The world was a home to many fascinating and terrifying animals before human started intervening with their settlement and civilization. While some were tame and calm by nature the others were huge and horrifying. They were the ones who dominated the major part of the globe once upon a time but in today’s date they are just a part of history. Merciless hunting, industrialization and climatic changes are few of the prominent factors for their disappearance. Scroll further to know more about the list of extinct species.
Top Ten Extinct Species
Continue reading through the list of top ten extinct species to know many bolts from the blue facts.
1. Tasmanian Tiger
The largest known carnivorous marsupial of modern times, the Tasmanian tiger also known as Thylacine was a resident of Australia, Tasmania and New Guinea. It falls in the list of extinct animals as the last example of the species was lost in captivity, at Beaumaris Zoo, Hobart, in 1936. Though humans are blamed for the end of the dynasty, other factors such as disease and the introduction of dogs are also accounted. It resembled like a cross between a tiger and a dog as it had the face of a dog with black stripes at the back.
Quagga was a half horse and half zebra which were found in large numbers across Karoo, former Cape Province of South Africa. The quagga was ruthlessly hunted for meat, hides and to preserve feed for domesticated stock. As a result of which it disappeared completely from the earth during the nineteenth century. It differed from a zebra as it had stripes only on the head, neck, and front portion of its body. The only quagga to have been photographed alive was the mare at the Zoological Society of London’s Zoo in Regent’s Park in 1870.
3. Tyrannosaurus Rex
Believed to have lived throughout the present western North America, the Tyrannosaurus Rex was one of the largest land carnivores of all time, measuring up to 43.3 feet long, and 16.6 ft tall. Surviving almost 68.5 to 65.5 million years ago, it was the last dinosaurs to exist prior to the Cretaceous-Tertiary extinction event. The feeding habits, physiology and potential speed of Tyrannosaurus Rex are still a few subjects of debate.
Discovered by the Europeans in 1598, the Indian Ocean island, Mauritius was the sole home of this extinct species; Dodo. It was a flightless bird who was a close relative of the Nicobar Pigeon. It was extensively hunted by sailors, settlers and other inhabitants leading to its extinction just within a century of its discovery. The last dodo ended sometime in the late 17th century. A bulbous hooked beak, short, stubby legs and curly tail feathers completed the physical description of a dodo.
5. Steller’s Sea Cow
Belonging to the family of manatee and the dugong, the Steller’s Sea Cow was a dweller of the Arctic region of the North Pacific. Due to their slow swimming nature, it became an easy prey for the European hunter and was added to the list of extinct animals within twenty seven years of its sighting. It was the largest member of the order Sirenia that grew at least 8 to 9 meters (26 to 30 ft) in length as an adult.
6. Passenger Pigeon
The passenger pigeon or the wild pigeon is one of the recently extinct animals that had survived until early 20th century. An origin of North America, it was one of the most abundant birds in the world during the 19th century. The Passenger Pigeon was similar to but larger than the Mourning Dove with a slate blue head and rump, slate gray back and a wine red breast. It used to flock at the speed of 60 to 70 mph and at times even faster than that. Martha is thought to be the world’s last Passenger Pigeon which passed away on 1st September, 1914; at the Cincinnati Zoo.
7. Saber Toothed Tiger
The sabre-toothed tiger is one of the most well-known prehistoric animals that disappeared from the earth’s surface way back in 10,000 BC. A pair of large maxillary canine teeth, extending from the mouth even when it used to be closed, was a distinctive feature of the extinct species. Large mammals such as elephants, rhinos and other colossal herbivores of the era were its food source. Saber Toothed Tiger was a local to the grasslands and forests of North and South America.
8. Javan Tiger
Javan tiger used to roam in the Indonesian island of Java until the mid-1970s when it had become a part the list of extinct animals. Though the tiger subspecies was comparatively smaller than its Asian mainland relatives, it was larger in size than Bali tigers. Human intervention and agricultural encroachment has lead to the end of the species with its last specimen sighted in 1972. They usually had long and thin stripes, which were slightly more numerous than of the Sumatran tiger accompanied by long and narrow nose.
9. Great Auk
Being the largest among all the auks, the Great Auk made the North Atlantic its home. It used to be a huge large flightless bird that stood around 75 cm high and weighed about 5 kg when fully grown. It had short standby wings that helped the kind to swim underwater. It bred on rocky, isolated islands with easy access to the ocean with a plentiful food supply. The Great Auk was a significant part of many Native American cultures which coexisted with the bird, both as a food source and as an emblematic item.
10. Baiji White Dolphin
A freshwater dolphin found only in China’s Yangtze River, the Baiji White dolphin declined severely in decades as the nation developed and made heavy use of the river for fishing, transportation and hydroelectricity. It is one of the recently extinct animals with the last survival noted at the end of 20th century. Though a possible sight of the extinct animal was reported in 2007, its authenticity is yet to be confirmed.