Extinct animals

Extinct animals are those that disappeared from planet Earth for various reasons, whether due to natural phenomena or human intervention in nature.

The main reasons are: predatory hunting, fishing, contamination of soil, water, air, destruction of habitats, climate change, use of toxic substances.

The list of animals that have passed through planet earth is very extensive. Discover below 30 animals that have become extinct over the years, starting with the most recent ones to those that went extinct thousands of years ago.

  1. Galapagos giant tortoise ( Chelonoidis niger)

The giant Galapagos tortoise has been extinct in the wild for over 150 years

The last specimen of the Galapagos giant tortoise died in 2012, where it lived in captivity. In nature, the species was already considered extinct for over 150 years.

Animals of this species lived for over 100 years. Currently, researchers around the world are carrying out studies to recover the species from DNA extraction.

  1. Rhinoceros negro do oeste africano ( Diceros bicornis)

The West African black rhino became extinct in 2011

This species of rhinoceros is native to the African continent and has recently become extinct. The record of the death of the last specimen appears in the year 2011.

The main cause of the extinction of the West African black rhinoceros is overhunting.

  1. Northeastern Leaf Cleaner ( Philydor novaesi)

The northeastern leaf cleaner was last seen in 2011, when it was considered extinct. Endemic to the Atlantic Forest, this bird was considered small, as it was about 20 cm long.

  1. Foca-monge-do-caribe ( Tropical mongoose)

The Caribbean monk seal became extinct in 2008 — Photo: James Watt USFWS/WikiMedia Commons (CC BY 2.0)

The Caribbean monk seal is a mammal that used to inhabit the Caribbean Sea. This species was considered extinct around the year 2008.

The main cause of its extinction was due to hunting for the use of its skin and food.

  1. Chinese River Dolphin ( Lipotes vexillifer)

The Chinese river dolphin was considered extinct in 2007 — Photo: Blue Dolphin Marine Tours/Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Known as the Chinese lake dolphin, this species became extinct in 2007.

The main cause of its extinction was man’s intervention in nature by causing various imbalances in the animal’s ecosystem, such as water pollution, excessive navigation, as well as indiscriminate hunting.

See also: Endangered Animals in the World

  1. Pernambuco Hornbill ( Glaucidium mooreorum)

The Pernambuco Caburé became extinct in 2004 — Illustration: Carl Christian Tofte

The Caburé-de-Pernambuco is an owl that was considered extinct in 2004. This species had about 14 cm in length.

  1. Spix’s Macaw ( Cyanopsitta spixii)

The Spix’s Macaw became extinct in the wild in the year 2000 — Photo: Daderot/WikiMedia Commons

The Spix’s Macaw is a bird whose natural habitat is the northeastern caatinga. This species was considered extinct in the year 2000. Currently there are some in captivity in Brazil, Germany, Spain and Qatar.

Several associations encourage recovery projects for the species.

See also: Animals of the Caatinga

  1. Ibex-two-Pyrenees ( Capra pyrenaica pyrenaica)

The last species of the Pyrenean Ibex died out in 1997. The main habitat of this animal was northern Spain and southern France.

He was the first to be considered extinct twice. In the 1980s, some species lived in captivity, contributing to breeding programs. However, it was in 1997 that the last living species died out.

  1. Eskimo Curlew ( Numenius borealis)

The Eskimo Curlew became extinct in 1994 — Illustration: Archibald Thorburn/WikiMedia Commons

The Eskimo curlew is a species of bird that lived in the North American prairies and in the Pampas of South America.

It was considered extinct in the year 1994, when the last records were had.

See also: Animals of the Pampa

  1. Tiger-of-Java ( Panthera tigris sondaica)

The Javan tiger became extinct in 1994

This species of tiger was native to the island of Java, Indonesia, and became extinct around the year 1994.

The main causes of its extinction are related to the loss of its habitat, caused, above all, by the expansion of agriculture.

  1. Lizard shark ( Schroederichthys bivius)

The lizard shark was considered extinct in 1988

The lizard shark was a species considered extinct in 1988, when the last specimen was seen.

The main cause related to its extinction was the pollution of the oceans, in addition to the intense traffic of ships in the place where the animal lived and reproduced.

  1. Mutum-do-Nordeste ( Many many many)

The northeastern curassow was extinct in the wild but is still found in captivity — Photo: Parque das Aves

The northeastern curassow is a bird native to the Atlantic Forest and was extinct from the wild in the 1930s, however, it is still possible to find a few species in captivity today.

The main causes of its extinction are linked to hunting and, above all, the destruction of its habitat for the planting of sugar cane in the region.

  1. Candango mouse ( Juscelinomys candango)

The Candango rat became extinct in 1960 — Photo: Juan Cruzado/BioDiversity4All (CC BY-SA 4.0)

The Candango rat is an endemic animal of the Brazilian cerrado and that inhabited the Central Plateau region.

It was considered extinct in 1960, and the main cause of its extinction was the degradation of its habitat, caused by the construction of the city of Brasília.

See also: Animals of the Cerrado

  1. Tilacino (Thylacinus cynocephalus)

The thylacine became extinct in the 1930s — Photo: Unknown photographer/WikiMedia Commons

Popularly known as the Tasmanian wolf or Tasmanian tiger, the thylacine is native to Australia and New Guinea.

This animal became extinct in the 1930s, and the main reason for the disappearance of the species was predatory hunting.

See also: Endangered Animals

  1. Bandicoot Hogfoot ( Chaeropus ecaudatus)

This marsupial species became extinct in the early 20th century — Illustration: John Gould/Wikimedia Commons

Species of marsupial native to Australia, its disappearance occurred in the early twentieth century, and the cause is still unknown.

