The Seventh Extinction

As strange as it may sound, we could actually be living in the middle of a mass extinction right now. In recent times, there have been no colossal outpourings of lava, nor have there been any huge asteroid impacts, so what's the cause of this, the seventh, mass extinction We are. Humans almost certainly contributed to the demise of some of the Pleistocene animals, some of which appear in this book. More recently, around 780 species have become extinct since 1500, but as the vast majority of...

Selected Bibliography

The Hot Springs Mammoth Site A Decade of Field and Laboratory Research in Paleontology, Geology, and Paleoecology. Hot Springs, SD The Mammoth Site of Hot Springs, South Dakota, 1994. Agust , J., and M. Ant n. Mammoths, Sabertooths, and Hominids 65 Million Years of Mammalian Evolution in Europe. New York Columbia University Press, 2005. Anderson, A. Prodigious Birds Moas and Moa-Hunting in New Zealand. Cambridge Cambridge University Press, 2003. Archer, M., S....

The Ancient Mass Extinctions And Evolution

For the organisms that experience them, cataclysmic events bring death and devastation, but mass extinctions have their positive side, too. Indeed, if it wasn't for mass extinction, we would not be here. Mass extinctions wipe the biological slate clean and leave the door open to organisms that have been kept in the shade. If we travel back in time, the Permian-Triassic mass extinction created an opportunity for the dinosaurs to rise to dominance, following the demise of the large synapsids,...

Golden Toad

Golden Toad The golden toad was restricted to the cloud forest above the city of Monteverde in Costa Rica. It was last seen in 1989. Renata Cunha Golden Toad The golden toad was restricted to the cloud forest above the city of Monteverde in Costa Rica. It was last seen in 1989. Renata Cunha Scientific name Bufo periglenes Scientific classification Phylum Chordata Class Amphibia Order Anura Family Bufonidae When did it become extinct No golden toads have been seen since May 1989. Where did it...

The Major Extinctions And Their Causes Cambrian Ordovician

Geologists use a series of extinction events that occurred around 490 million years ago to define the end of the Cambrian period and the beginning of the Ordovician. These events led to the demise of many types of marine animal. The brachiopods marine mol-lusks resembling bivalves were very numerous before this event, but whatever occurred all that time ago had a drastic effect on their numbers. The trilobites, ancient forerunners of today's numerous creepy crawlies, could also be found in...

Pigfooted Bandicoot

Australian Bandicoot

Scientific name Chaeropus ecaudatus Scientific classification Phylum Chordata Class Mammalia Order Peramelemorphia Family Chaeropodidae When did it become extinct The last verifiable specimen was collected in 1901, but it probably survived in remote areas for far longer, possibly until the 1950s. Where did it live This marsupial was known only from the plains of inland Australia. Pig-Footed Bandicoot The pig-footed bandicoot was a small, fleet-footed marsupial from the plains of Australia. Phil...

Woolly Rhinoceros

Woolly Rhinoceros Images

Woolly Rhinoceros The woolly rhinoceros was widespread throughout northern Europe and Asia until the end of the last glaciation. Phil Miller Woolly Rhinoceros The woolly rhinoceros was widespread throughout northern Europe and Asia until the end of the last glaciation. Phil Miller Scientific name Coelodonta antiquitatis Scientific classification Phylum Chordata Class Mammalia Order Perissodactyla Family Rhinocerotidae When did it become extinct This rhinoceros is thought to have survived until...

Flores Human

Scientific name Homo floresiensis Scientific classification Flores Human Here a female Homofloresiensis, barely 1 m tall, walks back to her group's cave with a large rodent she has killed. Phil Miller When did it become extinct The most recent remains of this hominid are 18,000 years old, but it is very possible that it survived well into historic times. Where did it live The bones of Flores man have only been found on the island of Flores, In 2004, a group of scientists revealed to the world...

