Prehistoric Animals Still Alive in the Philippines

The Philippines is a home for living fossils. These are eight prehistoric animals still thriving in the country today.


Glypheoidea, or Jurassic shrimps, are probable ancestors of crustaceans. In 1908, they were rediscovered off the coast of Manila Bay after initially being labeled extinct 50 million years ago.


Horseshoe Crab

Horseshoe crabs are not true crabs! They are closely related to arachnids. They actually predate dinosaurs because they have existed since the Ordovician period. There are four extant species, with three found in the country.



Crinoids are members of the echinoderm family. These prehistoric animals are cousins to starfish, sea urchins, and sea cucumbers. Their remarkable recovery during the Mesozoic Era ensured their continued flourishing in today’s oceans.



Chevrotains, also known as ruminants, possess four-chambered stomachs. Their distinctive appearance resembles a blend of deer, mice, hogs, and rabbits.



Mudskippers are amphibious fish-like vertebrates that walk on mud using fins and can climb trees. Despite having gills, they don’t use them for breathing. Instead, they rely on their skin.



Lampreys have been on our planet for 360 million years, and they likely connect the evolution of invertebrates and vertebrates. They have a cartilage notochord, resembling eels but being distinct from them.


Vampire Squid

Even though they resemble squid and octopus, these prehistoric animals are classified in another group and are entirely harmless. They inhabit deep waters at depths of 3000 meters, where oxygen levels are minimal and light cannot reach them.


Crocodiles and Alligators

Of course! Crocodilians are ancient creatures that coexisted with dinosaurs. They have maintained a consistent appearance since being the dominant terrestrial vertebrates of the Mesozoic Era and have survived mass extinctions, including the impact of a giant asteroid.

READ: Are Philippine Spiders Harmless?

These prehistoric animals found in the Philippines highlight the ongoing coexistence of ancient species with the modern world. Thus emphasizing the need for conservation efforts to ensure they still exist for the next generation.


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