The list of extinct animals could go on for a very long time, but each species has its fascinating backstory. Because of science, we are able to investigate the list of extinct animals from every corner of the globe.
We can gain a significant amount of knowledge from extinct animals thanks to the progress made in research in recent years.
Paleontologists are the scientists who study the identification, analysis, and classification of fossils.
When attempting to draw conclusions about these extinct creatures, these researchers look at the prehistoric data found in fossils and comparisons to related species that are still alive.
Paleontologists can learn more about an extinct animal’s social order, diet, behavior patterns, and other aspects of their lives by carefully examining the fossil evidence.
Throughout the last couple of decades, human interference has been a major contributing factor in the extinction of several different species. Sometimes this interference takes the form of direct activity, such as poaching, to acquire big game trophies or animal tusks.
And other times, the effect is indirect, such as when disruptive land development contributes to the problem of climate change.
Nevertheless, there are things humans can do to slow the rate at which species become extinct. These include designating an area as a wildlife refuge or a species as “protected,” or even creating a space in your own backyard that is conducive to wildlife.
Here is a list of extinct animals that we have lost over time.
1. Alaotra Grebe Bird
The Alaotra grebe is a species of grebe that has since become extinct and was endemic to Lake Alaotra and the lakes located nearby in Madagascar.
The bird’s last known sighting was in 1985, and specialists have confirmed that it is extinct. The experts believe that the bird became extinct due to a combination of illegal hunting and fish that prey on birds.
2. Spix’s Macaw
The Spix’s macaw is a macaw species native to Brazil. This macaw is also known as the little blue macaw.
An estimation of only 177 individuals of the Spix’s macaw is living in captivity across the entire world. This makes it one of the rarest birds in the entire world. In the wild, the species was confirmed to be extinct in the year 2000.
3. Moorean Viviparous Tree Snail
The Moorean viviparous tree snail or Partula mooreana is another notable mention on our list of extinct animals.
It is a species of air-breathing tropical land snail, a terrestrial pulmonate gastropod mollusk that belongs to the family Partulidae. Its common name is the Moorean viviparous tree snail.
These particular species are endemic to French Polynesia. It has become extinct in its natural habitat.
4. Pyrenean Ibex
The Pyrenean ibex was a mountain goat that was noticeably larger and had larger horns than its extinct cousins, the C. p. hispanica and the C. p. victoriae.
Both of these species are still around today. In Spain, they referred to it as the bucardo, but it was also known as the Pyrenean wild goat.
Some of the factors that scientists believe led to the extinction of the Pyrenean ibex are poaching, disease, and an inability to compete with other domestic and wild animals for food and habitat.
While the precise reason for the extinction of the Pyrenean ibex is unknown, scientists hypothesize that several different factors contributed to the species’ decline.
5. Asiatic Cheetah
The Asiatic cheetah is a Critically Endangered subspecies on our list of extinct animals that are only known to exist in Iran at present.
In the past, it was common from the Arabian Peninsula and the Near East to regions in the Caspian. There are fewer than 50 of them left in the wild, making them effectively extinct.
6. Splendid Poison Frog
The splendid poison frog was a species of poison dart frog that was unique to the westernmost region of Panama.
The principal dangers that face the splendid poison frog are the destruction of its natural habitat and the reduction in its forest cover.
Activities carried out by humans, such as logging, the growth of urban and suburban areas, the construction of rail lines, and their subsequent use, were major contributors to the extinction of the frog.
7. Bramble Cay Melomys
The Bramble Cay melomys, also known as the Bramble Cay mosaic-tailed rat, was a rodent native to the remote island of Bramble Cay, which is the northernmost point of land in Australia.
Bramble Cay is a coral cay that is vegetated and located at the northernmost point of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef.
Scientists have concluded that the Bramble Cay Melomys, which got its name from an island with the same name, just like other animals on our list of extinct animals, became extinct as a direct result of climate change caused by humans.
Bramble Cay, the 10-acre habitat of the melomys, was located at an elevation of less than 10 feet above sea level.
8. Baiji Dolphin
It is believed that the baiji was the first dolphin species to become extinct as a direct result of the activities of humans.
The baiji is a species of freshwater dolphin that may no longer exist. White-finned dolphin is the translation of the Chinese word baiji, which literally means “white fin.”
The use of fishing nets with hooks, which can entangle and drown dolphins accidentally caught in the nets as bycatch, is the most likely cause of the decline of the baiji. Degradation of the habitat is a potential additional cause.
9. Pinta Giant Tortoise
The Pinta Island tortoise makes the list of extinct animals, also known as the Pinta giant tortoise or the Abingdon Island tortoise.