  1. Saint Andrew’s tree frog ( Phrynomedusa fimbriata)

The saint-andré tree frog was considered extinct in the 1920s — Photo: Germano Woehl Jr/Instituto Rã-bugio

This species of amphibian became extinct in the 1920s. Its habitat was the state of São Paulo, more precisely the region of the city of Santo André.

Researchers have yet to unravel the cause of the species’ disappearance.

See also: Endangered animals in Brazil

  1. Passenger pigeon ( Ectopistes migratorius)

The passenger pigeon has been extinct since 1914 — Photo: James St. John/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

The passenger pigeon is a species that became extinct in the year 1914. This bird was an inhabitant of the United States and lived in gigantic groups.

It was considered the greatest extinction caused by man, due to predatory hunting.

See also: Extinct animals in Brazil

  1. Tigre-do-Cáspio ( Panthera tigris virgata)

The Caspian tiger became extinct around the year 1960 — Illustration: Heptner and Sludskiy, 1972

Also known as the Persian tiger, this species of tiger inhabited the Caucasus (a region of eastern Europe and western Asia).

The Caspian tiger became extinct around 1960. However, since 2017 scientists and environmentalists are trying, through genetic manipulation, to bring this animal back.

  1. Wolf-of-Honshu ( Canis lupus hodophilax)

The Honshu wolf became extinct in 1905 — Illustration: Coenraad Jacob Temminck

The Honshu wolf was a small wolf that inhabited the island of Honshu, Japan.

It was considered extinct in 1905, and the main cause was the expansion of agriculture, in addition to predatory hunting.

See also: wolf

  1. Quagga ( Quagga quagga horse)

The quagga was a species of zebra that became extinct in 1883 — Illustration: Samuel Daniell

The quagga was a species of zebra that inhabited South Africa and became extinct in the 19th century, due to hunting for its skin and leather.

The last of its kind died in the Amsterdam Zoo in 1883.

  1. Falkland fox ( Dusicyon australis)

The Falkland fox was thought to be extinct in the 19th century — Illustration: Michael Rothman/Ace Coinage Inc

Known as the Malvinas wolf or warrah, this canid is endemic to the Malvinas Islands.

The Falkland fox was thought to be extinct in the 19th century, mainly because of hunting for its fur.

  1. Mountain goat ( Capra pyrenaica lusitanica)

The mountain goat became extinct in the 19th century

The mountain goat was also known as the Portuguese Ibex.

This species inhabited the north of Portugal and Spain and became extinct in the 19th century mainly due to hunting.

  1. Norfolk Kaka ( Nestor product)

The Norfolk Kaka became extinct in the 19th century — Illustration: John Gould

The Norfolk Kaka is a bird that gets its name because it lived in the Norfolk Islands, Australia. It was extinguished in the 19th century.

  1. Cape Lion ( Panthera leo melanochaita)

The Cape lion became extinct around 1865 — Photo: Gregory Smith/Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

This species of lion native to South Africa became extinct around 1865.

The main cause of its extinction is due to recurrent sport hunting and to protect properties and herds.

See also: lion

  1. Fernando de Noronha Rat ( Noronhomys vespuccii)

The Fernando de Noronha rat became extinct in the 16th century — Photo: João Alves de Oliveira/ National Museum of Rio de Janeiro

This species of rat was endemic to the Noronha archipelago, in the northeastern region of the country.

These large rats became extinct in the 16th century, being the first mammal of the Brazilian fauna to become extinct.

See also: Fauna of Brazil

  1. Mammoth

The mammoth became extinct more than 4,000 years ago — Photo: Rob Pongsajapan at the Royal BC Museum, Victoria (Canada)/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Mammoths suffered predatory hunting and due to climate change , ended up disappearing from the planet.

They were considered extinct more than 4000 years ago.

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  1. Tiger-de-dente-de-sabre ( Smilodon)

The saber-toothed tiger became extinct about 10,000 years ago — Photo: Gabriel Ribeiro de Melo at the National Museum of Rio de Janeiro/WikiMedia Commons (CC BY-SA 4.0)

The saber-toothed tiger was considered extinct about 10,000 years ago (Pleistocene Period).

It inhabited the American continent, however, climatic changes and predatory hunting led this species to extinction.

See also: tiger

  1. Arctodus ( we are Arctodus)

Arctodus was an extinct giant bear over 11,000 years ago — Illustration: Daniel Reed/WikiMedia Commons (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Arctodus was a species of giant bear that lived in North and South America. This animal reached more than 3 meters in height when standing.

Extinct for about 11 thousand years, the main cause related to its extinction was climate change.

  1. Siberian unicorn ( Elasmotherium sibericum)

The Siberian unicorn became extinct 100,000 years ago — Illustration: WS Van der Merwe

The Siberian unicorn was a species of giant rhinoceros and lived between the European and Asian continents.

The exact date of its extinction is not known, so researchers point out that this occurred 200,000 or 100,000 years ago.

Studies point out that the main cause of its extinction was the limitation of food, since this animal ate only hard and dry grasses.

  1. Dinosaur

Dinosaurs became extinct more than 66 million years ago, between the end of the Cretaceous period and the beginning of the Tertiary. They were a species of giant reptiles that inhabited the Earth’s surface.

The most likely theory about their extinction is related to the fall of a meteor.

See also: History of Dinosaurs


The term “extinct animals” is also related to animals that are no longer found in the wild but live in captivity.

In this way, many projects for the reproduction of these animals, with the intention of saving the species, are spread around the world.

In addition, there are genetic engineering projects that focus on cloning animals that are already extinct, called “de-extinction”.


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