Extinct Animals

Extinct is a classification category on the International Union for the Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) Threatened Species List.

Extinction occurs when a species — also called “taxon” for the list — no longer exists anywhere on earth. When scientists have done extensive research and agree that there is no longer a single individual specimen of the species they declare it extinct. Essentially, extinction represents the termination of a taxon.

There are six main reasons why species become extinct:

  • Habitat loss
  • Introduction of a foreign species
  • Hunting
  • Pollution
  • Disease
  • Loss of genetic variation

Human actions play a huge role in species extinction, but they’re not the only culprit. Incredibly, 99 percent of species that have ever lived on the planet have gone extinct. Typically, species have a lifespan of about 10 million years, but there are some that stick around for hundreds of millions. Take jellyfish; they have shimmied around the world’s oceans for about 550 million years! However, just because most animals eventually go extinct doesn’t mean we should not be concerned with their conservation status. When species are unnaturally dying out, to maintain the planet’s ecological balance, we must make an effort to ensure their survival.

A Aurochs
Aurochs

Extinct ancestor of all domesticated cattle!

A Carolina Parakeet
Carolina Parakeet

The Carolina parakeet is one of the few parrots that lived as far north as the United States

A Dodo
Dodo

Native to the island of Mauritius!

A Neanderthal
Neanderthal

Roamed Asia and Europe for around 100,000 years!

A Quagga
Quagga

The quagga is a subspecies of plains zebra.

A Saber-Toothed Tiger
Saber-Toothed Tiger

Canines up to 7 inches long!

A Steller’s Sea Cow
Steller’s Sea Cow

Hunted to extinction in 17 years!

A Tasmanian Tiger
Tasmanian Tiger

The Tasmanian tiger could open its mouth almost 90 degrees.

A Woolly Mammoth
Woolly Mammoth

Tusks grew to 16ft long!

List of Extinct Animals