Extinct Animals – Fascinating Facts

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There are many animals that have gone from being fully healthy and readily available in large quantities to dwindling and eventually extinct. Although a large number of these animals existed well before humans were around, a large part of the more recently extinct animals happen to have gone extinct due to human intervention.

The dodo bird is one of the well known extinct species. It existed on a small island and was available there for quite some time. When humans came into the picture they started to catch these flightless birds and eat them. They were all captured and eaten and eventually the species disappeared. Along with the dodo bird went a species of plant that relied on the bird to crack its very thick nuts to be distributed for growth.

Another species that has gone extinct recently is the thylacine or Tasmanian tiger. The thylacine was a species of marsupial (pouched mammal) that looked very much like a dog with a beautiful striped coat just like a tiger. Although the thylacine was a very avid hunter and was very good at surviving, human intervention forced them to extinction. The last one was in an Australian zoo until it passed away from natural causes.

As human continue to push into locations such as the densely populated rain forests, they are taking the homes and areas of many species of animals. They are being driven to extinction further each day and the endangered animals lists are getting larger each day. It is important for everyone to educate themselves about what they can do to prevent more animal species from going extinct. Each species on earth is here for a reason while each animal has its own job to keep the earth balanced.

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Western African Black Rhinos Are Officially Extinct

Filed under: Extinct Animals - 24 Sep 2013  | Spread the word !

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The Western African Black Rhino is now officially extinct. This sub-species of black rhinos has been classified as endangered for quite some time now. It was last seen in 2006, in Western Africa. However, specialists worry that this might be just the first sub-species of rhinos to become extinct.

Other rhinos, including the white rhino may follow the same path, specialists claim. In fact, the white rhino is currently listed as probably extinct, being one of the most threatened species of central Africa. A report of the Union for Conservation of Nature, has actually indicated that in the following years, about 25% of all the mammals in the world will become extinct. Despite all the conservation efforts, this process cannot be stopped.

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Why are Western African black rhinos extinct?

Western African black rhinos used to be widespread in the sub-Saharan Africa, as well in western Africa. However, their numbers highly decreased, mostly because of poaching. In the last few years, these black rhinos have only been spotted in Cameroon. However, starting with the year 2006, no individuals have been spotted in the area. Since surveys have failed to locate any individuals from this species, the Western African black rhino was declared extinct.

Heavily hunting increased in the 20th century. By the 1930s, there were only few individuals of the species left in Africa. To prevent exhibition, a series of preservation actions were taken. Despite the protection efforts, the Western African black rhino population has never increased. In the 1980s, there were only a few hundreds western black rhinos left. Statistics for 2000 were even worse. Back then, only 10 rhinos remained into the wild, while the next year about 5 individuals survived.

It is believed that the last Western African black rhino lived until 2011. Since that moment, no individuals from this species have been spotted into the wild. There are no western black rhinos in captivity either, even though at some point it has been thought that no less than 20 individuals were kept for breeding purposes.

Western African black rhinos are not the only sub-species of black rhinoceros which are believed to be extinct nowadays. Actually, most black rhinos are endangered and at risk of becoming extinct. And the worst part is that conservation efforts seem to produce no effects in recovering these populations.

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Famous Extinct Animals: The Tasmanian Tiger

Filed under: Extinct Animals - 14 Jul 2013  | Spread the word !

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The Tasmanian tiger, widely known as the Thylacine, is nowadays an extinct animal. This has actually been the largest carnivorous marsupial animal of modern times. Native to Australia, the Tasmanian tiger was mostly found on the territory of Tasmania and New Guinea. The species has become extinct in the 20th century, at least this is what specialists believe.

In fact, the Tasmania tiger has always been an endangered species, close to extinction. It has become extremely rare even before the European settlement on the continent of Australia. The species has survived for many years after that crucial moment, but the numbers of individuals left into the wild has continued to decrease.

The Tasmanian tiger had been an impressive predator. In fact, this species was unique in every way. The Thylacine survived and hunted for many years in extremely populated areas. This is why the animal was believed to be a threat for small farm animals, but also for sheep.

Tassie tiger and cub

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Why did the Tasmanian Tiger became extinct?

The Tasmanian tiger is not the only species that became extinct after European settlement on this continent. About 10 species and 6 sub-species have disappeared from Australia throughout the years. Numerous other species are still at risk of becoming extinct, even today.

Soon after the European settlement in the area, the Thylacine started to be considered a pest and a dangerous threat to the locals. An intensive process of eradicating this species began in 1880 and lasted until 1909. In 1936 this species was declared extinct. Even though the governmental decision to eradicate the species is the most important factor that had lead to the extinction of the Tasmanian tiger, there are many other aspects that have contributed to this evolution. Some of the most important ones include changes in the habitat of the species and the competition with dogs.