Scientists found 35 tortoises on Isabella Island in the Galapagos Islands chain that are descendants of the Pinta Island tortoise but are functionally extinct in their natural environment.
The Pinta Island tortoise was thought to have gone extinct with the death of Lonesome George in 2012; however, the Pinta Island tortoise is not completely extinct.
10. Western Black Rhino
One of the black rhinoceros subspecies that has since become extinct is known as the western black rhinoceros or the West African black rhinoceros. 2011 was the year that the IUCN officially recognized it as extinct.
However, the western black rhino and the northern white rhino have recently disappeared from their natural habitats.
Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Kenya is home to the world’s only two remaining northern white rhinos, which are kept under constant surveillance there.
Poachers, also known as illegal hunters, are the primary factor responsible for the extinction of the West African black rhino.
Poachers killed them solely for their horns, which were then sold in China for medicinal purposes and exported to the Middle East for decorative purposes.
11. Kaua’i’ o’o
Recordings are currently the only way to experience the unique singing of the Kaua’i o’o. The bird, which was formerly native to the Hawaiian islands but had been scarce since 1987, was first placed on the FWS’s endangered species list in 1967.
Since 1778, at least 32 species of birds native to the Hawaiian islands have become extinct. Because of their geographical isolation, islands are especially susceptible to species extinction.
The introduction of alien diseases, rodents like rats and mongooses, and predatory animals like cats all play a significant role in the extinction of species on our list of extinct animals.
12. Kaua’i nukupu’u
The Kauai nukupu’u became extinct in 1901 due to the spread of avian disease and the destruction of its natural habitat.
The last credible sighting of this species occurred in 1899. In the 1800s, mosquitoes that the Hawaiian ships had brought to the Hawaiian islands were responsible for spreading diseases to local birds.
13. Ivory-Billed Woodpecker
For decades, ornithologists and environmentalists have argued over whether or not the ivory-billed woodpecker still lives in the forests of the southern United States.
The most recent confirmed sighting took place in 1944 in the state of Louisiana. Since that time, ornithologists have vigorously debated the veracity of alleged sightings, and even the most recent declaration that the species is extinct has its detractors.
It is reasonable to assume that the pursuit will continue for some individuals. But unfortunately, the renowned and long-sought “Lord God Bird” has been lost forever, according to the FW, thus putting it on the list of extinct animals.
14. Little Mariana Fruit Bat
Guam was the location of the little Mariana fruit bat’s last known sighting in 1968, and the island was designated an endangered species in 1984.
Poaching, loss of habitat, and predation by the invasive brown tree snake are likely the factors that led to the extinction of this species.
15. Bachman’s Warbler
The Bachman’s warbler was a yellow-breasted songbird that was once native to Cuba and the southeastern United States. It was listed as endangered in 1967, and the last possible sighting was in Florida in 1977.
The Bachman’s warbler, which was once the rarest songbird in the United States, is now on the list of extinct animals due to the clearing of land, deforestation, and hurricanes.
16. Flat Pigtoe Mussel
Eight of the 22 species of animals that have been added to the list of extinct animals recently are freshwater mussels, which play an essential role in ecosystems and are responsible for the filtration of water systems.
The last known location of the flat pigtoe mussel was in the Tombigbee River in the state of Mississippi, which is home to more than 40 different species of freshwater mussels.
The primary reason for the extinction of the Tennessee-Tombigbee Mussel was the construction of the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway.
The flat pigtoe became extinct as a result of the obstructive factors of increased sedimentation, reduced water flow, and physical destruction of its habitat caused by construction.
17. Bridled White-Eye
The bridled white-eye, a species that is native to Guam, has not been seen since 1983 and was added to the endangered species list in 1984. Based on the current evidence, the brown tree snake is to blame for the bird’s extinction.
18. San Marcos Gambusia
Like many other species on this list of extinct animals, these tiny fish were native to their region, and you could only find them in the San Marcos River in Texas.
In 1980, the San Marcos gambusia made the list of endangered species; the last sighting in the wild was 1983. Pollution, farming, drought, and the cumulative effect of human activities all contributed to a significant decrease in the population of San Marcos gambusia.
During the 1970s, significant efforts were made to breed the fish through captivity; however, the fish hybridized, resulting in no offspring of the pure species. Since then, there have been numerous unsuccessful attempts to locate the fish.
19. Southern Acornshell Mussel
The southern acornshell, a mussel species formerly discovered in the Coosa River system in Alabama, Georgia, and Tennessee, was added to the list of endangered species in 1993; however, scientists collected the last known specimens in the early 1970s.
The decimation of the southern acornshell’s habitat, which included activities such as clearing, mining for sand and gravel, interfering with the flow of water, and suffocation caused by agricultural runoff, contributed to the species demise.
