There are many animals in this world that have become extinct. For example, many amphibians are no longer around because of habitat loss and other reasons. Besides that, there are many different types of animals that are currently facing endangerment.
Living beings become extinct for a variety of reasons. For example, a species can cease to exist due to harmful diseases. Many animals become endangered due to hunting and habitat loss.
Hence, we need to be more responsible about our practices. That is why here are the top 50 animals that are extinct and will remind you to be more mindful.
The American Cheetah
The American cheetah is part of the Miracinonyx genus and makes up one of its two species. It was native to North America during the Pleistocene epoch. While the cat is called a cheetah, it resembles other animals such as jaguars and pumas more. This extinct animal used to have a slim and muscular body which was the result of convergent evolution.
The cat went extinct about 10,000 years ago. It happened sometime after the last Ice Age. The primary reason that scientists have speculated for extinction is human encroachment. However, something else may also have affected the survival of this species.
The Dodo bird is highly famous and quite ancient. That is because it went out of existence approximately 500 years ago. It was a descendant of wayward pigeons and lived on the Indian Ocean island for thousands of years. However, just like many other birds, this one also went extinct because of humans.
Years ago, Dutch colonists landed on the same island and went searching for food. They found the Dodo birds there and decided to feast on them. Eventually, the population was wiped out, and now we consider this animal extinct. It is presumed that the word Dodo has also been derived from the Dutch language.
Smilodon tops the list of most formidable tiger species. You may already know this animal from its other name, the saber-toothed tiger. Technically, it wasn’t a tiger, but the cat went extinct about 10,000 years ago. This animal was the most dangerous one during the Pleistocene epoch.
It was capable of harming even large mammals. The tiger’s sharp and solid tooth was its biggest strength. They were able to sink their canines into victims in one go and make them bleed to death. However, they couldn’t prevent themselves from human hunting. The species was wiped out sometime after the last ice age.
The Flightless Seabird
These flightless seabirds may seem like penguins to you, but they are not. Instead, they are the Great Auks that went extinct around the mid-19th century. About 2000 years ago, humans discovered this bird and used it to capture it for meals. After all, they used to weigh about 10 pounds.
With time, hunting led to a decrease in the population of these seabirds. Besides that, their eggs were prevalent amongst wealthy Europeans. They used to take them as collectibles. The loss of eggs meant that the birth rate was slower than the death rate of these auks. Eventually, this led to extinction.
The American Cave Lion
The American Cave Lion was one of the biggest cats during its time with a large mane. It lived during the Pleistocene and Holocene epochs in North America. The cat is more similar to jaguars and tigers instead of the modern lion. As per genetic analysis, this cave lion is related to the Eurasian lion.
The two lions are considered as sister lineages. Not only that, but this cat’s size is 25% larger than the modern lion. Thus, it is one of the largest known feline species. Besides that, this lion gave competition to the saber-toothed tiger and the dire wolf.
The Animal That Went Extinct Twice
The Pyrenean Ibex was a famous animal that had the honor of going extinct twice in its life. The first extinction took place because of various factors. Hunting was the primary reason behind their population decrease and low survival rate. In 2000, the last female Ibex died, and this marked their first extinction.
However, scientists weren’t ready to give up on this animal and attempted to revive its population. They cloned the DNA of the last Ibex, and a new baby Ibex came into the world. Unfortunately, this animal lived only for seven minutes. This marked the second extinction of this species.
The Lions From Europe
The European lion is one of the oldest cat species that is no longer around. We know of their existence because of fossils which is why there is no accurate picture of them apart from this clay model. While many consider this lion as one species, paleontologists disagree.
According to some experts, the European lion family was comprised of three subspecies. However, all of them had one common thing. These lions were large in size, and males used to weigh about 400 pounds. Females were always relatively smaller, which is no surprise as this is a normal thing in cats.
The Giant Deer
The Irish deer is an Elk that was in existence thousands of years ago. It was one of the largest elks of its time and was a popular animal for hunting. Many male members weighed about three-quarters of a ton. That is why you can assume that they were highly dangerous.