Stephens Island Wren

Scientific name Xenicus lyalli Scientific classification Family Acanthisittidae When did it become extinct This small bird is thought to have become extinct in 1894. Where did it live The wren was found only on Stephens Island, New Zealand. Island wren into extinction. Renata Cunha Island wren into extinction. Renata Cunha Rising to heights of around 300 m, Stephens Island looms off the northernmost tip of Marlborough Sound on South Island of New Zealand. The island is tiny 2.6 km2 , but it is...

Glyptodont

Glyptodont The glyptodonts huge, domed carapace made it almost invulnerable to predators. Natural History Museum at Tring Glyptodont The glyptodonts huge, domed carapace made it almost invulnerable to predators. Natural History Museum at Tring Glyptodont Even if a predator was stupid enough to attack an adult glyptodont, its lashing tail could inflict some serious injury. Natural History Museum at Tring Glyptodont Even if a predator was stupid enough to attack an adult glyptodont, its lashing...

Thylacine

Thylacine Only an expert would be able to tell that this skull belonged to a thylacine and not a dog. Natural History Museum at Tring Thylacine Only an expert would be able to tell that this skull belonged to a thylacine and not a dog. Natural History Museum at Tring Thylacine A stuffed skin of a thylacine. Note the similarity of this Australian marsupial to a dog. Natural History Museum at Tring Thylacine A stuffed skin of a thylacine. Note the similarity of this Australian marsupial to a dog....

Cave Bear

Cave Bear Species

Scientific name Ursus spelaeus Scientific classification Cave Bear The cave bear's steep forehead is clearly visible in this picture. Much of the space inside the forehead is taken up by the structures that supported the nasal tissue. This probably gave the bear an excellent sense of smell. Ross Piper Cave Bear The cave bear's steep forehead is clearly visible in this picture. Much of the space inside the forehead is taken up by the structures that supported the nasal tissue. This probably gave...

Haasts Eagle

Haast Eagle

Scientific name Harpagornis moorei Scientific classification Phylum Chordata Class Aves Order Falconiformes Family Accipitridae When did it become extinct Haast's eagle is thought to have become extinct around 500 years ago, although it has been said that the species managed to survive into very recent times. Where did it live The eagle was found only in New Zealand. Before the arrival of humans, birds ruled New Zealand. In the absence of mammalian predators, many of the feathered denizens of...

How Dodo Animal Disappeared

Scientific name Raphus cucullatus Scientific classification Phylum Chordata Class Aves Order Columbiformes Family Columbidae When did it become extinct The dodo is generally considered to have gone extinct in 1681, but any records of it after the 1660s have to be treated with caution. Where did it live The dodo was only found on the island of Mauritius, 900 km to the east of Madagascar. As dead as a dodo No phrase is more synonymous with extinction than this one. The dodo Dodo Although the dodo...

Dire Wolf

Dire Wolf Skull

Scientific name Canis dirus Scientific classification Phylum Chordata Class Mammalia Order Carnivora Family Canidae When did it become extinct It is thought that the dire wolf became extinct sometime between 8,000 and 16,000 years ago. Where did it live Dire wolf fossils have been found in North, Central, and South America. If you are alone in the woods, the howl of the wolf must be one of the most unnerving sounds you can hear. Our fear of this sound is an old one that extends all the way back...

Friesenhahn Cave Dire Wolf Fossils

Scimitar Cat The scimitar cats are another extinct species of felines with large canine teeth. They were large, long-limbed animals, and they probably used their impressive teeth to kill and dismember large herbivorous mammals. Renata Cunha When did it become extinct The estimates for when the last scimitar cat became extinct vary between 10,000 and 13,000 years ago, but it is possible that they survived into more recent times. Where did it live The remains of the scimitar cat have been found...