The closest living relative of the Tasmanian Tiger is believed to have been the Tasmanian devil. Both species are extinct now. The last Thylacine in captivity died at the Hobart Zoo, in Tasmania, in 1936.

Even though there have passed more than 60 years since the moment when the last Tasmanian tiger was seen, there are still claims that this animal has been spotted by locals. However, none of these claims have been confirmed and the Tasmanian tiger remains extinct.

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Iberian Lynx – The World’s Most Endangered Cat

Filed under: Endangered Species - 13 Jun 2013  | Spread the word !

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The Iberian lynx is one of the world’s most endangered cat, it is also one of the most beautiful big cats in the world. . The Iberian lynx is native to the Iberian Peninsula, being found in Southern Europe. This animal is an icon of both Spain and Portugal .

About a decade ago, there were only 100 individuals from this species left into the wild. However, conservation efforts have been able to increase their numbers up to 225. Unfortunately, these efforts have not been successful enough to eliminate the risk of becoming extinct.

Iberian Lunx the World Most Endangered Cat

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Why is the Iberian lynx the world’s most endangered cat?

Well, there are numerous factors which seem to have lead to the decrease of the Iberian lynx population. One of the most important such factors is linked to the diet of this animal. The Iberian lynx feeds almost exclusively on rabbits, being unable to alter its diet. Unfortunately, the rabbit population has been decimated in the 20th century by two diseases. As a result, the Iberian lynx’s prey is less accessible. A Iberian lynx needs a rabbit per day. Besides rabbits, these animals can feed on ducks, deer and partridges.

The other important reason why the Iberian lynx is at an increased risk of becoming extinct is actually linked to its habitat. The species was much affected by the loss of scrubland, due to human development. Scrub vegetation, Mediterranean woodland and marquis thicket represent the most important habitat for the Iberian lynx.

Iberian Lunx Kitten the World Most Endangered Cat

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If the Iberian lynx will become extinct, this will actually be the first feline species to not survive, since prehistoric times. In the wild, the Iberian lynx is known to live approximately 13 years. These are solitary animals. Females give birth between March and April. Mortality rates among kittens unfortunately are very high, this contributing to the decrease of the entire population.

However, maybe the Iberian lynx has great chances of surviving. Reports indicated in March 2013 that conservationists have found a way to save this species from extinction. Scientists have been able to collect and preserve embryos that may lead to successful breeding in the future. This means that this endangered species of cats could be saved from extinction by embryo implantation. Specialists believe that if this technique will turn out being successful, the Iberian lynx will no longer be in danger, for at least 200 years.

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Amur Leopard – Close to Extinction

Filed under: Endangered Species - 31 May 2013  | Spread the word !

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The Amur leopard, also known as the Far Eastern Leopard, is a really beautiful animal. In fact, the impressive fur of this animal makes it one of the most beautiful leopards in the world. A leopard subspecies, the Amur is only found in the Russian Far East and in the North East China. Statistics estimate that there are less than 40 Amur leopards left into the wild. Currently, this is an endangered species, which seems to be extremely close to extinction.

Amur leopards are commonly considered to be solitary animals. They rarely are seen in pairs, aside from mating. Naturally, Amur leopards will avoid all type of interaction with one another. A female Amur leopard commonly gives birth to two or three cubs. They can live more than 10 years in their natural habitat.

Amur Leopard Cub

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 Threats

It is estimated that the Amur leopard population, at the moment, does not exceed 50 individuals. In 1997, there were about 300 individuals from this species left in Russia. Back then, the Amur leopard population was considered to be stable and safe.

There are two main reasons why Amur leopards are currently endangered. They include hunting and the loss of habitat. As already imagined, the main predators of Amur leopards are humans. Trophy hunters have killed hundreds of leopards for their spectacular coats. However, the greatest threats to these animals are the annual fires, most of them set to turn forests into grasslands. Other threats for the Amur leopard population include inbreeding, disease, reduction in prey numbers, conflict with people, development of natural gas pipelines, but also of road and railway networks. All these factors have lead to the decrease of this population by more than half.

Amur Leopard in captivity

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If the numbers of Amur leopards left into the wild are believed to be between 25 and 40 in Russia and about 4 to 7 in China, statistics are not more optimistic when it comes to captivity. There are about 12 purebred Amur leopards in captivity today. Reproduction in both cases apparently is at a low level. This is why the Amur leopard remains one of the most endangered of all the large cats.