However, the Irish deer stood no chance against European settlers. Seven thousand seven hundred years ago, they started to hunt this animal down. The meat and fur of this deer were precious and used in trade. Some people even feasted on this animal. Eventually, the population decreased, and this living being ceased to exist.
The Beautiful Carolina Conure
The Carolina Conure was a beautiful bird that was highly popular because of its distinctive feathers. As you can see, the member of this species was colorful and had a great appearance. Beauty is what led to the extinction of this bird. It was the only parakeet that was native to the US.
Many people hunted these birds for their prized feathers to make accessories for women. Their feathers were used in making fashionable hats too. Besides that, many were kept as pets and separated from their original flock. Some farmers used to shoot them down for feeding on their crops too.
Aepyornis is a large bird that used to live on the island of Madagascar, which was a large region. This mammal is more popularly known as the elephant bird. However, it did not get this name because it was the same size as an elephant. The bird got the nickname as it was able to carry a tiny baby elephant.
This behemoth was about 10-foot and weighed approximately 500 pounds. It went extinct years ago, and the last specimen of this bird went into non-existence 300 years ago. Aepyornis is no longer around because of rats that infected them with diseases and human hunting.
The 19th Century Extinct Lion
One of the well-known extinct animals from the 19th century is the Cape lion. It has been mentioned in a variety of classification books, and naturalists have differing views about its heritage. For example, some do not consider this cast as subspecies of Panthera Leo.
Some naturalists say that this lion is related to the extant South African Transvaal lion. However, scientists cannot confirm this because the specimens of this animal expired in the 19th century. Besides that, no sightings have been reported since then. Therefore, it is safe to say that this lion went extinct during the late 19th century.
The Ostrich-Like Bird
This ostrich-like bird is called the giant moa, which was a large flightless bird that lived on this planet about 600 years ago. Before the extinction, it is reported that they were extant for millions of years and lived in what is now called New Zealand.
Initially, the region did not have human inhabitants, so these birds had a better survival rate. However, after settlement, the giant moas were hunted for food. People used to steal their large eggs, which were capable of feeding a whole village. This led to a population decrease and eventually extinction because of the low birth rate.
Resurrected Frog Species
The animal in this picture is the Vegas Valley leopard frog, which is one of the most interesting amphibians you will find. In the 1940s, the last specimen of this frog species was collected in Nevada. After that, the sightings of this animal stopped. With time, the Vegas Valley frog was declared extinct by scientists.
However, the status changed in 2011 when the genetic material of a different species called the Chiricahua leopard frog was examined. The results showed these frogs were the same as the Vegas Valley species. Thus, it became extant again and is now known as Chiricahua leopard frogs.
Panthera Tigris Balica
Panthera Tigris Balica is more famously known as the Bali tiger, one of the three formidable tiger species that originated from the Indonesian islands. It was native to Bali Island, which is what got it its name. The last time that this tiger was observed in the wild was in 1938. Therefore it has been extinct since then.
However, there are speculations that some Bali tigers survived the 1940s, and few were there in the 1950s. The exact period of extinction cannot be known due to various reasons. What we are sure about is that in today’s time, none of the Bali tigers exist.
The Fearsome Lion
Lions are referred to as the king of the jungle because of their formidable natures. However, the Barbary Lion was more fearsome than other species because of various reasons. Firstly, it had a large mane and was one of the largest lions in history. Besides that, it is reported that this lion weighed 500 pounds.
During the earlier times, this animal was a prized possession for some British Lords. This species went extinct in 1956 because of hunting and other factors. Some of the members were kept captive for conservation purposes. However, these were smaller in size and did not prevent extinction.
The Northern Curlew
The Northern Curlew was a small friendly bird that suffered from human hunting. These animals were migratory and used to travel back and forth from Alaska to the US. Their route involved passing through various other countries such as Canada.
Unfortunately, during their journey, various flock members used to be shot down by different settlers. In the late 1800s, it is reported that each year, about 2 million Northern Curlews used to be killed. This gradually led to their population decreasing and eventually resulted in extinction in the 20th century. The last sighting of this bird was reported about 40 years ago.
Eurasian Cave Lion
The Eurasian Cave Lion is the sister lineage of the American Cave Lion. This is the second-most famous species after the Smilodon. It was a formidable foe of that time which is why it was pretty popular. The lion was famous for lunching on cave bears which proves its high strength.