Rocky Mountain Locust

Rocky Mountain Locust The Rocky Mountain locust formed enormous swarms, possibly the largest known aggregations of any animal. Phil Miller Rocky Mountain Locust The Rocky Mountain locust formed enormous swarms, possibly the largest known aggregations of any animal. Phil Miller The Rocky Mountain locust was small by typical locust standards, with an adult body length of 20 to 35 mm, long wings that extended past the end of the abdomen, and the enlarged back legs common to most grasshoppers. What...

Marcanos Solenodon

Marcano's Solenodon Marcano's solenodon, like its living close relatives, was a nocturnal predator of invertebrates and other small animals. Phil Miller Scientific name Solenodon marcanoi Scientific classification Phylum Chordata Class Mammalia Order Soricomorpha Family Solenodontidae When did it become extinct It is not known when Marcano's solenodon became extinct, but it was probably after the Europeans first reached the New World at the end of the fifteenth century. Where did it live The...

Neanderthal

Neanderthalensis Scientific classification Phylum Chordata Class Mammalia Order Primates Family Hominidae When did it become extinct The most recent remains of Neanderthals have been dated at around 28,000 years old, and it is unlikely that they survived into more recent times. Where did it live Neanderthals lived throughout Europe, into the Middle East and southern Siberia. For a long time, the word Neanderthal was synonymous with lumbering cavemen, and following the first official discovery...

Homo Erectus

Scientific name Homo erectus Scientific classification Phylum Chordata Class Mammalia Order Primates Family Hominidae When did it become extinct Exactly when Homo erectus died out has divided scientists for years. Some paleontologists believe that isolated populations of this hominid may have survived in Southeast Asia until fewer than 100,000 years ago. Where did it live Fossils of Homo erectus have been found in Africa, the Republic of Georgia, China, and Indonesia. Eug ne Dubois, a Dutch...

Gastricbrooding Frog

Scientific name Rheobatrachus silus Scientific classification Phylum Chordata Class Amphibia Order Anura Family Myobatrachidae When did it become extinct This frog was last seen alive in 1981. Where did it live The gastric-brooding frog was known only from the Canondale and Blackall mountain ranges in southeast Queensland, Australia. Another victim of the amphibian disaster was a fascinating little frog from Australia that was only discovered in 1973, yet by 1981, it had vanished without a...

Caribbean Monk Seal

Caribbean Monk Seal Habitat loss, persecution, and competition with humans for food forced the Caribbean monk seal into extinction. Phil Miller Caribbean Monk Seal Habitat loss, persecution, and competition with humans for food forced the Caribbean monk seal into extinction. Phil Miller Scientific name Monachus tropicalis Scientific classification Phylum Chordata Class Mammalia Order Carnivora Family Phocidae When did it become extinct The last reliable record of this species is from 1952....

American Mastodon

The American Mastodon

American Mastodon The American mastodon was an elephantlike creature that inhabited North America for a much longer period of time than the mammoths. Renata Cunha American Mastodon The American mastodon was an elephantlike creature that inhabited North America for a much longer period of time than the mammoths. Renata Cunha Scientific name Mammut americanum Scientific classification Phylum Chordata Class Mammalia Order Proboscidea Family Mammutidae When did it become extinct The American...

Extinction Insight Entombed in Tar The Rancho La Brea Asphalt Deposits

In downtown Los Angeles is one of the most fantastic fossil sites in the whole world a place that has given us an unparalleled glimpse of a small corner of ice age earth. Rancho La Brea, frequently referred to as the La Brea tar pits, has yielded around 1 million bones since excavations began there in 1908. The site is actually above an oil field, and oil has been seeping to the surface through fractured rocks for 38,000 years. When the oil reaches the surface, the more volatile chemicals...

Giant Bison

Giant Bison Skeleton

Giant Bison This skeleton measures just over 2 m from the floor to the top of the tallest vertebral spine. In life, the animal would have been closer to 2.5 m tall, with horns at least 2 m across. Royal Saskatchewan Museum Giant Bison This skeleton measures just over 2 m from the floor to the top of the tallest vertebral spine. In life, the animal would have been closer to 2.5 m tall, with horns at least 2 m across. Royal Saskatchewan Museum Scientific name Bison latifrons Scientific...

