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A List of 40+ Different Extinct Animals Across the World

We have been blessed with thousands of species of unique animals and birds all around us. They have been on our planet for millions of years, but sadly, some species have officially vanished forever. Extinction is a natural phenomenon, and scientists estimate we lose several species in a year due to natural as well as man-made factors.

In the past centuries, about 1,000 species have become extinct. The West Virginian woodland bison, Arizona’s Merriam’s Elk, the Rocky Mountain grasshopper, Passenger pigeon, and Puerto Rico’s Culebra parrot are all animals of the past now. The population of several animals has become endangered, while some are nearing extinction, allowing to changes and reduction in natural habitat, loss of forest cover, industrialization, hunting, and poaching. Let us go through the top 10 extinct animals that once walked the surface of our earth, but have now said their final goodbyes.

Extinct Animals

1. Dodo

The dodo was a flightless bird that was native to Mauritius, in the Indian Ocean. The life for the dodo came to an abrupt end in the 1600s, when European explorers landed on Mauritius, and the Dutch sailors ate the beast to extinction. The dodo was a large and heavy bird that had wings but was unable to swim or fly. The bird grew up to about three feet tall, with downy grey feathers and a white plume. Dodos had a pale yellow or green, curved beak that was their only defence.

Dodo

Image Source: Wikimedia

 2. Quagga

The Quagga is a mammal closely related to modern horses and zebras. It was a species that looked like a cross between a horse and a zebra. Its body had stripes on its head and neck that faded as they went down on the animal’s brown body. The Quagga inhabited the desert areas of South Africa until it was hunted to extinction in the 1870s. Ruthless hunting and planned extermination by colonists lead to the Quagga’s extinction. Sadly enough, the last captive Quagga died in Europe in the 1880s.

Also Read: Top 10 Animals Beginning With the Letter T

Quagga

Image Source: Wikimedia

3. African Black Rhino

The Western Black Rhino was the rarest of the black rhino subspecies. It was commonly found in several African countries, including Kenya, Rwanda, and Zambia. They were big and bulky but could run up to 55 km/hour and quickly change direction. They had a hooked upper lip that distinguished them from other rhinos. However, widespread sports hunting in the early 20th century resulted in a rapid decline of this rhino species. The loss of habitat due to industrial agriculture further resulted in their species becoming extinct.

African Black Rhino

Image Source: cuatrok77(Flickr)

4. Passenger Pigeon

The Passenger pigeon or the Wild pigeon is an extinct species of pigeon that was native to North America. It got its name due to the migratory habits of the species. They were bigger than normal pigeons and the male pigeons had a pinkish body and blue-grey head. The extinction of the passenger pigeon happened in just the last 50 years. Passenger pigeons were rapidly wiped out due to merciless hunting, deforestation and other factors.  From an astounding 3 to 5 billion population when the first Europeans arrived in America, it became zero-till 1914, when even the last known bird became dead.

Passenger Pigeon

Image Source: Wikipedia

5. The Great Auk

The Great Auk was a flightless bird that much resembled the modern-day penguin. It was a great swimmer, stored fat for warmth, nestled in dense colonies, and mated for life. It also had a heavy hooked beak. Beginning in the 16th century, Europeans hunted the Great Auk for down feathers, which were easy to catch since they could not fly. Once the species became rare, most of them were collected by museums and collectors for specimens.  This finally forced the bird to extinction in 1852.

The Great Auk

Image Source: Wikimedia

6. Wooly Mammoth

The Woolly Mammoth inhabited the arctic tundra regions of the northern hemisphere in the early Holocene period. These massive herbivores could reach 11 feet in height and weighed six tonnes, and resembled the African elephants. However, they had bodies covered in brown, black, and ginger fur. The Woolly Mammoth had long tusks for fighting. Hunting and climate change expedited their extinction at the end of the last glacial period. 

Wooly Mammoth

Image Source: Wikimedia

7. Irish Elk

From Ireland to Siberia, Irish Elk populated much of northern Europe at the end of the last glacial period. They had the largest antlers of any deer species, that reached 12 feet in width. These elks could grow up to seven feet tall and were heavy animals with 700kg weight. Irish Elks evolved around 400,000 years ago and died out 5,000 years ago, most probably due to extensive hunting by humans.

Irish Elk

Image Source: Dave Foord

8. Caspian Tiger

The Caspian Tiger resided just south of the Caspian Sea and in central Asia. These tigers were the biggest cats on the planet. They had legs much longer than other members of the tiger family. Human contacts conflicted with nature to bring about their extinction. Rapid hunting and loss of their habitat due to human settlement led to a drastic reduction in their numbers. The species of the Caspian tiger was officially declared extinct in the 1970s.

