Extinction is a process through which a group of certain organisms completely disappears from the face of earth. This happens when the rate of death of the members of a species becomes greater than the rate of their birth. Ultimately, when the last few organisms belonging to that species die, they are referred to as extinct species from then onwards.
Dinosaurs, mammoths, and quagga are a few of the most popular extinct animals which used to exist on the planet Earth a very long time ago. Some organisms also went through extinction quite recently while some precious members of the Kingdom Animalia today are facing the risk of this horrible fate. The reasons include both the natural causes and human activities.
Extinct Animals Facts
Although some of the most wonderful creatures have ceased to exist on Earth, the interesting extinct species facts are still available to us for reading. Here is a description of a few of the most amazing organisms which are found no longer.
Ancestors of the present day elephants, woolly mammoths are included in the list of extinct species that used to exist in the cold, snowy areas of North America. Their extinction began back in 10, 000 BC and their species completely disappeared by 8,000 BC. The main cause was contributed by the natural factors. When the ice age came to an end, their natural habitat was lost and they no longer had the chilly cold environment suitable to their survival. Moreover, the vegetation which these animals used to feed on also disappeared because of the change in climate, leading to the inevitable death of these creatures. The prehistoric man also contributed a little to their extinction by overhunting.
These facts about the woolly mammoth would fascinate you.
- Woolly mammoths were huge creatures with a height of 15 feet and around 8 tons of weight. Today's elephants have almost the same size.
- Their beautiful tusks reached the length of five meters which were probably used for clearing away the thick snow to find food underneath.
- Unlike the elephants of the modern world, woolly mammoths had a thick fur coat as an adaptation for their survival in the cold Arctic Tundra.
- Due to the cold environment, their fossils are better preserved than any other organism, being found in organic state instead of stone state.
A quagga one of the most fascinating organisms indeed was a half-zebra and half-horse. Belonging to a subspecies of the plain zebra, a quagga possessed the same stripped appearance at the front part of its body. However, these stripes faded away towards the organism's mid-section, leading to a completely plain rear. Moreover, unlike the black and white plain zebra, quagga was brown in color with dark brown stripes.
The animal went through extinction quite recently in the 1880s. The main reason was overhunting of this beautiful creature for its valuable hide as well as meat.
Here is what you should know about this unique creature.
- Quagga belonged to the Cape Province as well as the southern region of Orange Free State of South Africa.
- It was a herbivorous organism and used to feed on grass which was also food for the domestic cattle. The local farmers, therefore, considered it a pest and used to hunt the unfortunate creature extensively.
- The last of the wild quaggas was killed by man in 1870s while the last of them remaining in captivity died in 1883.
This awe-inspiring creature is another of the unfortunate organisms which disappeared quite recently, mainly due to its biggest predator man. Also known as the Persian Tiger, it used to exist in the forests of Iran, Turkey, Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Tajikistan, Iraq, Uzbekistan, Mongolia and Turkmenistan.
A land reclamation project was undertaken when the twentieth century began, clearing away the land which was house to the Caspian tiger. A large number of the animal members was also killed as a part of the reclamation project. On the other hand, a loss of habitat resulted in the disappearance of the rest.
Check out this interesting information about the Caspian tigers.
- Caspian Tigers were the third largest of all the tiger species in the world.
- A fully grown up Caspian tiger had a bulky body with long legs, wide paws and large claws. A male weighed between 169 to 240 Kg while the females weighed from 85 to 135 Kg.
- It resembled the Bengal Tiger in color.
- Caspian Tiger is one of the organisms that reached extinction in the last 100 years. The last of them was killed in 1959.
Another victim of overhunting is Dodo. It was a flightless bird which used to be found in large numbers in Mauritius. The bird had no predators on the islands, until European sailors discovered this easy to catch prey. Moreover, along with humans, other organisms including rats used to feed on the eggs of this bird. As a result, Dodo reached its extinction in 1681.
- Pigeons and doves are the closest relatives of Dodo.
- Dodo was not adapted to fly as it could easily find its food seeds and fruits on the ground.
- The bird was three feet tall on average.
- Different expressions in the English language use dodo as an example. For instance, "going the way of dodo" means becoming obsolete. Similarly, "as dead as dodo" is another popular expression which means to be dead undoubtedly.
Extinct Animals Pictures
Since these organisms no longer remain in the wild or in captivity, you can only find them in the extinct animals pictures on the internet or in books. You will find the biggest collection of such photos on the web.
While searching for the photos of the amazing creatures which no longer walk on the earth, do look for the following.
- The golden toad
- Irish deer
- Steller's sea cow
- The Tasmanian tiger
- The great auk
- Cave lion
- Woolly rhinoceros
- Sabre-toothed cat the Smilodon
- Madagascar's dwarf hippopotamus
- Laughing owl
- Pinta island tortoise
All of these amazing organisms will surely fascinate you with their interesting appearances. Unfortunately, you can only find them in photos now.