Okay. Let's start out with one from the last post. Hesperornis.
Stop for a moment, and enter the realm of imagination. Are we there? Imagining? I'll assume we are.
In front of you lies an ocean, spanning into the distance. Something gray, about four of five feet long, and kind of pointy on one end appears to be frolicking in the waves. I bet it's a dolphin. Oh happy day. I do love dolphins.
We zoom in using our spectacular imagino-goggles. It's not a dolphin.
It's not a dolphin at all.
(Image Source: Wikipedia)
Hesperornis is one of the animals which inspired this blog's existence in the first place. I was reading up, all innocent like, on prehistoric birds and suddenly I stumbled upon this. Hesperornis species got up to five feet in length. Their legs were oddly jointed and configured so that they couldn't stand upright -- scientists think they flopped around like the least cuddly seals on the planet when/if they ventured on to land. Their feet weren't webbed like a respectable bird* -- no they had these weird flat paddle toes. And to top it all off, there's this long, pointy, beak loaded down with vicious little bird teeth.
I'm not going to say that this should be the first extinct animal we clone, but, evil scientists, if you're reading, this thing has prospects. Sharks, piranha, even crocodiles -- so over done. But look at that long, serpentine neck, those pointy bird teeth, that face -- neither quite bird, or quite fish. Now imagine a pod of these augmented to follow your every command.
A few laser beams implanted in their eyes later and you're the king of the sea.
I'm just sayin'.
* Or Aquaman.