The Amur leopard is listed as Critically Endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. Hopefully, conservation efforts will lead to the expected results and this species will not become extinct in the near future.

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Dinosaur Embroys Discovered in China

Filed under: Extinct Animals,Extinct Species,Learning - 29 Apr 2013  | Spread the word !

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A site in China was found to contain 190-million-year-old organic remains from non-avian dinosaurs and dinosaur embryos. The findings have provided a brand new insight into how the extinct animals grew to be so large.

Dinosaur Embryos
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Researchers recently came across hundreds of fossilized dinosaur embryos bone in China’s Lufeng County that date back to the Jurassic period roughly 200 million years ago. They have identified until now the scattered bones of about 20 embryos, all thought to belong to an early species of plant-eating dinosaurs called Lufengosaurus.

The study was published in the journal Nature and showed that dinosaurs grew very fast inside the eggs compared to modern reptiles, possibly to reduce the risk of eggs being eaten by predators before they hatched. This rapid growth may also clarify why these extinct animals were able to grow to such enormous sizes as adults.

That’s what makes this particularly exciting”, said Robert Reisz, a paleontologist at the University of Toronto, Mississauga, and lead author of a study that details the find. “We’re looking at different stages of the embryonic life of this animal”, he added.

These are by far the oldest embryonic materials. But we did not find complete eggs. It’s a bone bed, which means the bones have been sorted and concentrated, and all of the eggshell materials have been broken up into little pieces”, also said Reisz.

The professor revealed the remains clearly show that dinosaur embryos grew rapidly – not a surprising revelation for dinosaurs, but one suggesting that members of this particular branch of the dinosaur family tree were outpacing others in their ability to attain an impressive body size in short order.

Baby Dinosaur Remains
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Reisz and his team speculate that the Lufeng site was once located near water and was a popular nesting ground for the dinosaur species. “These animals probably liked to make their nests close to the water because it keeps the sediment in which they lay their eggs fairly moist, so the eggs don’t dry out”, added the professor.

Another thing the professor noted is that the nests could be flooded, which is quite dangerous, so that’s exactly what he and his team presumed happened. The nests became flooded, the dinosaur embryos were smothered by sediment and water, and the dinosaurs basically rotted and fell apart.

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Rarest Animals in the World

Filed under: Endangered Species,Extinct Animals,Extinct Species - 19 Mar 2013  | Spread the word !

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Endangered, hunted, smuggled and now some would say abandoned, these rarest  animals have the smallest chances of recovery out of all the creatures on this planet. Studies have shown that there are at least 35 different animals with world populations of under 1000. Moreover, experts estimate that 27,000 species vanish from the Earth every year, never to be seen again. One of them was Lonesome George, the sole surviving member of the Pinta Island race, a species of Giant Galapagos tortoises. The turtle died in 2012 and now there are not any Pinta Island tortoises.

Nowadays, lots of species are facing the same faith. Here are the top 5 rarest animals in the world. Not only are they the rarest, but they are also close to becoming extinct animals.

5. The Iberian Lynx

Rarest animals - Iberian Lynx
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The Lynx is the most endangered of the world’s 36 cats and it stands on the edge of extinction. There are only about 100 Iberian Lynxes remaining in the world today, native to Spain and Portugal. Once distributed over the entire Iberian Peninsula, the lynx’s area is now severely restricted in Andalusia. The cat was not only threatened by destruction of habitat and of its pray, but it was also killed by traps set for rabbits or car hits.

4. The Pygmy Tarsier

Rarest animals -  Pygmy Tarsier
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This species was thought to be extinct for 85 years, until 2008, when expedition found a handful of them in the Mountains of Indonesia. Also known as the mountain tarsier or the lesser spectral tarsier, the pygmy is a nocturnal primate having a very small body length and weight (about 4 inches head-body length and less than 2 ounces weight). Tarsiers live in trees and are the only carnivorous primates in the world, as they only eat insects.

3. The Javan Rhino

rarest animals - Javan Rhino
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Once widespread throughout Asia, the Javan rhino was nearly hunted to extinction in the 1930s in Peninsular Malaysia, Sumatra, India and Burma. It was poached for its horn, which is believed to have medicinal uses. Nowadays, this scarce animal is one of the rhino species with less than 40 animals surviving in only two known locations: Indonesia and Vietnam. The Javan rhinos’ chances of survival are very small, even with all the conservation efforts, since the reduced population implies risks of disease and inbreeding.

2. The Hawaiian Crow

rarest animals - hawaiian crow
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Also known as ʻalalā, the Hawaiian crow is a species of crow in the crow family. Once widespread throughout the island, there are fewer than 100 Hawaiian crows alive today and they are all in captivity, which means that the species has become totally extinct in the wild. Unfortunately, 27 more native bird species have gone extinct in Hawaii, making the island the endangered species capital of the world.