Glossary

Amphibian an animal that spends its time in the water and on land. Amplexus the name given to the reproductive embrace of frogs and toads. Apatite the mineral that forms the enamel of teeth and reinforces bone. Archipelago a group of islands. Articulate the way in which bones are arranged in an animal's skeleton. Artiodactyls the group of herbivorous animals that includes deer, sheep, and cattle characterized by their cloven hooves. Asphalt the dark, sticky substance that remains of crude oil...

Elephant Bird

Elephant Bird

Elephant Bird The largest of the elephant bird species weighed around 450 kg. Renata Cunha Elephant Bird The largest of the elephant bird species weighed around 450 kg. Renata Cunha Scientific name Aepyornis sp. Scientific classification Order Struthioniformes Family Aepyornithidae When did it become extinct It is not precisely known when the elephant bird became extinct, but it may have hung on until the eighteenth or nineteenth century. Where did it live The elephant bird was found only on...

Quagga

Quagga Isolated

Scientific name Equus quagga quagga Scientific classification When did it become extinct The last quagga, a captive specimen, died in 1883. Where did it live The quagga was only found in South Africa, particularly in the Cape Province and the southern part of the Orange Free State. Quagga A subspecies of the plains zebra, the quagga retains some degree of striping. Natural History Museum at Tring Quagga A subspecies of the plains zebra, the quagga retains some degree of striping. Natural...

Moanalo

Moa-Nalo Many species of the giant, flightless ducks known as moa-nalo once inhabited the Hawaiian Islands. Renata Cunha Moa-Nalo Many species of the giant, flightless ducks known as moa-nalo once inhabited the Hawaiian Islands. Renata Cunha Scientific name Several species Scientific classification Phylum Chordata Class Aves Order Anseriformes Family Anatidae When did they become extinct These birds became extinct around 1,000 years ago. Where did they live Their remains have been found on all...

Woolly Mammoth

The Mammuthus Columbi

Woolly Mammoth A herd of woolly mammoth wondering across the steppe must have been an imposing sight. Phil Miller Woolly Mammoth A herd of woolly mammoth wondering across the steppe must have been an imposing sight. Phil Miller Scientific name Mammuthus primigenius Scientific classification Phylum Chordata Class Mammalia Order Proboscidea Family Elephantidae When did it become extinct The woolly mammoth is thought to have become extinct around 10,000 to 12,000 years ago, although a dwarf race...

Giant Beaver

Giant Beaver This picture shows the giant beaver's skull and mandible compared to that of a modern American beaver. The difference in size is startling. Richard Harrington Giant Beaver The giant beaver was about the same size as a modern black bear. Richard Harrington Giant Beaver This picture shows the giant beaver's skull and mandible compared to that of a modern American beaver. The difference in size is startling. Richard Harrington Giant Beaver The giant beaver was about the same size as a...

Extinction Insight Ice Ages

It took a very long time indeed for humans to determine that the earth is far from the stable home we think it is. Changes in the geometry of the oval orbit along which the earth circles the sun, changes in the earth's tilt over time, changes in the way in which the earth progresses along this orbit, and other, as yet unknown factors all contribute to what can only be described as a very variable climate, both in the short and long term. For immense stretches of time, the earth has been a...

Warrah

Warrah The Falkland Island fox, or warrah, was the only large land mammal on the windswept archipelago in the South Atlantic. Phil Miller Scientific name Dusicyon australis Scientific classification Phylum Chordata Class Mammalia Order Carnivora When did it become extinct The last known warrah was killed in 1876. Where did it live This carnivore was known only from the Falkland Islands. Remote and treeless, the Falkland Islands is a small archipelago in the South Atlantic Ocean. Ravaged by...

