Top 10 famous animals that are now extinct!
The world is unimaginably beautiful with the nature colligating all its constituent geographical terrains, ever-varying climate, the apropos arrival of seasons, the oceans, the glaciers, the forests, the volcanoes and most importantly the impeccant life forms into a perfect synchrony. Each and every parameter is invariably dependent on the other for the unambiguity of survival. And when it comes to those numerous diversified species of flora and fauna, the green planet turns out to be more adorable. All the different species of the living creatures that we witness today are undergoing a perpetual change of processes at their physiological level. That’s what Charles Darwin explained as evolution. It’s one of the major principles of nature that the surviving species have to endure and find their way out to life. And when they are unable to be the fittest to survive they turn out to be non extant. There are a number of explanations ruling the theories of extinction of various species: drastic climate changes, catastrophic meteor crashes, parasitic diseases, predation etc. One should not be astound that the dominance of a single epenthetic, predatory and highly adaptable species has been the prime reason for extinction of many animals in the recent geological history, i.e the Homo sapiens! Well, we didn’t do all of them extinct, but we certainly have a hand in some of their demises. Here are the top 10 famous animals that are now extinct!
10. The Quagga
The 10th famous extinct animal on the list is the ever so innocuous Quagga! The beautiful creature was a good source of attraction in the European zoos until it disappeared very recently. The caramel brown subspecies of zebra went missing from the planet in the 19th century. Originally the native of South Africa, Quaggas had unique body markings, particularly the distinct stripping pattern which started from the head and extended back only as far as the mid body. It’s a shame that the Quaggas died fulfilling the meat and hide demands of the growing human population for which they were constantly hunted. The last Quagga breathed its last at Amsterdam zoo in 1883. Scientists have started the South Africa based Quagga project since 1987 in order to restore the species by using selective breeding techniques among zebras.
9. The Mammoth
Ever adored the sweet roly-poly hairy, tusked creature named Manny from the Ice Age anime movie? Yes the might looking wooly mammoth is the next famous animal that became extinct. The mammoths lived from around 5 million years to around 4,500 years ago in Africa, Asia, Europe and North America. These creatures were the ancestors of the present day elephants and the wooly mammoth being the last of the related genus to survive. The exact theory regarding the extinction is yet to be formulated but it is believed that the warming trend that took place 12,000 years ago causing the glacial retreat and rise of sea level must have caused their extinction. As late as 1948, frozen mammoths were discovered with meat still fresh in Siberia and some people still believe that the Siberian wilderness might still be fostering the mammoths.
8. The Smilodon
Looks like I am publicizing the Ice Age movie series out here! The next popular animal to get extinct is the majestic cat that we see in the movie. Smilodon or the Saber-toothed tiger last walked on the earth around 10,000 years ago with its ferociously long canines which is now believed to be used for ripping the prey apart. The cat itself was about the size of a modern-day lion (if not a bit shorter), but far more robust and the fierce predator once roamed freely in the grasslands and forests of North and South America.
7. The Tasmanian Tiger
The Tasmanian tiger or the Thylacine, quite famous among the environmentalist enthusiasts is the next animal on the list that became extinct recently. The creature was a carnivorous marsupial that had the stature of a dog and at the same time possessed stripes like the modern day tiger does. Native to Australia, the pouched marsupial was haunted down by the indigenous farmers in order to protect their livestock and thus it become extinct from the mainland some 2,000 years ago. Although it was found in good numbers in the Island of Tasmania till the Europeans conquered the island. The last one was caught in 1933 and died three years later in a zoo in Hobart, Australia.
6. The Mexican Grizzly Bear
The next famous extinct species is the Mexican Grizzly Bear, a subspecies of the Brown Bear was one of the largest and heaviest mammals in Mexico. The uniqueness of this animal was its mesmerizing silver fur due to which it was also called the Silver Bear. The Mexican Grizzly bear was shorter than the American grizzly bear and were considered a pest by the farmers as the bears used to hunt the cattle. After the European travelers came across them in the early 16th century the bears were trapped, shot and poisoned. By 1960, only 30 of them were expected to be present but the hunting continued even after the protected status and finally in 1964 the bears were assumed extinct. It is still believed that the Mexican grizzlies are still present there in the South American wilderness.
5. The Great Auk
The majestic penguin-like bird was the last flightless bird in the northern hemisphere and once inhabited the islands off the coast of northern Europe and northeastern North America. Hunted as food and bait, the last auks were observed in 1844 off the coast of Iceland. The nesting pair was killed by fishermen, who made sure not just to kill the birds for their pricey meat, but also to crush their lone remaining egg. How generous of the men! The last known auk which was larger than its usual size was executed in Scotland because the anserine local villagers thought it as a witch!
4. Baiji White Dolphin
Here is yet another innocent creature that fall prey to the narcissistic human deeds! Te Baiji white dolphin was found plentily in the fresh waters Yangtze river in China. The aquatic mammal that was nearly blind yet intelligent fell prey to the hunters and fishermen as fishing boats began to crowd the river in the 1950s and 60s. The Baiji was declared extinct in 2006 although an official sighting was confirmed a year later. But again, that was the only sighting and the species is functionally extinct!
3. The Passenger Pigeon
The beautiful migratory bird that once flocked in billions went extinct in just a matter of hundred years! The passenger pigeon was the easy target for hunters and things became worse as the pigeon meat got popular in the late nineteenth century. Continuous clearance of their habitats added fuel to their extinction process. The last Passenger pigeon named Martha died in the Cincinnati zoo in 1914.
2. The Dodo
Who doesn’t know this bird! Apparently the lovely flightless bird became more famous because of its extinction! The chubby corpulent bird native to the island Mauritius got eliminated eventually by large scale destructions of its habitat. Apart from that the pigs, dogs and other predators that were introduced to the island hastened the process of their extinction by ravaging their nests and chasing them down. The last dodo died sometime in the 17th century and since then the bird which was a relative of pigeons and doves keeps on reminding how cruel can the human civilization be!
1. The Dinosaurs
So the most famous creature on the List10 tally of extinct animals is indeed the Dinosaurs, each one of them! The massiveness of their evolving body structures and their ferociousness has always been the centre of attraction of people all around. Kids keep fantasizing the huge monsters through cartoons, toys, movies and museums. The several species of dinosaurs evolved one after the other and eventually the species that didn’t adapt got eliminated. Tyrannosaurus was believed to be the most dangerous carnivore among them while the tall necked Brontosaurus fed on the leaves and shoots. There are several theories that hypothesize their extinction way before the human civilization actually got into existence. The most accepted of them is the huge meteor crash that caused catastrophic effects and swiped all the species to vanish millions of years ago. The other hypothesis says that there were parasitic attack on the dinosaurs that eliminated them out. Whatever may have been the reason their coexistence with the humans would have actually simulated the Jurassic Park huntings! Isn’t it?!