1. The Baiji Dolphin

rarest animals - Baiji Dolphin
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Also known as the Yangtze River Dolphin, the Baiji has become the rarest animal in the world. Found only in China’s Yangtze River, this freshwater dolphin has become functionally extinct. This means that there are so few of them left, that they’re probably not reproducing anymore. However, experts are still searching for members of the species. Nicknamed “Goddess of the Yangtze”, the Baiji population declined drastically in decades as China industrialized and made heavy use of the river for fishing, transportation, and hydroelectricity.

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Maui Dolphins – Almost Extinct

Filed under: Endangered Species,Learning - 06 Nov 2012  | Spread the word !

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It’s sad that some animals are extinct and others are about to have the same problem. For example, Maui’s dolphins, the smallest dolphins in the world, are almost extinct. There are only 55 survivors left, which is very sad.

Maui Dolphins
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Although conservationists have warned that these dolphins of New Zealand are in danger of extinction, little effort was done to save them. The last time these creatures were surveyed was in 2005 and at that time there were 111 dolphins left, according to the New Zealand Department of Conservation.

Dr. Barbara Maas, international head of the Nature and Biodiversity Union’s International Species Conservation division said about this: “Every day the animals are exposed to gill and trawl nets carries a risk we can’t afford. If ever there was a time to act, it is now.”

Maui Dolphins
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She also added that it takes a long time for the Maui’s dolphin population to recover as the species cannot breed until they are 7 to 9 years old and they have one baby every 2-4 years.

A team of scientists has proposed a “Declaration of Rights for Cetaceans” that perhaps will be passed into law, the Daily Mail reported. A coalition of experts in philosophy, conservation and animal behaviour argued that dolphins and whales experience almost the same problems, so they deserve similar rights on an international level.


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Even if that law may not pass, there are chances for the Maui dolphins population to recover if New Zealand bans nets over a larger area of the coastline and sets up a sanctuary that the government seems to consider. Nonetheless, time is passing by, which is critical for these endangered animals and maybe we are witnessing their extinction without being able to do something to help them.

Find out more here:

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Endangered Animals In 2012

Filed under: Endangered Species - 15 Oct 2012  | Spread the word !

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There are many animals in danger of extinction this year. Fortunately, there are jobs in this field and many volunteers who want to prevent animal extinction. Nonetheless, the most endangered animals in 2012 are:

1. Amur Leopard is a very rare leopard subspecies that lives only in the snowy northern forests of Russia’s Primorye region. In the past, this animal lived also in Korea and northern China, but now is extinct in those areas. In 2007, a census showed that only 14-20 adults and 5-6 cubs live. Threats of this animal include habitat loss caused by road and house building, encroaching civilization, as well as logging, illegal hunting and global climate change.

2. Ivory-Billed Woodpecker is one of the most critically endangered species. Even if until 2004, it was considered extinct, reports from Florida and Arkansas about it emerged. Even if a population still exists, it’s very rare and vulnerable. The cause of their extinction or potential extinction is habitat loss and also exploitation by humans who hunted these creatures for their feathers.

3. Javan Rhinoceros is one of the world’s most endangered five species of rhinoceros. There are only 40-60 animals estimated to remain on the western tip of the Island of Java from Indonesia in Ujung Kulon National Park. These animals are protected now, but there may not be the chance to prevent them from extinction because there’s not enough population.

4. Greater Bamboo Lemur lives on the Island of Madagascar. This animal is also known as he broad-nosed gentle lemur. There are less than 100 greater bamboo lemurs which remained in this area. Illegal hunting and habitat loss are the main causes of threats.

5. Northern Right Whale is the world’s most endangered whale species. There are 350 individuals that travel the US and the Atlantic coasts of Canada. During the 19th century, it was considered by whalers the “right” whale to kill because it floated at the surface and it was also full of oil. Today, these animals are protected, but they are still threatened by entanglements in fishing gear and global climate change.

There are also other endangered animals in 2012 such as Western Lowland Gorilla, Leatherback Sea Turtle, Siberian or Amur (Tiger), Chinese Giant Salamander and Kakapo Parrot.

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Top 5 Curious Extinct Species

Filed under: Extinct Species - 26 Sep 2012  | Spread the word !