Giant Shortfaced Bear

Short Faced Bear

Giant Short-Faced Bear A giant short-faced bear, the largest bear ever, is seen here using its great size to scare a pack of wolves away from their kill a bison. Richard Harrington Scientific name Arctodus simus Scientific classification Phylum Chordata Class Mammalia Order Carnivora Family Ursidae When did it become extinct This bear is thought to have died out around 12,500 years ago. Where did it live This bear and its close relatives were only found in North America. Their remains have been...

Megatooth Shark

Megatoothed Sharks

Scientific name Carcharocles megalodon Scientific classification Phylum Chordata Class Chondrichthyes Order Lamniformes Family Lamnidae Megatooth Shark A tooth of the fearsome great white shark, right, looks very small indeed next to the tooth of the megatooth shark, left. Ross Piper Megatooth Shark The megatooth shark, top and center, was at least 20 times heavier than the living great white shark, bottom left and bottom right, making it the largest predatory fish that has ever lived. Renata...

Pouchknife

Knife Predator

The skull of the pouch-knife clearly shows the huge extensions of the mandible that protected the long canines. The long root of the canines can be seen extending beyond the eye. Very few remains of this animal are known. Ross Piper Pouch-Knife A pair of pouch-knife marsupials prepare to go hunting after a long rest. This unusual predator probably used ambush tactics and strength to catch and subdue its prey. Renata Cunha Pouch-Knife A pair of pouch-knife marsupials prepare to go hunting after...

Wonambi

Phascolonus

Scientific name Wonambi naracoortensis Scientific classification Family Madtsoiidae When did it become extinct This snake became extinct around 40,000 years ago. Where did it live This snake was only found in Australia. The snakes are a very odd group of reptiles. Sinuous and legless, they have evolved some amazing ways of catching their food and protecting themselves. Although these limbless reptiles are endlessly fascinating, their origins are nothing short of a mystery. It is thought that...

Giant Lemur

How Big Giants Skull

Giant Lemur A giant lemur skull, bottom, is compared with a gorilla skull, top, giving an idea of how large this extinct Madagascan primate was. Elwyn L. Simons Giant Lemur A giant lemur skull, bottom, is compared with a gorilla skull, top, giving an idea of how large this extinct Madagascan primate was. Elwyn L. Simons Giant Lemur Madagascar was once home to a number of very large lemurs. The skulls of some of these are shown in this photograph alongside two living species. Above left to right...

Terror Bird

Bird Skeleton

Terror Bird This terror bird Titanis sp. skull is almost 50 cm long, and it clearly shows the massive bill, with its hooked tip, that was used to kill and dismember the unfortunate mammals of ancient South America. Natural History Museum at Tring Terror Bird This progressive reconstruction of a terror bird Paraphysornis brasiliensis demonstrates the powerful legs and robust skeleton of these remarkable birds. Renata Cunha Terror Bird This progressive reconstruction of a terror bird...

Steller S Sea Cow Sightings

Steller Sea Cows

Scientific name Hydrodamalis gigas Scientific classification Phylum Chordata Class Mammalia Order Sirenia Family Dugongidae When did it become extinct It became extinct in the year 1768, although it is possible that the species may have persisted for a few more years. Where did it live The last populations of Steller's sea cow were known from some of the islands in the Bering Sea, just off the coast of the Kamchatka Peninsula. In 1741, the St. Peter, captained by Vitus Bering, departed from...

Steadman Sylviornis

Sylviornis Skeleton

Scientific name Sylviornis neocaledoniae Scientific classification Phylum Chordata Class Aves Order Galliformes Family Sylviornithidae When did it become extinct The du is thought to have become extinct around 1,500 years ago, but it is possible that the species survived into more recent times. Du The 30-kg du constructed huge nest mounds on New Caledonia and the Ile des Pins. Renata Cunha Du The 30-kg du constructed huge nest mounds on New Caledonia and the Ile des Pins. Renata Cunha Where did...

