10 Fascinating Animals That Are Now Extinct


Animal extinctions can happen naturally due to events like climate change or sea level shifts. However, in recent times, human activities have been the main cause.

Expanding farmland, deforestation, pollution, introducing non-native species, and overfishing or hunting have greatly contributed to the loss of many species.

Climate change is now becoming a major factor in driving extinctions.

Here are ten amazing animals that have sadly disappeared from our planet.

1. West African Black Rhinoceros

This rhino lived in southeastern Africa and measured 3-3.8 meters long and 1.4-1.7 meters tall, weighing 800-1,300 kg.

It had two horns and ate leafy plants and shoots. Due to unproven beliefs that their horns had medicinal properties, they were heavily poached.

Efforts to protect them started in the 1930s, but their numbers kept declining.

The last one was seen in Cameroon in 2006, and they were declared extinct in 2011.

2. Sabre-toothed Cat

These carnivores, known for their long canine teeth, existed 55 million to 11,700 years ago.

They hunted large herbivores like sloths and mammoths and could open their jaws almost twice as wide as a modern lion.

They likely went extinct due to the decline of their prey, climate change, and competition with humans.

3. Great Auk

A large, flightless bird from the North Atlantic, the Great Auk was an excellent swimmer.

The last colony lived on Eldey Island, and by 1835, they were all killed.

The final birds were killed in 1844 by men who believed the bird caused a storm.

4. Pyrenean Ibex

A subspecies of the Spanish Ibex found in the Iberian Peninsula, these animals grew to 60-76 cm at the shoulder and weighed 24-80 kg, feeding mainly on grasses and herbs.

They once numbered around 50,000, but by the early 1900s, fewer than 100 remained.

Poaching and competition for food likely contributed to their decline. The last one was killed by a falling tree in 2000.

5. Woolly Mammoth

Related to modern elephants, Woolly Mammoths lived in northern Eurasia and North America.

They were over 4 meters tall, weighed over 6 tons, and had long, curved tusks.

They disappeared 10,000 years ago due to hunting and climate change, with the last population vanishing around 1700 BC.

6. Passenger Pigeon

Once native to North America, these pigeons numbered between 3 and 5 billion when Europeans arrived.

However, mass deforestation and hunting for cheap meat drastically reduced their population.

They went extinct in the wild around 1900, with the last known bird dying in captivity in 1914.

7. Steller’s Sea Cow

Discovered in 1741 by George Steller, this large herbivorous mammal lived near Alaska and the Commander Islands.

It grew to 8-9 meters long and weighed 8-10 tons, eating kelp and unable to submerge its body.

Hunted to extinction within 27 years of its discovery, it was easy prey due to its tame nature.

8. Tasmanian Tiger

This large carnivorous marsupial lived in Australia, Tasmania, and New Guinea.

Resembling a dog with dark stripes, it was hunted to extinction, with human encroachment, the introduction of dogs, and disease also contributing.

The last wild Tasmanian Tiger was killed between 1910 and 1920, and the last captive one died in 1936.

9. Baiji White Dolphin

Also known as the Chinese River Dolphin, this mammal lived in the Yangtze River in China.

Growing up to eight feet long and weighing a quarter of a ton, it relied on echolocation to navigate and hunt due to its poor eyesight.

Their numbers dropped sharply from the 1950s as China’s industrialization affected their habitat.

No sightings have been recorded since 2002, and they are likely extinct.

10. Dodo

This flightless bird from Mauritius was about one meter tall and weighed 10-18 kg. It became flightless due to abundant food and lack of predators.

First mentioned by Dutch sailors in 1598, it was hunted to extinction by sailors, their animals, and invasive species.

The last sighting was in 1662.

These incredible animals are a reminder of the impact humans and environmental changes can have on wildlife.

Protecting current species is crucial to prevent further losses.