10. Irish Elk (5,200 B.C.)The Irish elk (Megaloceros giganteus) or Irish giant deer, is an extinct species of deer in the genus Megaloceros and is one of the largest deer that ever lived. Its range extended across Eurasia, from Ireland to northern Asia and Africa. A related form is recorded from China during the Late Pleistocene. The most recent remains of the species have been carbon dated to about 7,700 years ago in Siberia.
9. Quagga (1883)The quagga (Equus quagga quagga) is an extinct subspecies of plains zebra that lived in South Africa until the 19th century. It was long thought to be a distinct species, but genetic studies have shown it to be the southernmost subspecies of plains zebra. It is considered particularly close to Burchell's zebra. Its name is derived from its call, which sounds like "kwa-ha-ha".
8. Japanese Honshu Wolf (1905)The Japanese wolf (Canis lupus hodophilax) is an extinct subspecies of the gray wolf that was once endemic to the islands of Honshū, Shikoku, and Kyūshū in the Japanese archipelago. It is also known as the Honshū wolf. Its binomial name derives from the Greek Hodo (path) and phylax (guardian), in reference to Japanese folklore, which portrayed wolves as the protectors of travellers. It was one of two subspecies that were once found in the Japanese archipelago, the other being the Hokkaidō wolf.
7. Great Auk (1852)The great auk (Pinguinus impennis) was a flightless bird of the alcid family that became extinct in the mid-19th century. It was the only modern species in the genus Pinguinus (unrelated to penguins, although it was the first bird to be called penguin). It bred on rocky, isolated islands with easy access to the ocean and a plentiful food supply, a rarity in nature that provided only a few breeding sites for the auks. When not breeding, the auks spent their time foraging in the waters of the North Atlantic, ranging as far south as northern Spain and also around the coast of Canada, Greenland, Iceland, the Faroe Islands, Norway, Ireland, and Great Britain.
6. Pinta Island TortoiseThe Pinta Island tortoise (Chelonoidis nigra abingdonii) is a subspecies of Galápagos tortoise native to Ecuador's Pinta Island that is probably extinct. By the end of the 19th century, most of the Pinta Island tortoises had been wiped out due to hunting. By the mid-20th century, the subspecies was assumed to be extinct until a single male was discovered on the island in 1971. Efforts were made to mate the male, named Lonesome George, with other subspecies, but no viable eggs were produced. Lonesome George died on 24 June 2012 and the subspecies was believed to have become extinct with his death.
5. Steller's Sea Cow (1768)The Steller's sea cow (Hydrodamalis gigas) is an extinct herbivorous marine mammal. It reached up to 9 metres (30 ft) in length, making it among the largest mammals other than whales to have existed in the Holocene epoch. Although the sea cow had formerly been abundant throughout the North Pacific, by 1741, when it was first described by Georg Wilhelm Steller, chief naturalist on an expedition led by explorer Vitus Bering, its range had been limited to a single, isolated population surrounding the uninhabited Commander Islands. Within 27 years of discovery by Europeans, the slow-moving and easily captured Steller's sea cow was hunted to extinction.
4. Smilodon (10,000 B.C.)Smilodon is perhaps one of the most famous prehistoric mammals and the best known saber-toothed cat. Although commonly known as the saber-toothed tiger, it was not closely related to the tiger or other modern cats. Smilodon lived in the Americas during the Pleistocene epoch (2.5 mya–10,000 years ago). The genus was named in 1842, based on fossils from Brazil. The largest collection of Smilodon fossils has been obtained from the Rancho La Brea Tar Pits in Los Angeles, California.
3. Wooly Mammoth (2,000 B.C.)The woolly mammoth (Mammuthus primigenius) is a species of mammoth diverged from the steppe mammoth about 400,000 years ago in eastern Asia. Its closest extant relative is the Asian elephant. The appearance and behaviour of this species are among the best studied of any prehistoric animal because of the discovery of frozen carcasses in Siberia and Alaska, as well as skeletons, teeth, stomach contents, dung, and depiction of life in prehistoric cave paintings. Mammoth remains had long been known in Asia before they became known to Europeans in the 17th century. The origin of these remains was long a matter of debate, and often explained as being remains of legendary creatures. The mammoth was identified as an extinct species of elephant by Georges Cuvier in 1796.
2. Moa (1400 A.D.)The moa were nine species of flightless birds endemic to New Zealand. The two largest species, Dinornis robustus and Dinornis novaezelandiae, reached about 3.6 m (12 ft) in height with neck outstretched, and weighed about 230 kg (510 lb). When Polynesians settled New Zealand around CE 1280, the moa population was about 58,000. However, their closest relatives have been found by genetic studies to be the flighted South American tinamous, once considered to be a sister group to ratites. The nine species of moa were the only wingless birds, lacking even the vestigial wings which all other ratites have. They were the dominant herbivores in New Zealand's forest, shrubland and subalpine ecosystems for thousands of years, and until the arrival of the Māori were hunted only by the Haast's eagle. Moa extinction occurred in CE , reached about 3.6 m (12 ft) in height with neck outstretched, and weighed about 230 kg (510 lb). When Polynesians settled New Zealand around CE 1280, the moa population was about 58,000. However, their closest relatives have been found by genetic studies to be the flighted South American tinamous, once considered to be a sister group to ratites. The nine species of moa were the only wingless birds, lacking even the vestigial wings which all other ratites have. They were the dominant herbivores in New Zealand's forest, shrubland and subalpine ecosystems for thousands of years, and until the arrival of the Māori were hunted only by the Haast's eagle. Moa extinction occurred in CE 1440 ± 20 years, primarily due to overhunting by Māori.
1. Tasmanian Tiger (1936)The thylacine (Thylacinus cynocephalus, Greek for "dog-headed pouched one") was the largest known carnivorous marsupial of modern times. It is commonly known as the Tasmanian tiger (because of its striped lower back) or the Tasmanian wolf. Surviving evidence suggests that it was a relatively shy, nocturnal creature with the general appearance of a medium-to-large-size dog, except for its stiff tail and abdominal pouch (which was reminiscent of a kangaroo) and a series of dark transverse stripes that radiated from the top of its back (making it look a bit like a tiger). Native to continental Australia, Tasmania and New Guinea, it is believed to have become extinct in the 20th century.
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