Caspian Tiger

Image Source: Wikimedia

9. Giant Moa

The Moa or the Dinornis, was an ostrich-like heavy bird that became extinct. It was native to New Zealand. The name “moa” comes from the Polynesian word for “fowl”. These flightless ducks from the Hawaiian Islands, known as Moa Nalo, grew to be as large as geese. They had a small head with small eyes, and a long neck and a hefty body, supported by thick legs. They had a broad flattened beak, and fed on fruit and twigs, and swallowed stones to grind up the food in the gizzard. They were fiercely hunted down by the Maori tribes of New Zealand for food, meat, and their bones when they became extinct by the 17th century.

Giant Moa

Image Source: Wikimedia

10. Golden Toad

The golden toad is an extinct species of true toads that were once abundant in a small, high-altitude region of Monteverde Cloud Forest, Costa Rica. These toads were of a brilliant burnt-yellow and spent most of their life underground. They emerged only for a few days at the end of the dry season to mate. Pollution, global warming, and chytrid skin infections led to the extinction of this species of the Golden toad. The last individual sighting was in 1989 and 2004, the toad was stated as extinct.

Golden Toad

Image Source: Wikimedia

These are the top 10 extinct animals that have become extinct over the last century. As of today, here are several species of unique animals that are nearing extinction. The tiny vaquita porpoise, which is less than 30 left in the world, will likely go extinct in the next few years. The Culebra Parrot, also known as the Puerto Rican parrot, has a current estimated wild population of 34-40 parrots, is also close to extinction. Now, we will talk about different extinct animals based on the regions in the world, we will first start with Africa and Réunion islands, We will list down the extinct animal on various continents, We will start with Africa,

List of extinct animals of Africa

Mammals

1. Archaeoindris

Archaeoindris is a giant lemur species and the largest known primate known to live in Madagascar. This is equivalent in the size of a male gorilla and belongs to the family of extinct lemurs known as “sloth lemurs”. The second-largest type of sloth lemur and it was first described by Herbert F in 1909 which is totally based on subfossil fragmentary jaws. Researchers have found only six bones from the lower. The unique part is that the remains have been seen only in one location Ampasambazimba in a subfossil site in central Madagascar.

Archaeoindris fontoynonti

Image Source: Wikipedia

2. Archaeolemur

Archaeolemur is also an extinct genus of lemurs that has two species namely Archaeolemur edwardsi and A. major. They are mostly seen in the areas of Madagascar through much of the Holocene epoch. It loves to spend much of its time on the ground and body weight is around 15 and 35 kg. The species disappeared from Madagascar around 1047–1280 CE.

Archaeolemur

Image Source: Wikimedia

3. Babakotia

Again, this is medium-sized lemur also known as strepsirrhine primate mostly seen in the Madagascar belongs to the family of Palaeopropithecidae which s now as the the sloth lemurs. The species loves to eat leafs, however, it also eats fruits and seeds. The name of the species derives from the Malagasy common name for the Indri, babakoto which is a close relative of Babakotia.

Babakotia

Image Source: Wikimedia

4. Canariomys

Canariomys is extinct species of rodents that was one seen on the islands of Tenerife and Gran Canaria, part of the Canary Islands, Spain.It can reach upto wight of 1 kg (2.2 lb). The species is herbovorous and the diet os based on plant materials, probably soft vegetables such as roots, ferns, and berries, but not grass.

Image Source: Wikimedia

5. Giant fossa

Giant fossa also is known as Cryptoprocta spelea, The species is closely related to the mongooses and includes all Malagasy carnivorans. It was first discovered in 1902 and belongs to the family Eupleridae that too comes from mongooses. The species is known from the subfossil bones seen in northern, western, southern, and central Madagascar.

Giant Foosa

Image Source: Wikimedia

Birds

1. Alaotra grebe

Alaotra Grebe also known as Delacour’s little grebe or rusty grebe is an extinct bird species mostly seen in the Lake Alaotra and its surrounding lakes in Madagascar. The species is about 25 cm (9.8 in) long, however, flying of long distances is restricted because of small wings. The decline of the species was started in 20th century primarily because of habitat destruction.

Alaotra grebe

Image Source: Wikimedia

2. Ascension crake

Ascension crake is a flightless bird that was seen on the Ascension Island in the South Atlantic Ocean.It was declared extinct in the year 1994 by Groombridge. The bird species belongs to the family Rallidae and it is pandemic to Ascension Island. There are multiple sites where subfossil bones of the bird have been found in deposits at the base of vertical fumaroles.