The Po’ouili was the most endangered set of forest birds in Hawai’i until their discovery in 1973. This was also the year that they got their name. In 1981, there was an estimation that the Po’ouili population consisted of only about 160 birds; however, by 2003, only three Po’ouili birds were still alive.
Since 1999, numerous efforts have been made to prevent the Po’ouili and other Hawaiian birds from being on the list of extinct animals; however, even the last-ditch mating efforts were unsuccessful, and the two remaining birds were not seen again until 2004.
Disease, loss of habitat, and the introduction of new predators were responsible for the extinction of the Po’ouili and other native Hawaiian bird species.
21. Yellow Blossom Pearly Mussel
There was a time when you could have found the yellow blossom pearly mussel in the rivers of Tennessee and Alabama. The iucn gave it the status of endangered in 1976, and the species was not seen alive again until 1967.
The yellow blossom features on the list of extinct animals due to changes to its habitat brought about by human activities such as the construction of barge canals, flood control impoundments, and pollution.
22. Scioto Madtom
The Scioto madtom, considered endemic to the Scioto River Basin in Ohio and added to the list of endangered species in 1975, was last collected in 1957.
This fish species, which feeds on the sediment near the bottom, has only ever had 18 specimens collected.
Both its population and the habitat in which researchers originally found it has suffered severe losses due to pollution and severe flooding, which have virtually eradicated the entire region in which they used to reside.
23. Moloka’i Creeper
The Molokai creeper, a bird endemic to Hawai’i, was classified as endangered in 1970, and since then, numerous efforts have been made to protect both the bird and the environment in which it lives.
In 1907, the creeper was quite common, but by the 1930s, its existence was in danger of being lost forever.
The last known sighting of this bird with a crimson tint occurred in 1963. Loss of habitat, avian disease, and invasive predators likely contributed to them being on the list of extinct animals.
24. Stirrupshell Mussel
The stirrupshell mussel, a species that was once native to Alabama and Mississippi but has not been seen alive there since 1978, was given the endangered species designation in 1987. 1986 saw the discovery of several dead specimens.
As was the case with the flat pigtoe, changes to the habitat of the stirrupshell put them on this list of extinct animals.
25. Tubercled-Blossom Pearly Mussel
The tubercled blossom was once abundant in the eastern United States and southern Ontario; however, it was listed endangered in 1976, and the last individual was found freshly dead in 1969. The reason for this was because of habitat alteration.
26. Large Kaua’i Thrush (Kamao Thrush)
The large Kaua’i thrush number was only 337 individuals when scientists added it to the endangered species list in the year 1970.
The last credible sighting of the thrush was in 1987; this was due to the small population size of the species, as well as the threats of avian disease, predation, and the loss of habitat.
27. Upland Combshell Mussel
Another notable mention on our list of extinct animals is the upland combshell mussel. The upland combshell mussel was an endangered species in 1993 due to the alteration of its habitat, the degradation of the water quality, and sedimentation.
Scientists have not sighted The upland combshell in the rivers of Alabama, Georgia, or Tennessee for more than three decades; They collected the last known individuals in the late 1980s. The upland combshell was once common in these states’ rivers.
28. Green-Blossom Pearly Mussel
The green-Blossom pearly mussel originated in Virginia and Tennessee streams in the past, but it has since been on the endangered list due to its declining population.
The mussel could live for up to fifty years, and it has always been very difficult to find one. The species joined the list of extinct animals after 1982 as a result of the significant changes in their habitat.
29. Turgid-Blossom Pearly Mussel
There was a time when the turgid-blossom pearly mussel was common in the rivers and streams of Alabama and Tennessee.
However, it was declared an endangered species in 1976. The only specimen of the mussel that scientists ever collected, which was already dead at the time, was in 1972.
The turgid-blossom pearly mussel and the other mussels on this list that have since become extinct were driven to extinction due to habitat alterations and pollution.
30. Maui Nukupu’u
The Maui nukupu’u was given the endangered species designation in the year 1970. The Maui nukupu’u, only found on the island of Maui, had an estimated population of 28 individuals in 1980.
The olive green and yellow bird’s last sighting was in 1996; it met the same fate as the many other Hawaiian birds that have become extinct since foreigners first set foot on the islands.
This mammal, which is more commonly known as the “saber-toothed tiger,” is related to marsupials in a very close way.
The two elongated canine teeth that were characteristic of this incredible extinct predatory animal are the ones that stand out the most. These teeth could grow to be more than 7 inches long and were able to cut through tissue.