Interestingly, the Eurasian Cave Lion didn’t use to live in caves. It got this name because, during that time, various bodies were discovered in European caves. It is presumed that they were left by the pack of these lions who munched on them. Typically, only a cave bear could have been a suitable opponent to this species.
Lyall’s wrens were flightless passerines that were about the size of a mouse. They were prevalent throughout New Zealand initially but were forced to move to Stephens Island in Cook Strait. This happened about 10,000 years ago and was first noticed by scientists in 1894.
On the island, these wrens were isolated and able to survive for many years. Unfortunately, they went extinct when various pet cats were released in the region. They hunted these tiny birds and eventually wiped out the whole population. Not only that, but there were other flightless species on the island, which the cats eliminated.
The Relative Of Bali Tiger
This Javan tiger is a relative of the Bali tiger because they both originated from an Indonesian island. Just like the other species, its existence was restricted to that location only. However, the significant difference between the two is their extinction cause. The Bali tiger is no longer around because it fell prey to human hunting.
Meanwhile, the Javan species went extinct because of the encroachment of their territory by humans. The last time a Javan member was observed was in 1976. In 2017, a sighting was reported, but it may have been a leopard of the same species, not the tiger.
The Ainsworth’s salamander is an amphibian that completely lacks lungs. There are many unique features of this animal. For instance, its existence came to be known because of two samples only. They were found in 1964 in Mississippi and then transferred to Massachusetts for storage.
Currently, these salamanders are extinct, and the reasons behind this are unknown. As per reports, habitat loss is presumed to be one of the causes. Moreover, the absence of lungs made these species more vulnerable to a variety of diseases. However, these salamanders are considered more advanced than the ones that have lungs which is odd.
This stubfoot toad is more popularly known as the harlequin frog. The family comprises various species. Some of them are extant and thriving in their habitats. Meanwhile, some have been deemed endangered and can cease to exist if not given the proper attention.
Besides that, many species of this stubfoot toad have become extinct already. One particular reason behind this is the killer fungus that these animals are susceptible to.
Chiriqui harlequin frog species recently went extinct in 2020. It was a member of the stubfoot toad family, and their decline is related to a deadly infectious disease, trouts, and habitat loss.
The True Toad
Many frogs have become extinct over the years. This golden toad is amongst them. It is from the family of true toads, most of which are no longer around. While many amphibians have unique features, there is nothing special about this toad.
However, many people are familiar with this animal due to its striking look. This amphibian was first seen in 1964 in a cloud forest in Costa Rica. After that, it was only observed a few times over the years. The last time this true toad was seen was in 1989. That is why it is now deemed extinct.
Animal That Resembles Worms
Do you think the amphibian in this picture is a worm? Well, you’re mistaken as this is an Indian caecilian. These animals are quite unfortunate due to a variety of reasons. For instance, only a few people, mostly scientists, are aware of this animal species. Sadly, many Indian caecilians are no longer around due to different reasons.
Some of the reasons remain unknown. The interesting thing about these amphibians is that they live underground. This is why you will not find much information about it. Currently, it is not known how many of the caecilians are endangered. Some species that are still extant can be found in Kerala, India.
The Wild Pigeon
The wild pigeon was the world’s most populous bird during its time. It was endemic to the region of North America. During their annual migration, the sky used to be filled with them, which offered a beautiful view. However, this clear view is what led to their extinction.
When the birds used to pass by various regions, they were hunted for recreational and other purposes. Their feathers were also valuable in the fashion industry. Unfortunately, the species struggled to survive, and by the 19th century, these birds were gone. The last wild pigeon died in 1914 at the Cincinnati Zoo.
The Caspian Tiger
Many big cats that existed 100 years ago are no longer around, including the Caspian tiger. Out of all them, this species had the largest expanse territory. They were prevalent in Iran, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, and much more. This lion is one of the animals whose extinction reasons are relatively clearer.
Imperial Russia is the reason why the Caspian tiger is no longer with us. During the late 19th century and early 20th century, some Tsarist officials put a bounty on this tiger. As a result, Russian citizens hunted these animal species and eventually led to their extinction. It is also tricky to de-extinct this species.
