Did you know 99% of known species are now extinct?
While you take a moment to process that – here, at FluffyPlanet, we handpicked some of the coolest and most incredible animals that once roamed our planet.
From the eccentric-looking Dodo to the world’s largest serpentine monster, here’s a list of 14 extinct animals that will blow your mind away!
The dodo bird is perhaps the first animal that springs to mind when you hear the word extinct.
The dodo bird was a big, flightless bird that stood around three feet tall. Native to the Island of Mauritius, this unusual-looking bird was discovered by Dutch seamen in 1598.
Unfortunately, sailors and other animals hunted the bird to the point of extinction. With the last dodo bird seen in 1662.
Fun fact: In Portuguese, the word dodo translates to ‘stupid’! To check out our list of the world’s dumbest animals, click here.
2. Wooly Mammoth
Around 1700 B.C, the last of the woolly mammoth populations is said to have disappeared from a place called Wrangel Island – far out into the Arctic Ocean.
These massive elephants stood 4 meters tall and weighed more than 6 tons. And their fossil remains have been found across parts of northern Europe, Asia, and Canada.
Despite their size & strength, Woolly mammoths were herbivorous animals who only consumed plants & herbs.
Fun fact: The Wooly mammoths could use its huge, curved tusks to dig into the ground.
3. The Passenger Pigeon
Over a century ago, the passenger pigeon was declared extinct.
A wandering member of the pigeon and dove family, the Passenger Pigeon is endemic to North America. In fact, when the first European settlers arrived, their numbers were in the millions.
Sadly, the birds were killed off by hunting and poisoning. And the last of them – Martha, passed away in 1914 at the Cincinnati Zoo.
Fun fact: Did you know that, due to its top-notch navigation skills – the passenger pigeon was used as a mail carrier? Pretty amazing right?
Why D Animals go extinct?
Here are some reasons that animals go extinct:
- Loss of natural habitat.
- Constant competition with other animals for food.
- Natural calamities (such as floods, earthquakes, and meteor attacks etc.)
Megalodon is one of the most powerful carnivore to have existed.
This ancient shark, which weighed more than 65 tonnes, is often called the devil of the seas. Where it used to feed on large aquatic animals, including whales, dolphins, and seals.
Thanks to 276 compressed, blade-like teeth, this enormous carnivore was a pro at cutting and grabbing its prey.
Once alive in the depths of the world’s ocean, the Megalodon has been extinct for more than 2 million years.
5. Sabre Toothed Cat
10,000 years ago, the saber-toothed cat coexisted with the ancient human civilizations of North America.
Recognizable by its long, blade-like canines, which in certain species can grow up to 50 cm long. No wonder they were great hunters – eating on large prey like mammoths and sloths.
While scientists have discovered recoverable DNA of the specie in Southern California, to daye – no such efforts to clone or replicate the animal have been successful!.
Fun fact: These felines could open their jaws at an angle of 120 degrees – almost twice as wide as a lion!
6. The T-Rex
One of the most fearsome animals to have roamed the Earth about 65 million years ago – the T-Rex.
Who is the is the largest known land mammal in the world. Growing to a length of 12 meters – and weighing up to 6.8 tons!
Scientists now claim that it was also one of the most intelligent meat-eating dinos at the time – having a highly developed sense of hearing, smell, and sight.
Fun fact: Did you know that the T-Rex had the strongest bite force of any animal on Earth (land or sea!)
7. Pyrean Ibex
This lovely creature is a sub-specie of the Spanish Ibex – and was indigenous to parts of Spain and France.
As a herbivore, Pyrenean Ibex primarily eats grasses and herbs.
In 2000, the last known Pyrenean ibex perished. Even though, a number of scientific initiatives have been taken to revive the extinct species, none of these have been successful.
This large pterosaur lived in the Late Cretaceous era. A flying giant, the Quetzalcoatlus is known for its extraordinarily long and rigid neck, as well as wings that spanned for 10 and 11 meters.
Not surprisingly, they were able to access food in places their competitors could not. And because of their huge wings, they were also able to fly great distances while consuming little energy.
About 65 million years ago, at the same time as the T-Rex, this fascinating creature also went extinct.
The long-extinct Titanoboa is a legendary species of snake. It is actually the largest snake discovered by humans, – measuring more than 50 feet long and weighing more than 2500 pounds.
The Titanoboa was native to the South American rain forests where temperature was higher than the tropics – allowing these mega-snakes to grow & develop to this extent.
About 60 million years ago, this enormous predator became extinct around the same time as dinosaurs.
One of the most dreadful and horrifying animals to ever prowl the Earth was the Spinasaurus.
With a crocodile-like cranium and a snout packed with roughly 64 straight, conical teeth – let’s just say, this animal does not look friendly.
Able to survive on land and water, this fish-and-dino hybrid monster was definitely not an easy predator to escape.
Fun fact: Spinosaurus is actually the largest known carnivorous dinosaur ever! (Yep! Even larger than the T. rex and Giganotosaurus!)
11. Japanese River Otter
The Japanes River Otter, one of the most recently extinct animals on our list, was once very common in Japan.
One of the top carnivores in the aquatic food chain, the Japanese River Otter primarily feeds on fish, crab, and shrimp.
Unfortunately, the last Japanese river otter was seen in Tokyo in 1979. And, in 2012, the otter was formally deemed extinct by the Japanese government.
Fun fact: The Japanese River Otter is the official animal symbol of Shikoku – a Japanese Island.
What Can We do?
Countless organizations around the world have been working on endangered animals. From research centres to animal welfare groups – there is tons you can do to play your part!
Click here to learn more about how YOU can help!
12. Haast’s Eagle
Weighing up to 15 kilos, the Haast Eagle is the biggest eagle known to have ever lived on Earth.
Native to New Zealand, the Haast went extinct around the year 1400.
Fun fact: The Haast eagle was even bigger than the largest living vultures!
The quagga is a sort of zebra-horse hybrid. It is one of the extinct subspecies of the bigger Equidae family tree (which includes, horses, zebras and asses).
Quagga animals are indigenous to South Africa and known for their chestnut coloring and stripey coats!
In 1883, the last quagga died at the Amsterdam Zoo.
Fun fact: The first animal to have their DNA analyzed!
14. The Black Rhino
Among the three black rhino kinds, the Western Black Rhino was the rarest. And just like other black rhinos, it mostly consumes leafy plants and shoots.
These large two-horned mammals were known to have weighed up to 1400Kg! Sadly, due to hunting, this animal’s native population in the sub-Saharan African savanna decreased. And in 2011, the IUCN finally declared the animal to be extinct.
Fun fact: Did you know rhino horns are believed to have healing powers in many cultures around the world!?
We hope you had fun learning about amazing animals that once lived on Earth. To learn more fascinating things about the wildlife – subscribe to our website for regular news & updates!
But before you leave, pray tell us which extinct animal on our list do you like the most? And why?!