Ascension_crake

Image Source: Wikimedia

3. Broad-billed parrot

Broad-billed parrot also known as raven parrot is a exticnt parrot species belongs to the family of Psittaculidae. It was seen on the Mascarene island of Mauritius in the Indian Ocean east of Madagascar. There were multiple reasons for the decline of the species, firstly, its poor flying ability that makes them easy prey for sailors who visited Mauritius and thier nests are easily vulnerable to the introduced crab-eating macaques and rats.

Broad-billed parrot

Image Source: Wikimedia

4. Canary Islands oystercatcher

Canary Islands oystercatcher also knew as the Canarian Oystercatcher, or Canarian black Oystercatcher is a shorebird which is mostly seen in the Fuerteventura, Lanzarote, and their offshore islets such as Islote de Lobos and the Chinijo Archipelago in the Canary Islands, Spain. The bird species is now considered to be extinct.

Canary Islands oystercatcher

Image Source: Wikimedia

5. Delalande’s coua

Delalande’s coua also known as the the snail-eating coua or Delalande’s coucal is an extinct species of non-parasitic cuckoo from Madagascar. The bird species was mostly seen in the area of Fito and Maroantsetra as well as near Toamasina (mostly coastal areas). Till now there are 14 specimens that exist nowadays, howvever, all are taken between 1827 and 1834 by the surgeon and naturalist Chevalier Joseph Alphonse Bernier.

Image Source: Wikimedia

Reptiles

1. Voay robustus

Voay robustus is an extinct species of crocodile from Madagascar and it includes only one species of crocodile that is V. robustus. There were subfossil for this speciesincluding complete skulls as well as vertebrae in Ambolisatra and Antsirabe. The name of the species comes from the Malagasy word for crocodile.

Voay robustus

Image Source: Wikimedia

2. Cape Verde giant skink

Cape Verde giant skink is also known as he Cape Verde giant skink, Bibron’s skink, lagarto, or Cocteau’s skink is a species of lizard that was seen in the islets of Branco and Raso in the Cape Verde islands of the Atlantic Ocean. The primary cause of the extinction is human-caused habitat destruction and none of them have been doscovered since the early 20th century.

Cape Verde giant skink

Image Source: Wikimedia

3. Domed Rodrigues giant tortoise

Domed Rodrigues giant tortoise is the extinct species of giant tortoise in the family Testudinidae. It is mostly seen on Rodrigues and belived to have extinct on 1800 as a result of human exploitation.

Domed Rodrigues giant tortoise

Image Source: Wikimedia

4. Reunion giant tortoise

Réunion giant tortoise is the extinct species of tortoise the belongs to the family Testudinidae, The species was seen in the areas of Réunion Island in the Indian Ocean. There were multiple species in the 17th and early 18th centuries. The primary reason for the extinction was they were killed in large numbers by European sailors, and finally became extinct in the 1840s.

Reunion giant tortoise

Image Source: Wikimedia

5. Rodrigues day gecko

Rodrigues day gecko is an extinct species of day gecko, a lizard belongs the family of Gekkonidae. It is seen in the areas of Rodrigues islands that were typically inhabited forests and dwelt in trees. It loves to feed on insects and nectar.

Rodrigues day gecko

Image Source: Wikimedia

Amphibians

1. Du Toit’s torrent frog

Du Toit’s torrent frog is a extinct frog species which is also known as the Mt. Elgon torrent frog and the Kenya rocky river frog belongs to teh family the Petropedetidae and mostly seen in the Mount Elgon in Kenya. The species was first seen by the Cornelius Albertus du Toit in the year 1934, He is a member of Cape Town University, howvever, the species was last seen in the year 1962.

2. Osgood’s Ethiopian toad

Osgood’s Ethiopian toad also known as Spinophrynoides Osgood is an extinct species of toad that belongs to the family Bufonidae and was seen in the mountains of south-central Ethiopia. It was named after American biologist Wilfred Hudson Osgood who collected the original specimen in 1926–27.

3. Conraua derooi

Conraua derooi is an extinct species of frog that belongs to the family Conrauidae. It is mostly seen in the areas of Togo and Ghana. Commonly known as Togo slippery frog, before going extinct, few species was seen in the year 2005–2007.

Fishes

1. Aplocheilichthys sp. nov. ‘Naivasha’

Aplocheilichthys sp. nov. ‘Naivasha’ is an extinct species of freshwater species that belongs to the family Poeciliidae. It was seen in the rivers of Kenya and later become extinct.

2. Labeobarbus microbarbis

Labeobarbus microbarbis is an extinct species of cyprinid fish and mostly seen in the Lake Luhondo in Rwanda. The fish was not recorded since alien fish species of Tilapia and Haplochromis.

