There could be multiple causes for extinction of any kind of animal species on earth. It could be climate change, lack of food, lack of space to live or any major disaster like getting hit by an asteroid. In this list we are talking about the most amazing animal species that are known to have existed but got extinct later. We are obviously excluding dinosaurs because there are so many different species within dinosaurs that we need another list to be made only for them. Dig into the most amazing extinct animal species:
10. Great Auk
The great Auk was a flightless bird that became extinct in the mid of 19th century. A little ice age reduced their population drastically, later humans started to eliminate them for food and other goods that became major cause for their extinction. It looks pretty similar to today’s penguins but in fact they were the first birds to be called penguins. The full grown great auks were 75 to 85 cm tall and weight around 5kg. Just like their similar looking relatives they were agile in water and clumsy on land.
9. European Cave Lion
There is lion in their name but on comparison of their skulls it is found that they were more closely related to the tigers. They lived from 370,000 to 10,000 years ago during the Pleistocene epoch and are now counted among the extinct animal species of Earth. They were much bigger than the today’s African lions with a maximum head and body length of 2.4 meters. It is found that they were as huge as today bears and perhaps they could also kill a full size bears with little effort. Their un-parallel strength and solid physique makes them on of the most amazing extinct animals.
8. Ground Sloth
They were the unique beasts that thrived through the ice age. Ground Sloth has been extinct on the mainland of north and South America for 10,000 years or more. The cause of their extinction is often linked to humans that hunted them for food but recent studies found that climate change had rather major impact on the extinction of these beasts. They were massive in size and too big to be killed by the humans of the time using their basic weapons and tools.
7. Elephant Bird
Elephant Birds were huge and flightless birds that once lived in the island of Madagascar but today, its among the extinct animal species list. In appearance they look quite similar to today’s ostrich but surprisingly their closest living relatives are kiwis. They probably got extinct around 17th or 18th century, reason of extinction is unknown but human activities are major suspect. Evidence of hunting by humans are found and recent archaeological found remains of eggshells among the remains of human fires. Some accounts described elephant birds as 3 m ( 9.8 ft ) tall and weight around half a ton ( 500 kg ) clearly making them largest living birds ever existed on earth.
Better known as Tasmanian Tiger because of its striped lower back, they were the largest living carnivorous marsupial of modern times. These flash eating creatures may look deadly and dangerous but they were relatively shy instead. Despite having tiger in their name they look more like a medium-to-large size dog, except for its stiff tail and abdominal pouch. They became extinct around 2000 years ago yet some survived until 1930s in Tasmania. Again human activity is considered major cause but this time not because of hunting. Humans brought a disease to mainland Australia that drove Thylacine to the extinction. Some believe that Thylacine still exist somewhere because of numerous sightings but officially they declared extinct and there is not a physical evidence to prove that they still exist.
5. Irish Elk
Despite their given name this species of dear was not exclusive to Ireland, making its way across Eurasia and North Africa for thousands of years. Stood is among the most amazing extinct animal species and is about 2.1 m tall at the shoulders carrying largest known alters of any species with 3.65 m from tip to tip. They have attained the mass of 500 to 600 kg making them largest breed of dear known to mankind. They were unable to survive sub arctic conditions which caused the lack of food and hence overall nutrition that reduced fertility in females by 50 percent. Some Irish elks survived through ice age but probably hunted down by later humans. The most recent remains of the species have been carbon dated to about 7,700 years old in Siberia.
4. Saber Toothed Cat
Saber toothed cat is considered any member of various members of predatory mammals that existed from 42 million years ago to 11,000 years ago. They existed proudly on earth for more than 40 million years. They were the giant cat like animals having the long curved saber shaped canine teeth extending down from the mouth, even when the mouth is closed. It is found that the size of their maxillary canines in some species can be up to 50 cm long making them nightmares for animals existed at that time. The huge size of their muscular body combined with their incredibly dangerous teeth made them more than capable of tearing apart animals like ground sloths and mammoths.
This weird looking flightless bird drove became one of the extinct animal species thanks to hunting by Dutch sailors that have arrived on the Island of Mauritius. They were 1 m tall and may have weighted around 10 to 20 kg in the wild. Despite their increasing rarity the official extinction of them is only confirmed in 19th century. Although the exact appearance of this bird in real life is still mystery but it seems so bizarre and comical that by the 18th century some scientists doubted at it ever existed at all. Appearance of these birds is only evidenced by some drawings, paintings and literature of 17th century. They were some of the most amazing looking birds that existed on earth.
This animal species may have the most adorable name of all. They were the subspecies of plain zebra. Native to South Africa, Quagga became victim of heavy hunting by Dutch settlers and later by Africans to provide meat and skins. The wild Quagga officially got extinct in 1878 but some captured ones were kept in zoos. On August 12, 1883 the very last Quagga died and wrote the final entry in the life span of this impressive species. It was distinguished by normal zebras by its limited pattern of brown and white stripes mainly on the front of the body.
1. Woolly Mammoth
One of the animal giants and most amazing extinct animal species, it remains the greatest shame that this last species of mammoth is no longer with us. They survived through ice age thanks to its fur with guarded hairs and shorter undercoats. They coexisted with humans in the new world and humans also used their bones and tusks to make arts and tools. Probably humans also hunted them for food. Their closest relative is Asian Elephant. They were roughly the same size as today’s African elephants but they were different in looks due to their woolly exterior.
10 Most Amazing Extinct Animal Species
- Woolly Mammoth
- Saber Toothed Cat
- Irish Elk
- Elephant Bird
- Ground Sloth
- European Cave Lion
- Great Auk
Written by: Khizar Hasan