10. Mosquitoes If there’s one species that annoys the heck out of everyone it’s the mosquito, right? They not only give us irritating bites and buzz in your ear, but they can also transmit diseases like malaria, dengue, West Nile virus, and much more. In fact mosquitoes are responsible for killing almost 1 million people a year…this is no joke.
9. Passenger Pigeon The passenger pigeon has been extinct since 1914 but the passenger pigeon made a big impact on history. They used to be found in the billions in North America and were noted for their red chests and tails which were shaped like wedges. Everything was going great until one thing happened… the invention of the telegraph in the mid 1800s.
8. Western Black Rhinoceros This subspecies of the black rhino was officially declared extinct in 2011. The Western black rhinoceros used to be a stunning feature of African wildlife. Sadly like many of its kind it was killed by poachers for its horn, which some believed had medicinal properties. But others just like having the horn on display for status purposes. You know, something to talk about with your friends.
7. The Dodo Bird Everyone’s heard of the dodo right? It even made an appearance in ‘Alice In Wonderland’…? Well in case you haven’t, it was a goofy-looking thing, it couldn’t fly and was apparently extremely delicious. It became extinct when sailors landed on the island of Mauritius in the Indian Ocean in the late 16th century. The hungry Dutchmen kept on eating the dodo until there was nothing left!
6. Pyrenean Ibex In this case, we have a d-extinction? Thanks to science, extinction can be reversed and an interesting example of this was the Pyrenean Ibex, a wild goat that also has the Spanish title ‘bucardo’. These hardy little guys used to roam the Iberian Peninsula. Their distinctive horns were thick and curved on the males and shorter and thin on the females.
5. La Pinta Island tortoise La Pinta Island is part of the legendary Galapagos Islands in Ecuador. These islands were immortalized by Charles Darwin when he used the wildlife there as inspiration for the theory of evolution we still rely on today. Also known as ‘Abingdon Island’, La Pinta played host to a giant species of tortoise.
4. Quagga Until the late 1800s quaggas were a common sight in South Africa. A quagga was essentially a zebra only with a brown bottom half. It was a subspecies of the plains zebra and fell prey to hunters, who killed so many they wiped them off the map. For over a hundred years Mankind never saw a live quagga but then The Quagga Project started.
3. Tasmanian Tiger This Tasmanian Tiger isn’t exactly a tiger, it just got called that because of its stripes. The correct name was ‘thylacine’ and it was actually a large marsupial like a kangaroo. It also lived on the Australian mainland as well as Tasmania.
2. Steller’s Sea Cow If any species had it rough it was the Steller’s sea cow. This also includes manatees. Named after George W. Steller, the naturalist who discovered them in 1741, they were part of the ecosystem on the Komander Islands in the Bering Sea.
1. Great Auk The big name when it comes to extinct species is probably the Great Auk. It’s been referred to as the “original penguin” and you can see why. It’s black and white, short and it can’t fly. Look at that huge beak too. This little bird wouldn’t look out of place in ‘Happy Feet’.
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