3. Pantanodon madagascariensis

Pantanodon madagascariensis is an extinct species of fish that belongs to the family Poeciliidae. It is mostly seen in eastern Madagascar and its natural habitats were rivers and swamps. It was extinct due to habitat loss.

4. Ptychochromis onilahy

Ptychochromis only is a fish species that was become extinct by the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature), however, Onilahy River system is large, so there might be a possibility of remaining populations in the remote areas of the river.

5. Salmo pallaryi

Salmo pallaryi is an extinct species of salmonid fish that was seen only in single lake in the Atlas mountains of northern Morocco.The fish species was extinct in the year 1930s, priarily because of introduction of common carp in the lake.

List of extinct animals of Reunion

In this list we will discuss all animals that have become extinct on the island of Réunion, It is one of the 18 régions of France with much the same status as those situated on the European mainland. There are around 10 animal species that have become an extinct island.

Mammals

1. Small Mauritian flying fox

Small Mauritian flying fox also is known as the dark flying fox is an extinct species of megabat. It is mostly seen in the island of Réunion and Mauritius in the Mascarene Islands of the Indian Ocean. The species become extinct because of forest clearance and hunting. It becomes extinct in the 19th century.

Birds

1. Reunion sheldgoose

Reunion sheldgoose also known as Kervazo’s Egyptian goose is an extinct species of goose from Réunion. The species is a close re;ative of the Egyptian goose and was about the same size. It was last seen in the year 1674.

2. Reunion night heron

Reunion night heron is an extinct species of Heron mostly seen in the Mascarene island of Reunion. The subfossil bones of the bird species were recovered in the late 20th century.

3. Reunion ibis

Réunion ibis is an extinct species of ibis that was endemic to the volcanic island of Réunion in the Indian Ocean. The subfossil was found in 1974 and was first scientifically described in 1987. The closest relative of the bird species is Malagasy sacred ibis, the African sacred ibis, and the straw-necked ibis.

4. Reunion kestrel

Reunion kestrel is an extinct bird species that belongs to the falcon family. It is seen in the Mascarene island of Réunion and also a part of the Western Indian Ocean radiation of kestrels. The subfossil of the bird species was found in the year 1674.

5. Reunion rail

Reunion rail is an extinct bird species also known as Dubois’ wood-rail, which was seen in the Mascarene island of Réunion. The subfossil was seen in the 1996 in the Caverne de la Tortue on Réunion and scientifically described in 1999. There is a possibility that it became extinct in the late 17th century.

6. Reunion swamphen

Reunion swamphen also known as the Réunion gallinule or oiseau bleu is an extinct species of rail from Réunion, Mascarenes that were came out from the reports of travellers. The last description of the bird species was in the testimony of Père Brown’ in the year 1724.

7. Reunion pink pigeon

Reunion pink pigeon is an extinct species of pigeon that was native to the Mascarene island of Réunion. The species was described by Dubois in 1674. There is very little has to be said about his extinction and the last report of native pigeons were by Père Bernardin in 1687 and by Guillaume Houssaye in 1689.

8. Réunion parakeet

Echo parakeet is a parrot species endemic to the Mascarene Islands of Mauritius and formerly Reunion. The only living parrot species is Echo parakeet rest all are extinct now. Réunion parakeet which is now extinct but along with the living echo parakeet is known as the Mauritius parakeet.

9. Mascarene parrot

Mascarene parrot also known as mascarin is an extinct species of parrot which was endemic to the endemic to the Mascarene island of Réunion in the western Indian Ocean. It is 35 cm long known to have a large red bill and long, rounded tail feathers.

10. Reunion owl

Réunion owl is a small owl which was seen in the Mascarene island of Réunion but became exticnt before it can be described. It is also known through its subfossils and belongs to the group Mascarenotus. It looks similar to the Mauritius owl and the Rodrigues owl.

11. Hoopoe starling

Hoopoe starling is also known as the Réunion starling or Bourbon crested starling mostly seen on the on the Mascarene island of Réunion and became extinct in the 1850s. The bird was first mentione in the 17th century and was long thought to be related to the hoopoe from where it derived its name.

Reptiles

1. Mauritian giant skink

Mauritian giant skink or Leiolopisma mauritiana is the largest known extinct species of skink. It was initially seen in Mauritius but become extinct around 1600 probably because of the introduced predators.

2. Reunion giant tortoise

Réunion giant tortoise is the extinct species of giant tortoise belongs to the family Testudinidae. It was native to the Réunion Island in the Indian Ocean. The count of the species was good in the 17th and early 18th centuries, howvevwer, they wrere killed by the European sailors, and finally became extinct in the 1840s.

We will increase the listing by covering different other in the world.

Written by Mahima Shah

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