The platypus frogs are a genus that is now extinct. They are also known as gastric-brooding frogs and do not have any species in existence. The genus was first discovered in 1973. Then a decade later, the last member of these amphibians died in captivity. This marked the extinction of all the platypus frogs.
These animals are widely known for their peculiar breeding method. After fertilization, the female frogs used to swallow the eggs. These used to develop in their stomach, and then the new toad would climb its way out of the esophagus. During this period, the females used to avoid eating to prevent harm to the eggs.
The Wolterstorff’s newt has been named so to honor a German geologist. It is also called the Yunnan Lake newt. That is because it was found in a lake that is located in the Yunnan region of China. Interestingly, the amphibian was never seen in other countries or other areas of China. This species is a perfect example of slow extinction.
Its members first appeared in 1905 and thrived over the years. However, China’s urbanization finally caught up to this newt. They were last seen in 1979, which is why they are deemed extinct. Pollution, habitat loss, and the introduction of other exotic fish led to their extinction.
The Sri Lankan Frog
Sri Lanka is home to a variety of frog species with unique features. The shrub frogs are the ones that have become extinct. Many species are no longer around due to habitat loss because of urbanization. Besides that, some shrub frogs became extinct due to different diseases. This particular frog was native to South India and Sri Lanka.
This Sri Lankan animal has been extinct for many years now. However, some species of shrub frogs are still in existence. Currently, they are facing endangerment and can go extinct over the next few years. This is, of course, if the authorities don’t take any measures to prevent it.
The scientific name for this bird is Emeus Crassus, but you might know it by the name of Eastern moa. It was the cousin of the giant moa that we talked about earlier. This bird was relatively smaller than the other species of its family and lived in New Zealand.
Emeus Crassus weighed about 200 pounds only and was a light bird. However, it did have one odd thing. Despite being light, this animal had oversized feet. Due to them, they couldn’t run away easily from human hunters. This is the reason why their population was wiped out easily years ago.
The Geese-Like Ducks
The Moa-Nalo were small flightless birds that lived on this planet a millennium ago. They resembled geese which is not a surprise because they evolved from ducks. Their ancestors were inhabitants of the Hawaiian Islands thousands of years ago.
Due to their thick legs and 15-pound weight, these birds were an easy target for humans. They hunted them for food and various other purposes. This resulted in a total population wipe-out about 1200 years ago. Surprisingly, we didn’t come to know of this until the 1980s. During the late 20th century, scientists discovered some specimens of this bird.
The Salmonid Fish
The fish in this picture is a salmonid called Balck Cisco. It was closely related to trout as well as salmon. It had a silver deep body appearance and was a North American fish. There was a time when this fish was prevalent in the Great Lakes but not anymore. There are many reasons behind the extinction of this species.
Firstly, it suffered from overfishing by trawlers and fishermen. Besides that, it was hunted by three invasive marine species as well. With time, the population of this animal decreased. The last sighting of Black Cisco was observed in 2006 in Ontario.
The Blue Pike
The Blue Pike is a popular fish that many people were a fan of. They were inhabitants of the Great Lakes several years ago. However, now they are no longer around due to a variety of reasons. From the late 19th century, the members of this species were a victim of overfishing.
The demand for this fish was relatively higher than others. Besides that, the introduction of invasive Rainbow Smelt species also affected the survival of the Blue Pike. Not to mention the industrial pollution was also at its peak. All this led to the extinction of the beloved fish species.
The Blackspot Chromis
There are many animals on this list that have gone extinct because of human hunting and much more. However, the Blackspot Chromis is a fish that is no longer around because of a different reason. In the early 1980s, water temperature rose temporarily due to the El Nino effect.
Unfortunately, this fish was never able to adapt to the change in temperature. As a result, their population decreased significantly and eventually led to the extinction of this species. However, some experts do believe that few members of this fish may be alive. The Blackspot Chromis is also known as the Galapagos Damsel.
The Little Fera
The little fera is a fish species that used to live in Lake Geneva in Switzerland. It was also an inhabitant of freshwater regions in France. Both these countries are ecologically more protected now. However, during the time of this fish, there was a lack of regulations.
