When we hear of extinct animals, we wish they had lived long enough for us to have had a chance to meet them and gaze at their beauty. The reason for their extinction is not very clear but many speculate human’s activities had a huge part to play. The good news is that we can read about these beautiful extinct animals in literature or watch them in films. In this listicle, we will highlight ten of the most amazing extinct animals to have ever walked the face of the earth. Ready? Here we go.
Image source: New Scientist
10. Irish Elk
Image source: Masai Gallery
Back in the glacial period, a popular animal named the Irish Elk roamed between Ireland and Siberia. Although it belonged to the elk group, it had very few common characteristics with other elk species. From the image, you can already tell that Irish Elks were some of the beautiful extinct animals with the massive antlers, heights of up to seven feet and their impeccable sizes of up to 700kg. The Irish Elk was first seen 400,000 years ago and last seen around 5,000 years ago.
9. Great Auk
Image source: Earth Touch News
Just a few years more and we would have met this beautiful bird named the Great Auk. It became extinct somewhere in the middle of the 19th century mainly due to ice age and hunting by humans. The Great Auk is without a doubt among amazing extinct animals that looked almost like a penguin. It was a flightless bird that could grow to heights of 75-85 cm and weights of around 5kg. Like penguins, the Great Auks were clumsy on land while agile in the water.
8. European Cave Lion
Image source: Carnivora Forum
Looking at its picture may have you thinking that this was a normal lion perhaps different because it only dwelt in the caves. Research, however, shows that its physique was similar to that of a lion but its skull was closely related to a tiger’s. They were discovered 370,000 years ago and lived up until 10,000 years ago at the Pleistocene era. Turns out, these extinct animals were also bigger than the African lions with a total length of 2.4m. Their physique and unparalleled strength make the European Cave Lions one of the beautiful extinct animals of all time.
7. The Caspian Tiger
Image source: National Geographic
The Caspian Tiger is also one of the amazing extinct animals man has ever laid eyes on. It is also quite recent with the last of its kind being spotted in 1970. Some call it the Mazandaran tiger or the Hyrcanian tiger as it was often found in Russia, China, Iran and Afghanistan. It weighed up to 240kg and grew to a height of 220cm and 180 cm for male and female species respectively.
Image source: The Quagga Project
If you like zebras, you would have fallen madly in love with the Quacca. This is another example of beautiful extinct animals which were mainly found in South Africa. Since 1883, no other animal of this species has ever been seen. Its body had both the brown color on the back and white stripes at the front. It is widely believed that the Quacca herd consisted of between 30-50 animals which could easily be tamed.
5. Baiji Dolphin
Image source: YouTube
Also known as Baiji White Dolphin or Chinese River Dolphin, the Baiji Dolphin is yet another one of the extinct animals of the world. This particular mammal was found in China. It could grow to 8ft in length and weigh up to 250kg. It was also characterized by tiny eyes hence a poor eyesight and therefore it relied on echolocation to move and hunt for prey. It became extinct in the 1950s when China-focused heavily on industrialization.
4. Wooly Mammoth
Image source: History
Wooly mammoths are extinct animals that mostly lived in the northern hemisphere during the Holocene period. These were massive mammals weighing up to six tonnes and towering to a height of 11 feet. The Asian elephant was a closer relative only these amazing extinct animals were covered with ginger, black or brown fur. Other features of a wooly mammoth included a short tail to reduce frostbite and extra long tusks perfect for foraging and fighting.
3. Tasmanian Tiger
Image source: Discover The Tarkine
Do not mistake this creature for a rather harmless dog species because of its looks; this is among amazing extinct animals with the ability to kill and tear down heavy prey. It was a deadly carnivore that came into existence nearly four million years ago but disappeared in the 1930s. What caused its extinction is excessive hunting by humans who blamed it for killing their livestock. It lived in Tasmania, New Guinea, and Australia.
2. Ground Sloth
Image source: Ocregister
The Ground Sloth is yet another example of extinct animals that lived in the ice age era. It was a strange beast that became extinct in both north and South America over 10,000 years ago. Many believe their extinction is a result of humans who hunted them for food while some believe climatic conditions was the major cause arguing that these creatures were too massive for humans to kill them with their basic weapons.
Image source: Smithsonianmag
New Zealand’s flightless bird-the Moa, is number one on the list of beautiful extinct animals. It could grow to a height of a cool 4m and a weight of nearly 230kg. The Moa always pointed its neck in the forward direction despite its terrific height. It often produced a low-pitched sound as a result of its long neck. Human hunting, as well as Haast’s Eagle’s hunting, led to its complete extinction.
So there you have it! Thanks for your time here; catch more reads on this website whenever you can.