Millions of years of earth’s history has led to the rise and fall of many species. Some of these extinctions were caused by human activity, others were caused by environmental changes, and some nobody truly knows. We will examine some of the most interesting creatures that are sadly absent from the planet today.
The quagga is one of Africa’s most incredible extinct animals. This creature has the appearance of being half zebra and half horse. On the front part of its body, it has zebra stripes that fade at the animal’s midsection. The quagga’s rear is devoid of any stripes.
The quagga were aggressively hunted for their meat and hides. The last wild quagga was likely killed sometime in the late 1870s. The last animal in captivity died in the Artis Magistra Zoo in Amsterdam on August 12, 1883.
Steller’s Sea Cow
This creature appeared similar to a large seal but with two strong forelimbs and a tail similar to that of a whale. The sea cow could grow up to 7.9 meters and bring the scales to three tonnes. The creature never came on land, simply living its entire life in the ocean.
The sea cow was first discovered by the German Botanist Georg Steller in 1741. At the time, he was traveling along the Asiatic coast of the Bering Sea.
It’s unknown exactly when the sea cow become extinct. However, it is believed to be caused by humans. Sporadic reports of sea cow-like creatures still occur to this day. However, none have been verified.
While there are many giant salamander alive today, prehistoric versions were noticeably larger. These creatures could grow up to 2 meters in length and resembled crocodiles. They also lived similarly to crocodiles by swimming in lakes and rivers and feeding on fish.
The prehistoric salamander was believed to have gone extinct around 200 million years ago. This mass extinction was believed to have happened long before the dinosaurs died out and helped pave the way for their dominance of the planet.
The Irish deer was a massive beast that had a shoulder height of 2.1 meters, making it the largest deer ever to exist. The creature also had magnificent antlers with a maximum length of 3.65 meters (from tip to tip).
Many researchers believe that the hunting of the Irish deer for its antlers is what led to its extinction. However, there are other theories regarding the animals excess body size. These indicate that environmental changes may have caused the beasts to die out from starvation. Developing large antlers also requires a lot of specific nutrients, and some scientists believe the large size of the deer’s headpiece may have some why contributed to its downfall.
The earth has such a diverse range of life with millions of different species. Unfortunately, some of the more exotic creations end up getting wiped out. Humans aren’t all to blame as environmental factors do play a part, however, care always need to be taken to protect and preserve as many life forms as possible.