Both natural and man-made causes have been responsible for species going extinct. But now it’s mainly due to the destruction of natural habitat and mindless pollution that are making species endangered and leading to extinction. Here we countdown the Top 10 strangest extinct animals.
Top 10 Strangest Extinct Animals
It is extremely painful to see an entire species of the animal go extinct. Every species that roams the earth is unique and they are the reason why Earth is such a beautiful planet in our solar system. While over the span of centuries many species have become extinct.
At number 10 in rare animals is Smilodon. This species is probably one of the most ferocious animals to go extinct. Smilodon is also commonly known as the Sabre-Toothed Cat. Smilodon has become popular in the recent times due to the Ice Age Movies. They were really huge, with 3 meters in length and 1.4 meters tall. Even lions look small by comparison to them in big forests. They mainly hunted large animals like deer, bison and small mammoths and even scavenged sometimes. Smilodons are presumed to have gone extinct after the ice age as large herbivores slowly let way to smaller and faster ones. This gave Smilodon a hard time in catching preys. Also, their competition with humans is also said to be one of the reasons for their eventual disappearance.
9. Irish Elk
At number 9 in strangest extinct animals is Irish Elk. One of the most beautiful extinct animals, the Irish Elk was a marvel of nature. They were found in large numbers from Ireland to Siberia. At 7 feet tall and weighing at 700 kgs, they truly were a sight to behold. Their antlers were also among the largest of any deer species, reaching 12 feet in width. Their antlers are thought to be used by males to impress the females while also using them to intimate the potential male rivals. They are thought to have gone extinct some 5000 years ago because of being hunted by humans. It is also said that due to retreating ice, the new flora lacked in the sufficient nutrients to support them, hence leading to their demise.
At number 8 in strangest extinct animals is Quagga. Quagga is possibly one of the most bizarre extinct animals. On first look, it looks like a half horse and half zebra. They were a subspecies of the horses and were found in South Africa where they were hunted to extinction in 19th century. In order to save land for domesticated animals and also to obtain their meat and hide, Quaggas were hunted recklessly. It’s really sad that none of these wonderful creatures are alive today for us to marvel at.
7. Barbary Lion
At number 7 in Extinct Animals is Barbary Lion. Barbary Lions were among the extinct animals in the last 100 years. They were also called Atlas Lion and were really different from the modern lions. They roamed about in pairs or in families instead of pride in most dangerous forests across. Also, their males had the mane that not only surrounded the hair but also chest and stomach. One of the most magnificent creatures to live, the last one of them were shot in the wild in 1927. Although they are extinct, they are immortal in literature as these were those famous lions that were used in combat against the gladiators during the Roman days.
6. Laughing Owl
At number 6 in strangest extinct animals is Laughing Owl. One of the weird extinct animals due to its strange hoot sound which sounded more like madman’ sneer. They were native to New Zealand and by mid-1800s were already endangered. They often made their nest around the forest borders amidst the tallest trees. Human settlement and their habitat destruction let to a dietary change for them. Before they hunted ducks and lizards but then shifted to mammals. This dietary change led them to be hunted by their predators more and hence lead to extinction. Agricultural burning also quickened their eradication.
5. Great Auk
At number 5 is Great Auk. Great Auk is a common name in the extinct animals lists and this is because of their uniqueness. It was a flightless bird and looked similar to a modern-day penguin. They had many same attributes too like storing fat for warmth, being strong swimmers and being part of large colonies. They grew up to three feet in heights and had a hooked beak that made their really unique to look at. During the 16th century, they were hunted by Europeans recklessly as their features were highly sought after for pillows. It was also hunted for fishing bait and were even skinned alive and burned for feathers and food. Due to all these, they became pretty rare and soon museums, zoos and collectors tried to collect the remaining ones as prized trophies. This led to their eventual extinction.
4. Tasmanian Tiger
At number 4 in strangest extinct animals is Tasmanian Tiger. One of the more recently extinct animals, the Tasmanian Tiger was the largest carnivorous marsupials of the modern time. They were considered one of the fastest animals of that time. As the name suggests, they were native to Tasmania and the surrounding regions. They became extinct in 1930s because of excessive hunting by farmers who blamed them for killing their livestock. Furthermore, Tasmanian Tiger was at the top of the food chain in its habitat killing small mammals, possums, kangaroos and birds. It was unique among marsupials as well because even the males had a pouch which protected their genitals from bushes while running.
At number 3 is Moa. Moa is one of the strangest animals that are extinct because despite being a bird they could grow to four meters and weigh 230 kg. They were the traditional prey of Haast’s Eagle. Their extinction was not because of their predators but because of humans. The Maori people who arrive in 1300 AD, hunted them recklessly which drew them to extinction.
2. Pinta Island Tortoise
At number 2 in Rarest Animals is Pinta Island Tortoise. Due to their mind nature, tortoises have always been a loved species. The Pinta Island Tortoise were the subspecies of the giant tortoises that lived in the Galapagos Islands. Being hunted for food in 19th century and destruction of habitat by goats which were brought to the island are said to be the causes for its extinction. Despite efforts, only one remained which was the famous Lonesome George. He died in 2012, leading to the extinction of this wonderful species.
1. Wooly Mammoth
At number 1 in strangest extinct animals is Wooly Mammoth. One of the largest extinct animals of the post-dinosaur period, Wooly Mammoths truly were magnificent creatures. They reached heights of 11 feet and weighed 6 tonnes. Although they are closely related to the Asian Elephants they had brown-black fur. Apart from that, they had tremendous tusks which they used for fighting and foraging. They were found in the Arctic and Tundra regions. The Climate change at the end of last glacial period spelled doom for them. Furthermore, with the retreating ice, their habitat decreased and reduced their numbers from the highest mountains. Hunting by humans did the rest and most died 10,000 years ago. Small populations did manage to survive till 4000 years ago in some remote places.
These are some of the most amazing, strange and beautiful strangest extinct animals that we will never get to see ever again.