As a result, during the early 19th century, little fera suffered from overfishing. By the 1920s, the population of this species started to decline significantly. The last time a sighting was observed was in 1950. That is why it is presumed that the little fera is no longer around. Not only that, but we don’t have any specimens of this fish too.
The Ray-Finned Fish
The Harelip Sucker (pictured above) is a ray-finned fish that is quite interesting. One of the unique features of this marine animal is that there is very little information about it. That is why it has piqued the curiosity of many experts. This fish was last observed in the late 19th century and is presumed to be extinct.
Its first specimen was discovered in 1859, but it wasn’t until 1879 that scientists were able to describe this species. Then less than a decade later, this fish went extinct. It is reported that the population died due to deforestation and the cultivation of land.
The Titicaca Orestias
Lake Titicaca is a famous lake in South America which was home to this fish. That is why it is called the Titicaca Orestias. It was a small animal but was peculiar because of its oversized head. Besides that, the underbite of this fish was pretty distinctive and strong. However, this couldn’t save it from the threat of endangerment.
During the mid-20th century, this species was wiped out. The primary reason behind this was the introduction of trout fishes into the lake. Currently, there are two specimens of the Titicaca Orestias in the Netherlands. So you will have to travel a lot if you wish to observe them.
The Silver Trout
Trout is one of the prevalent seafood items that people used to love to have at dinner. That is why you may think that the Silver Trout is no longer around because of overfishing. However, that is not the case. When it was first discovered, the members of this species were relatively rare.
The only specimens that we know about were from three lakes that are located in New Hampshire. It is believed that they were dragged by glaciers and were separated from their original population. Later the Silver Trout’s survival became affected because of the stocking of other recreational fish.
The Desert Pupfish
Bacteria are known for their ability to live in harsh environments and survive high temperatures. The Desert Pupfish is similar to them as it was discovered in the hot springs of a Californian desert. Unlike other fishes, it was able to survive the high temperature. Unfortunately, human encroachment is something that this fish couldn’t survive.
During the 1960s, various bathhouses were built in the same area as the Desert Pupfish’s hot springs. As a result, they faced endangerment, and in 1970 the last member of this species was caught. Since then, no sighting of this fish has been observed anywhere.
The Bony Fish
The Thicktail Chub (pictured above) was from the bony fish species that circulated the Californian waters in the early 20th century. They used to live in marshes, lowlands, and other less appealing places. In 1900, this fish was also prevalent in San Francisco Bay and the Sacramento River.
Besides that, the Thicktail Chub was a standard part of many Californian’s diets. So because of their high demand, they were a target of overfishing. Additionally, the many habitats of this fish were converted for agriculture purposes.
As a result, by 1950, the Thicktail Chub became extinct. No sighting has been observed since then.
The Yellowfin Cutthroat Trout
Many trouts have gone extinct over the years. This Yellowfin Cutthroat Trout is no exception. It was discovered in the late 19th century in Colorado. As fancy as its name may be, this fish was real and described by many. It was a 10-pound fish with yellow fins.
The reason behind the extinction of this fish is not humans, but another species of trout called the Rainbow Trout. Its introduction into the same habitat resulted in competition. The yellow finned fish couldn’t survive the conditions, and the population decreased significantly. By the early 20th century, this species became extinct.
The Schomburgk’s Deer was an animal native to Thailand and named after a British consul. This deer was considered a game animal and was popular amongst the hunters. Unfortunately, this is one of the reasons why it is no longer in existence. Besides that, its natural habitat also impacted its survival negatively.
During the monsoon seasons, these deer had to migrate to the highlands. This made it easier for hunters to locate them and shoot them down. Besides that, their grasslands were limited because of rice paddies. All this led to their population decrease. The last time this deer was observed was in 1938.
The Taudactylus Frogs
Taudactylus frogs are commonly called Australian torrent frogs as they are native to Australia. Their habitats are located in the country’s rain forests which have now shrunk due to a variety of reasons. There are a total of six species of this frog, out of which two are no longer around.