Australian Thunderbird

Prehistoric Australian Thunderbirds

Scientific name Dromornithids Scientific classification Phylum Chordata Class Aves Order Anseriformes Family Dromornithidae When did it become extinct The last of the Australian thunderbirds died out around 30,000 years ago. Where did it live The bones of these birds are known only from Australia. Today, Australia is home to two species of giant flightless bird the emu of the bush and plains and the cassowary of the northern forests. These two species are closely related to the other ratites,...

Giant Rhinoceros

Giant Rhinoceros

Elasmotherium This enormous rhinoceros roamed the steppes of Asia. The remnants of its horn have long since disappeared, but in life, this weapon could have been 2 m long. Renata Cunha Scientific name Elasmotherium sibiricum Scientific classification Phylum Chordata Class Mammalia Order Perissodactyla Family Rhinocerotidae When did it become extinct The most recent specimens of this prehistoric animal are around 1.6 million years old, but there is circumstantial evidence that this great beast...

American Lion

American Lion

American Lion The American lion was substantially larger than the living lion. Bones from more than 100 individuals have been recovered from the Rancho La Brea asphalt deposits. Renata Cunha American Lion The American lion was substantially larger than the living lion. Bones from more than 100 individuals have been recovered from the Rancho La Brea asphalt deposits. Renata Cunha Scientific name Panthera leo atrox Scientific classification Phylum Chordata Class Mammalia Order Carnivore Family...

Sivathere

Mammal Fossil Drawing

Scientific classification Phylum Chordata Class Mammalia Order Artiodactyla Family Giraffidae When did it become extinct Estimations for the disappearance of these animals vary, but there is a slight possibility that a species of Sivatherium may have survived until as recently as 5,000 years ago. Where did it live The bones of sivatheres have been found throughout Asia, Europe, and Africa. In the 1930s, a joint expedition of the Field Museum in Chicago and Oxford...

Giant Hyena

Hyena And Mongoose Related

Scientific name Pachycrocuta brevirostris Scientific classification Phylum Chordata Class Mammalia Order Carnivora Family Hyaenidae Giant Hyena The giant hyena was about the same size as a big lioness and was probably capable of dismembering some very large carcasses with its formidable teeth and jaws. Renata Cunha Giant Hyena The giant hyena was about the same size as a big lioness and was probably capable of dismembering some very large carcasses with its formidable teeth and jaws. Renata...

Extinction Insight The Great American Interchange

Great American Interchange

Following their discovery by Europeans in 1492, North America and South America have been collectively known as the Americas or the New World, two immense landmasses that had been close geographical neighbors for time immemorial. However, the geological histories of North and South America are very different, and for huge expanses of time, there has been no physical link between them whatsoever. All of the landmasses on earth were once assembled in a superlandmass, Pangea. Over millions of...

Horned Turtle

Giant Horned Meiolaniidae

Horned Turtle With their spiked heads and tails, the horned turtles are among the largest and most bizarre turtles ever to have lived. Renata Cunha Horned Turtle With their spiked heads and tails, the horned turtles are among the largest and most bizarre turtles ever to have lived. Renata Cunha Scientific name Meiolania sp. Scientific classification Phylum Chordata Class Sauropsida Order Testudines Family Meiolaniidae When did it become extinct The last of these turtles is thought to have...

Giant Shortfaced Kangaroo

Giant Short Faced Kangaroo Fossils

Scientific name Procoptodon goliath Giant Short-Faced Kangaroo The grapple-hook paws and the single hind claws of this enormous kangaroo can clearly be seen in this illustration. Phil Miller Giant Short-Faced Kangaroo The grapple-hook paws and the single hind claws of this enormous kangaroo can clearly be seen in this illustration. Phil Miller Phylum Chordata Class Mammalia Order Diprotodontia Family Macropodidae When did it become extinct This kangaroo became extinct around 40,000 years ago....

