of your favorite cute animal's coma-causing cuteness being forever tainted by pictures of their cruel and vicious heritage.
Who would have thought the grand design of the vicious velociraptor, and eventually all predatory dinosaurs, would lead to virtually harmless ducks? That's certainly not what this terrible dino thought as it was soaring through its existence as one of the most sophisticated killing machines on the planet. When you narrow down the lineage of carnivorous, predatory dinosaurs, at the end of the line you get your modern bird. Now you know that somewhere inside every cute duckling you see at the park, there is a cold-blooded killer.
Gastornis was a giant carnivorous bird, however, it was also warm blooded and, luckily for other creatures, it couldn't fly. Because these dino-birds could not breed as fast as other mammals when the climate started to change during the Ice Age, they eventually died out and left only the smaller flightless avian creatures in their wake. Smaller creatures like totally adorable kiwis.
The T-Rex is probably the most famous and terrible dino of them all. Everyone who has ever seen Jurassic Park knows this very, very well. The king of the lizards. Now, we have the chicken. The fluffy little feather balls that walk around and make little "peep peeps" everywhere they go. Not exactly the same fear-enducing roar of the king of the dinosaurs.
The Andrewsarchus was a truly terrible monster. It was one and a half times the size of a grizzly bear, with a mouth that grew as long as three feet. This fine-tuned killer was probably one of the most powerful and deadly prehistoric predators, but its only living lineage are those of order Artiodactyla, which includes one of the most harmless herbivores on our planet today: the sheep.