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Extinct species have always been a topic for numerous researches, due the fact that scientists have been on the lookout for the things that have made animals populating the world disappear, in order to be able to learn more about the events of the past and to have knowledgeable resources for the extinctions that may happen in the future. Here is a top 5 of curious extinct species you may not have known before:

5. The Passenger Pigeon is related to the one we see today, with the difference that it has large flocks that darkened the sky upon their flight. The extinction took place over night and it is presumed that it had a human implication, as these types of pigeons used to be very dangerous for the cultures of the farmers in the past with the shadows that they were able to produce.

Top 5 Curious Extinct Species -Passenger Pigeon
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4. The Archaeopteryx used to be an Ancient creature, as it was discovered in the mid-1800s. The remains that were found showcased this curious species as a dinosaur type with feathers and other bird-like features. It had a flat breastbone, teeth, feathers, a bone tail and claws at the end of its wings.

Top 5 Curious Extinct Species - Archaeopteryx
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3. The Saber-Toothed Cat  had canine teeth of great sizes, which made it look fierce, although it had the stature of a feline. It was extinct about 10,000 years ago and it used to populate regions in North America and Europe. This feline had a lion like behavior, living in packs and having a very organized lifestyle.

Top 5 Curious Extinct Species -Saber-Toothed Cat
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2. The Plesiosaur was an aquatic reptile of large dimensions, which used to live in the Cretaceous and in the Jurassic periods. The image of the Loch Ness Monster has been designed after the Plesiosaur, due to the fact that it has a very large body, a long thin neck and a very small head.

Top 5 Curious Extinct Species -Plesiosaur
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1. The Flores Man surfaced in an Indonesian cave in 2003 and appeared to be a mini-human. The exact delimitation of the species is still under debate, due to the fact that many have stated that the remains belonged to small humans, while others associated them with some sort of apes. The species seems to have been extinct about 12,000 years ago, which means that it interacted with modern human species.

Top 5 Curious Extinct Species -Flores Man
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Most Famous Extinct Animals

Filed under: Extinct Animals - 13 Jul 2012  | Spread the word !

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The ever-growing list of extinct animals makes you wonder how long until humans will become extinct, as well? How long until a natural disaster strikes or the world is invaded by an unknown population that will change the planet as we know it forever? While humans may not be in danger, a growing number of animals are endangered and are facing extinction. Here are the top 3 most famous extinct animals of all time, which are still subject to many researches and fascinate a lot of people.

1. Tyrannosaurus Rex was one of the largest carnivores and predators ever known by this planet. It measured up to 43.3 feet in length and 16.6 feel in height and it weighed about 7 tons. With such an impressive figure, it gets yo thinking how could such a giant become extinct. How did such a ferocious animal die out? While this remains a great mistery, paleontologists have a theory according to which Tyrannosaurus Rex died after a catastrophic even stroke the earth. They believe that a meteor impact or volcanic eruption may have been to blame for the death of these animals and most other living things on the planet at that time. Their theory is based on evidence from the fossil record. The species became extinct about 65 million years ago.

Most Famous Extinct Animals -Tyrannosaurus Rex
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2. Woolly Mammoth is another fascinating extinct animal that has become renowned due to its impressive size. Most commonly, the woolly mammoth is associated with the Ice Age. It was probably one of the earliest mammoth species and it lived in North Africa about 3 million years ago. It then migrated o North America sometime during late Pleistocene. Also called the tundra mammoth, this animal did not make it in the New World and is believed to have become extinct about 10,000 years ago, after the last Ice Age. This is the reason why their remains are not fossilized, but preserved in their organic state, since they have remained frozen for a long time. This also led to the woolly mammoth becoming one of the best anatomically understood prehistoric vertebrates and extinct animals known until present day.

most famous extinct animals -Woolly Mammoth
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3. The Dodo Bird was a cute, flightless bird that is considered by many to be the archetype of extinct species. The dodo lived in times when the environment was free of predators and it offered plenty of food. It was not a natural disaster or calamity that caused the dodo to become extinct. It was the human kind. The dodo lived in the Mauritius island in the Indian Ocean. When European explorers arrived on the island (in the 1600s), the dodo became endangered. This is because hungry explorers have started to massively hunt it. Unlike many others birds, the dodo was large in size (reaching 1 meter in height), therefore being a great source of meat for weary sailors. Domestic animals accompanying them (mainly dogs, rats and pigs) destroyed the dodo’s eggs and nests, so it was no longer able to multiply. In a few short years, the dodo became extinct.

most famous extinct animals - Dodo Bird
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These are the most famous extinct animals known until present day. Other fascinating and intriguing extinct species include the Quagga (half zebra, half horse), the Tasmanian Tiger (Thylacine), Steller’s Sea Cow, the Irish Deer, the Caspian Tiger, the Great Auk, the Cave Lion, and many others.

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