12 Amazing Extinct Animals

September 23, 2010 at 3:57 pm 2 comments

All of the animals featured on this list have gone extinct in the last 7,000 years and with the exception of a few, mankind is to blame for their extinction. unfortunately these are just a small handful out of the many species that have been lost. Hopefully this will serve as a reminder to some how important wildlife conservation and preservation of the environment is.

1. Quagga

The quagga is probably Africa’s most famous extinct animal, and it is a subspecies of the plains zebra we see today. They were once found in great numbers in South Africa,however not long after their discovery over hunting caused their numbers to plummet. The last wild quagga is believed to have been shot in the late 1870s, and the last one in captivity died on August 12 1883 at the Artis Magistra zoo in Amsterdam.

2.Thylacine the Tasmanian Tiger

Thylacine,better known as the Tasmanian Tiger, was the largest known carnivorous marsupial of modern times. Native to Australia and New Guinea, the Tasmanian Tiger was driven to extinction by many factors the greatest of which was intensive hunting encouraged by bounties. Other contributory factors included disease, the introduction of dogs, and human encroachment on their habitat. The last known Tasmanian Tiger died in captivity inn 1936.

The last Tasmanian tiger (thylacine), a female about 12 years old, which  died in 1936.

3. The Irish Deer

The Irish deer, or giant deer, was the largest species of deer that ever lived. Found in Eurasia from Ireland all the way to Lake Baikal, it was 7 feet tall at the shoulders. They had the largest antlers of any deer having the maximum width of 12 feet from tip to tip, capable of weighing up to 90 pounds! Discussion of the cause for their extinction has primarily been attributed to their antlers, many believe that their antler size restricted their movement in the forests they lived in. Others consider the possibility that it was hunted to extinction by man. Whatever the case the species died out approximately 7,700 years ago.

4. Steller’s Sea Cow

The steller sea cow was named after the man who discovered it, Georg Steller. It grew up to 25 feet in length and was capable of weighing up to three tons, much larger than the manatee or dugong. The species was widespread among the North Pacific Coast, living in a range that stretched as far north as the Bering sea, and as far south as Japan and California The arrival of humans into the area is believed to have caused their extinction. there are sporadic reports of sea cow like creatures being seen in the area,however no sighting has ever been confirmed. It is believed that the last steller sea cow died in 1768.

5. The Dodo

The dodo was a flightless bird found in the Indian Ocean on the Island of Mauritius, standing about three feet tall it was a relative of the modern day pigeon dove. The dodo lived on fruit and built their nests on the ground. Humans drove this species to extinction sometime in the 17th century. The dodo is probably the best known extinct species and their extinction has given way to some commonly used phrases such as: “dead as a dodo” meaning undoubtedly and unquestionably dead, and “to go the way of the dodo” meaning to become extinct or obsolete, to fall out of common usage or practice, or to become a thing of the past

6. The Caspian Tiger

The caspian tiger, also known as the persian tiger was the westernmost species of tiger. Out of all the subspecies of tigers the persian tiger was the third largest. This subspecies of tiger was found in many countries including Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Turkey, Mongolia, Kazakhstan, Caucasus, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan. Poaching is usually attributed to causing its extinction, the last known caspian tiger died in the 1970’s.

7. Auroch

The auroch,or urus, was a large species of cattle that was found in Poland,Lithuania,Moldavia,Transylvania,and East Prussia. After they were discovered they were hunted by royal families and nobility for sport which decreased their numbers dramatically, by the time the hunting was stopped there were only 38 aurochs left. The last recorded auroch died in 1627.

8.Giant Auk

The giant auk, also referred to as the great auk or garefowl,was the only species of the genus Pinguinus to survive to modern times. The giant auk stood 30-34 inches high, and was found in great numbers on the islands off the east coast of Canada,Greenland,Iceland,Norway,Ireland, and Great Britain. This species was hunted by man into extinction, becoming officially extinct in 1844.

9. The Cave Lion

The cave lion,also known as the European or Eurasian Cave Lion, was the largest known subspecies of lion to ever exist. A male’s body could reach a length of sex feet (not including it’s tail), they were about 5-10% bigger than the modern day lions. The cave lion is believed to have gone extinct 10,000 years ago during the Wurm glaciation, although there are indications that the species may have survived until about 2,000 years ago in the Balkans.

10. The Bubal Hartebeest

The bubal hartebeest was a species of antelope that once lived in Algeria,Egypt,Libya,and Morocco,and Tunisia, and possibly in the Middle East. They stood four feet tall at the shoulder and had a pair of lyre shaped horns. Hunting in the 19th century dramatically decreased its numbers, sealing its fate. The last known bubal hartebeest was a female who died in the Jardin des Plantes in Paris, in 1923.


  • The name hartebeest is a dutch word that literally means deer.
  • The Egyptians domesticated the bubal hartebeest, and it may have been used as a sacrificial animal


11. The Golden Toad

The golden toad was discovered in 1966 by Herpetologist Jay Savage, the toad was native to the tropical cloud forests that surround Monteverde, Costa Rica. The golden toad is best known for its namesake, its brilliant golden orange color. The extinction of this species is largely blamed on global warming and climate change, the last golden toad was seen in 1989. However, experts are not entirely convinced it is extinct, some species, particularly amphibians will go unseen for 20-100 years, sometimes longer before they are seen again.

Golden Toad

12. Baiji River Dolphin

The Baiji River Dolphin is one of the more recent species to go extinct, the population decreased dramatically in recent decades as China industrialized making heavy use of their rivers for fishing,transportation and hydroelectricity. Industrial and Residential waste flowed into the rivers poisoning the water, noise pollution caused the nearly blind animal to collide with ship propellers, and most deaths were attributed to entanglement in fishing gear. Only a few hundred were left in the 1970’s which dropped to 400 in the 1980’s and by 1997 there were only 13 left. A full fledged search was conducted, and the Baiji River Dolphin was declared extinct in late 2006 when the expedition searched their entire range but failed to record a single individual after their extensive search.



Entry filed under: Animals, Conservation, Lists, Wildlife Conservation. Tags: , , , , , , .

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2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. alex  |  February 20, 2011 at 4:07 pm


  • 2. Anonymous  |  May 11, 2012 at 11:06 am



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