Sicilian Dwarf Elephant

Dwarf Elephant

Scientific name Elephas falconeri Scientific classification Phylum Chordata Class Mammalia Order Proboscidea Family Elephantidae When did it become extinct This elephant became extinct around 10,000 years ago. Where did it live This animal was endemic to some of the Mediterranean islands and many remains have been found in Sicily. Today, the multitude of islands that dot the Mediterranean are where many Europeans choose to spend their summer vacations. Long before these islands became...

Quinkana

Crocodylidae Body

Scientific name Quinkana fortirostrum Scientific classification Phylum Chordata Class Reptilia Order Crocodilia Family Crocodylidae When did it become extinct The most recent Quinkana remains are around 40,000 years old. Where did it live Quinkana was an Australian reptile. Quinkana Quinkana was one of a number of unusual, land-dwelling crocodiles that roamed Australia and the islands of the South Pacific for many millions of years. Renata Cunha Quinkana Quinkana was one of a number of unusual,...

Magnificent Teratorn

Renata Cunha Art

Magnificent Teratom The magnificent teratorn was the largest flying bird that has ever lived. At 6 to 8 m, its wingspan was about the same as a small airplane. Renata Cunha When did it become extinct The only known remains of this bird are from around 6 million years ago, but we don't have a more accurate idea of exactly when it became Where did it live The remains of this bird have been found in Argentina. The two species of condor that inhabit the Americas are enormous birds. If you have ever...

Giant Monitor Lizard

Megalania Prisca Attacking Humans

Giant Monitor Lizard The giant monitor lizard was an enormous predatory reptile that prowled ancient Australia up until around 40,000 years ago. Renata Cunha Giant Monitor Lizard The giant monitor lizard was an enormous predatory reptile that prowled ancient Australia up until around 40,000 years ago. Renata Cunha Scientific name Megalania prisca Scientific classification Phylum Chordata Class Reptilia Order Squamata Family Varanidae When did it become extinct This lizard is thought to have...

Marsupial Lion

Thylacoleo Carnifex

Scientific name Thylacoleo carnifex Scientific classification Marsupial Lion The marsupial lion is an Australian oddity. Its grasping thumb and fearsome teeth are clearly visible in this image. Rod Wells Marsupial Lion The marsupial lion is an Australian oddity. Its grasping thumb and fearsome teeth are clearly visible in this image. Rod Wells When did it become extinct This marsupial appears to have gone extinct approximately 40,000 years ago. Where did it live The marsupial lion was found...

Giant Ape 200.000 Years

Phylum Mammalia Apes

Giant Ape A giant ape shown alongside the silhouette of a modern human to give an idea of size. They may have been even larger than this, although it is not known if they were bipedal. Phil Miller Scientific name Gigantopithecus blacki and G. giganteus Scientific classification Phylum Chordata Class Mammalia Order Primates Family Hominidae When did it become extinct The giant apes are thought to have become extinct around 200,000 years ago. Where did it live The remains of G. blacki have been...

Merriams Teratorn

Teratorn Art

Scientific name Teratornis merriami Scientific classification Phylum Chordata Class Aves Order Ciconiiformes Family Teratornithidae When did it become extinct This bird died out around 10,000 years ago. Where did it live The remains of this bird have been found in various locations in North America, including California, southern Nevada, Arizona, and Florida. The Rancho La Brea asphalt deposits in California have yielded a huge number of fossils, the remains of animals that became entombed in...

American Cheetah

American Cheetah

Scientific name Miracinonyx trumani Scientific classification Phylum Chordata Class Mammalia Order Carnivora Family Felidae When did it become extinct The American cheetah is thought to have become extinct around 10,000 years ago. Where did it live This cat was native to North America. American Cheetah Larger than the living cheetah, this North American predatory cat probably used speed to catch animals such as pronghorn. Renata Cunha The pronghorn antelope Antilocapra americana of North...