The other four species that exist are facing endangerment by a fungus that results in a fatal infection. Another reason why these animals may cease to exist is the loss of their natural homes. The taudactylus frogs are about one inch long and may survive the threat of endangerment if we take the right measures.
The Eastern Elk
In the earlier centuries, elks were popular animals who were hunted for sports. The Eastern Elk was one of the largest cervids to have ever lived. They had massive bulls, which weighed approximately half a ton. Their horns were also about six-foot-long. These features made this animal unique and were highly prized amongst the hunters.
The last time a member of this species was killed was in 1877. Three years later, the authorities declared this animal extinct. However, that does not mean that all the elks are no longer around. Some subspecies and relatives of this animal are still around.
The African Bear
The African bear was a game animal that suffered the most because of human settlers. During the 2nd century AD, many members of this species were hunted by Roman Colonists. Instead of killing the bears, they used to trap them and keep them captive.
Officials used to use African bears to massacre various criminals in one place. This animal was also used for gaming by nobles and eventually resulted in their deaths. Despite the harsh conditions, the African bear managed to make it to the 19th century. However, they didn’t survive any further when the last bear was hunted too.
The Blue Antelope
The Blue Antelope was the first African gaming mammal that went extinct because of hunting. You may also know this animal by its other name, the Bluebuck. Surprisingly, the antelope wasn’t actually blue. Instead, the color was an optical illusion caused by its fur.
However, hunting is not the only reason why this animal went extinct. Before the arrival of settlers, this antelope was already in danger because of climate change. Their natural habitats were lost, and so they were limited to particular regions. Previously, they had spanned the whole of southern Africa. The last Blue Antelope was shot down in 1800.
The Wild Ox
Hunting is one of the most prevalent causes of animal extinction. This wild ox and many other living beings have suffered because of it. This animal is also called the Auroch and is considered an ancestor of modern cows. It weighed about one ton and was always ready to defend its habitats.
Many people were fascinated by the wild ox, and you can find their paintings in various caves. It is reported that this species was able to make it to the 17th century. That is because the last known wild ox died in 1627. After that, the sightings became rare and eventually stopped.
The Western Asiatic Elephant
The Western Asiatic Elephant is more famously known as the Syrian Elephant. It was highly popular for its ivory which was used for various purposes. Besides that, the animal was used for warfare in ancient times as well. This elephant species member survived the Middle East for about three million years.
However, during 100 BC, their population reduced and eventually vanished. The primary reason behind their extinction is hunting. Interestingly, during that period ivory trade was at its peak. That is why it is no surprise that the Syrian Elephant is no longer around. Many other elephants also went extinct during that time.
Gunther’s Streamlined Frog
Many frogs are native and endemic to Sri Lanka. Gunther’s streamlined frog is another example of an extinct Sri Lankan species. Their existence was first discovered in the 19th century, particularly in 1882. These animals had a dull color which is why they were not considered golden.
However, they were valuable members of our ecosystem. The frog species was named after a zoologist called Albert Gunther. These animals have not been observed in the wild for many years now. That is why scientists have declared the species extinct. Surprisingly, it is also not known where in Sri Lanka these frogs were first spotted.
The Cypriot Pygmy Hippopotamus
The Cypriot Pygmy Hippopotamus was an animal that suffered from dwarfism. It only measured about five feet, and its weight was nearly 100 pounds. This was unusual because hippopotamuses are typically large. That is why it is no surprise that this animal couldn’t survive.
Despite their size, people still used to hunt the members of this family. Ten thousand years ago, the population of this animal was high in Cyprus. However, it started to slow down because people used this hippopotamus for gaming. Eventually, the whole population was wiped out. During that, time the dwarf elephant suffered from the same fate too.
The Elk Moose
The Elk Moose is more popular by its other name, the Stag-Moose. The first fossil specimen of this animal was found in 1805. Besides that, it went extinct about 10,000 years. This mammal used to weigh about 1,000 pounds which is why it was popular amongst hunters.
Many people hunted this deer for its fur and meat. Meanwhile, some shot them down just to have fun. That is why their population declined, and eventually, the sightings stopped. Besides that, they suffered from habitat loss as well. The Elk Moose is amongst the twelve genera that died shortly after the ice age.