This enabled them to inflict the most damage possible on the animals they hunted. Not only did they have exceptionally long teeth, but they also possessed an incredible jaw that could open to an angle of more than 90 degrees.
Unfortunately, the thylacosmilus was a magnificent animal that is now on our list of extinct animals.
The eobasileus is a special mention on our list of extinct animals. Even though it appeared to be a rhinoceros, the Eobasileus was actually a mammal species belonging to the order Dinocerata.
This monstrously huge animal measured 13 feet in length and weighed over 8,000 pounds. The top of this animal’s head was adorned with three separate sets of horns, much like a giraffe’s would be.
Eobasileus was a prehistoric mammal that lived 45 million years ago and is identifiable by its jaw’s incredible pair of large, powerful tusks.
Reports said that the appearance of the quagga was a cross between a zebra and a horse. This is because the front of its body contained a variety of stripes, whereas the back of its body was completely brown.
Each quagga possessed its own unique pattern of spots and stripes. During the latter part of the 1800s, the London Zoo was home to the world’s last surviving quagga.
In addition, this quagga was captured on camera, unlike some other creatures on our list of extinct animals.
The quagga had extremely long legs designed for endurance and speed, which enabled them to reach speeds of more than 40 miles per hour.
If attacked, they would kick with an incredible amount of force thanks to the incredible strength of their legs.
The Tasmanian Tiger, also known as the Thylacine, wasn’t much of a tiger despite its common name. Paleontologists speculated that this marsupial mammal resembled a medium-sized dog more than a tiger due to its size.
These incredible creatures weighed anywhere from 30 to 60 pounds and had striking fur that was yellowish brown with yellow undertones.
The Thylacine was a shy animal that communicated primarily with other thylacines and dogs through yaps and barks.
Their being on this list of extinct animals was a direct result of humans engaging in unsustainable levels of hunting for them.
The unfortunate passing of the last Thylacine of its species occurred in 1936 at the Beaumaris Zoo.
35. Irish elk
The Irish elk was not an actual elk but rather the largest species of deer ever recorded in the history of the world. These enormous mammals stood seven feet tall and sported massive antlers that covered a total length of twelve feet atop their heads.
Just the antlers by themselves weighed a total of ninety pounds! It is believed that these incredible beasts on our list of extinct animals roamed the earth approximately 8,000 years ago, but they have since become extinct.
Several hypotheses attempt to explain the extinction of the Irish elk, even though researchers do not yet know the reason for certain.
Some people believe that the animal’s enormous size was the sole factor that led to its extinction, while other people believe that a lack of food led to them being unable to meet their nutritional requirements and thus led to their extinction.
36. Steller’s Sea Cow
The Steller’s Sea Cow was a species of marine mammal that was considerably larger than manatees, which are one of the largest members of the sea cow family.
These incredible marine creatures had the potential to reach lengths of up to 25 feet and weigh more than 8,000 pounds as adults. They were referred to as sea cows because they traveled in groups and fed on seagrass near the water’s surface.
The rapid hunting by humans resulted in the extinction of this amazing creature, which puts them on the list of extinct animals. T
hey were hunted by sailors and fur traders for their fat and meat, and given that these sea cows could not swim very quickly, this made them an easy target for hunters.
37. Bali Tiger
Before the IUCN added them to the list of extinct animals, the island of Bali in Indonesia was home to a large cat known as the Bali Tiger. This magnificent tiger subspecies measured approximately 7 feet in length and weighed more than 200 pounds.
These carnivorous mammals, which included monkeys and wild boars, fed on a wide variety of different types of prey.
They wore a stunning orange fur coats with black and white stripes covering the entire thing. The Bali Tiger was hunted to extinction in the 1950s as a result of the destruction of its natural habitat, which made it much more difficult for the animal to find its prey.
38. Woolly Mammoth
The woolly mammoth is undoubtedly one of the most well-known examples on our list of extinct animals.
Woolly mammoths were incredible creatures that are related to elephants and other elephant-like animals today. Woolly mammoths, in contrast to elephants that live today, had thick fur that covered their entire bodies and was brown.
This was a result of the extremely cold temperatures that they lived in. Some theories suggest humans may have also been a part of the reason woolly mammoths became extinct more than 10,000 years ago, but climate change is the most widely acceptable explanation.
The camelop was an extinct mammal that belonged to the camel subfamily. It once roamed the continent of North America more than 11,000 years ago.
These monstrously large animals stood up to 7 feet tall and weighed nearly 2,000 pounds each. Some researchers believe the relationship between camelops and llamas is more direct than between camels and llamas.
They ate the grass and shrubs around them as they roamed about. There are speculations that the camelops became extinct due to a combination of factors, including climate change, the introduction of humans, and hunting.