Snapping turtles as we know them first walked the earth some 40 million years ago, but they have been virtually unchanged over the past 215 million years of their evolution, according to Tortoise Trust. Although not among the most endangered tortoises and turtles according to the Turtle Conservation Coalition, the snapping turtle is listed as threatened.
Living Fossil The earliest horseshoe crabs were found 450 million years ago as fossils in strata. Many think of them as crabs and crustaceans when in fact they are more related to spiders and scorpions. Under their enormous shell, their bodies also look more like those of spiders.
The Hula painted frog was last seen in Israel the 1950s - until it was found again in 2011 by a park ranger. Tests have revealed that the frog belongs to a group of amphibians that died out 15,000 years ago.
Papuan Forest Dragon ~~~ Living among the trees of Papua New Guinea, forest dragons -- like Hypsilurus dilophus, pictured here -- are sit-and-wait predators. Scanning for insects and small invertebrates, they remain still until the time to strike is perfect. These lizards, distantly related to dinosaurs, are part of Papuan forest fauna, which preserves fragments of Sahul, the continent that existed before New Guinea and Australia became two separate islands. Because they were once…
Platypus. Native to eastern Australia, the animal is the only surviving example of its family, Ornithorhynchidae. This group of animals is believed to have split from mammals some 166 million years ago.
Anami Rabbit - "Often called a living fossil, the Amami rabbit is a living remnant of ancient rabbits that once lived on the Asian mainland, where they died out, remaining only on the two Japanese small islands where they survive today"
The Unlikely Comeback of New Zealand's Weirdest 'Living Fossil'