Like a mix between the zebra and horse, the quagga was striped in the front half of its body (with brown and white) and solid brown in its backside with some white. It was the first extinct animal to have its DNA analyzed in 1984, and it was found that it was more closely related to the zebra than the horse. Because they were so easy to find, they were hunted for their meat and skins. They were also shipped from South Africa to Europe for the zoos often.
The baiji is a freshwater dolphin, found only in the Yangtze River in China. As a result of industrialization, heavy fishing, river transportation and hydroelectricity, the population of these sea creatures declined dramatically. It’s quite sad that they aren’t around anymore. Common dolphins are cute enough, but these have a little bit more charm to them with their pointed mouths.
#3 Laughing Owl
The laughing owl was once abundant in New Zealand, and has been known for their peculiar noises. Many describe their call as loud and “made up of a series of dismal shrieks frequently repeated”. Not sure if this would have been nice or ridiculously scary if you were to be in the woods by yourself, but we guess we’ll never really know now.
#4 Rocky Mountain Locust
The rocky mountain locust used to range through the western half of the United States and Canada. How did such a swarm of insects that was once so abundant die out? Scientists believe that the plowing and irrigation of settlers disrupted their natural life cycle, killing off their eggs. Another example of how humans have affected the lives of many species. In some way, we suppose it's fortunate for us, as they are no longer around to affect the state of crops.
Penguins and emus aren’t the only birds that can’t fly. The dodo was a chubby little thing, standing up to 3 feet tall, that once walked on an island called Mauritius in the Indian Ocean until the late 17th century. Scientists believe that it is flightless because it had an abundance of food on the island and didn’t have many predators… until sailors came upon the island. As a result of hunting, usage of their natural habitat, and the introduction of pigs, dogs, and other invasive species, the bird eventually died out.
#6 Pyrenean Ibex
The pyrenean ibex is a wild goat that was last seen in 2000 when a tree fell on it. The female was often mistaken for a deer because its fur was brown throughout the summer, and the males had large thick horns that curved outwards and backwards, and then outwards and downwards. Although it is technically extinct, scientists were able to successfully implant its DNA into a coat. Alas, it was alive!… for seven minutes.
#7 Woolly Mammoth
Many of us know about the woolly mammoth from the movie, Ice Age. Because they were frozen in Siberia and Alaska, scientists were able to study them extensively. What once coexisted with humans (as the movie would lead us to believe), they disappeared due to climate change, habitat changes, and hunting since their tusks were valued for the ivory.
#8 Great Auk
The great auk was about 3 feet tall, and is similar to the penguin. It was pretty large and lived in the Northern Hemisphere off the coast of northern Europe and northeastern North America. The stories of how they died are a bit strange. In Scotland, the last known one was executed because villages believed it was a witch. Others were hunted as food and bait in Iceland, where fisherman not only killed off a mama and papa, but also crushed their remaining egg.
#9 Saber-toothed Cat
Another animal made famous from the movie, Ice Age, the saber-toothed cat is known for its teeth which extended down past its mouth and curved towards its body. It is believed that they pounced on victims, sunk their teeth in, and left it to flop around until it eventually bled to death.
#10 Giant Ground Sloths
Ground sloths (which is actually used to describe several very gigantic sloths) could be as large as 20 feet an weigh up to four tons. More like an elephant than the cute cuddly sloths we see today. It’s believed that they were hunted to death considering how much meat they would’ve had on them, no one is really sure as to how this species became extinct.