Giant Camel

Vanished From Earth Camel

Scientific name Titanotylopus nebraskensis Scientific classification Phylum Chordata Class Mammalia Order Artiodactyla Family Camelidae Giant Camel Compared to the modern camel, the giant camel was enormous. It stood around 3.5 m at the shoulder. Phil Miller Giant Camel Compared to the modern camel, the giant camel was enormous. It stood around 3.5 m at the shoulder. Phil Miller When did it become extinct The giant camel is thought to have become extinct around 1 million years ago. Where did it...

Moa And Big Bird

Scientific name Several species Scientific classification When did it become extinct Estimates for the disappearance of the moa vary, but it is thought they became extinct in the 1500s. Where did it live The moa were found only in New Zealand. The elephant birds see the earlier entry in this chapter were not the only giant birds that roamed the earth in quite recent times. Thousands of miles to the east of Madagascar, the islands of New Zealand were once home to several species of large bird,...

Giant Ground Sloth

Sloth Sillouhette

Giant Ground Sloth The human silhouette in this picture gives an idea of how huge these extinct sloths were. They could even rear up on their hind legs to reach lofty food. Natural History Museum at Tring Giant Ground Sloth The human silhouette in this picture gives an idea of how huge these extinct sloths were. They could even rear up on their hind legs to reach lofty food. Natural History Museum at Tring Giant Ground Sloth The ground sloths were perhaps the most impressive of all the extinct...

Gigantic Owl Species

Giant Hutia

Scientific name Ornimegalonyx oteroi Scientific classification Phylum Chordata Class Aves Order Strigiformes Family Strigidae When did it become extinct It is thought that this giant owl became extinct around 8,000 years ago. Where did it live The remains of this bird have only been found in Cuba. Cuba is a collection of tightly packed islands in the Caribbean Sea. As we have seen, islands are treasure troves of biological diversity as any animal that somehow manages to reach an isolated island...

Quelili

Chordata Examples

Quelili Collectors were remorseless in their pursuit of the quelili, and the last examples of this Guadalupe caracara were seen in 1901. Renata Cunha Quelili Collectors were remorseless in their pursuit of the quelili, and the last examples of this Guadalupe caracara were seen in 1901. Renata Cunha Scientific name Caracara lutosa Scientific classification Phylum Chordata Class Aves Order Falconiformes Family Falconidae When did it become extinct The last reliable sighting of this bird was in...

Aurochs

Auroch Drawing

Scientific name Bos primigenius Scientific classification Phylum Chordata Class Mammalia Order Artiodactyla Family Bovidae When did it become extinct The last known aurochs died in 1627. Where did it live The aurochs was found throughout Europe, the Middle East, and into Asia, with subspecies in North Africa and India. Most of the cattle breeds we know today are descended from the huge prehistoric cattle known as aurochs. These large animals roamed the woods and glades of Europe and Asia for...

Litoptern

Renata Cunha Art

Scientific name Macrauchenia patachonia Scientific classification Litoptern The litopterns were an unusual group of herbivorous mammals found throughout South America. The species depicted here was the last of their kind. Renata Cunha Litoptern The litopterns were an unusual group of herbivorous mammals found throughout South America. The species depicted here was the last of their kind. Renata Cunha Order Litopterna Family Macraucheniidae When did it become extinct This species of litoptern...

Smilodon Species

Phylum Chordata Class Mammalia Order Carnivora Family Felidae When did it become extinct This cat is thought to have gone extinct around 10,000 years ago, but as with any prehistoric animal, it is impossible to know exactly when it disappeared. Where did it live This feline lived in South America. Saber Tooth Cat The skull of Smilodon populator clearly shows the enormous canines of this formidable extinct cat. It used these teeth to inflict fatal wounds on some of the large South American...