Different Types Of Extinct Animals

Updated: October 21, 2022
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Extinct is a classification category on the International Union for the Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) Threatened Species List.

Extinction occurs when a species — also called “taxon” for the list — no longer exists anywhere on earth. When scientists have done extensive research and agree that there is no longer a single individual specimen of the species they declare it extinct. Essentially, extinction represents the termination of a taxon.

In the history of our planet, scientists estimate that 4 billion species have populated it over time, but 99% of those are now extinct animals. Since 1500 alone, approximately 900 species have gone extinct. Among these extinct animals are the West African black rhinoceros, the baiji white dolphin, the Tasmanian tiger, the dodo, and Stellers sea cow.

There are six main reasons why species now become extinct:

  • Habitat loss
  • Introduction of a foreign species
  • Hunting
  • Pollution
  • Disease
  • Loss of genetic variation

Human actions have played a huge role in species extinction in more recent history, but they’re not the only culprit. Of the 99 percent of species that have gone extinct on the planet, most of these extinct animals were victims of cataclysmic events or evolutionary problems. Typically, species have a lifespan of about 10 million years, but there are some that stick around for hundreds of millions. Take jellyfish; they have shimmied around the world’s oceans for about 550 million years! However, just because most animals eventually go extinct doesn’t mean we should not be concerned with their conservation status. When species are unnaturally dying out, to maintain the planet’s ecological balance, we must make an effort to ensure their survival.

A Albertonectes

The Albertonectes had the longest neck out of other Elasmosaurids.

A Allosaurus

Allosaurus is the official state fossil of Utah because of the abundant number of fossils found in the state.

A Allosaurus

Differnt Lizard” or Allosaurus weighed around two tonnes that is almost equal to a car.

A Amphicoelias Fragillimus
Amphicoelias Fragillimus

Only one fossil has been found for this dinosaur and it was lost very soon after discovery.

A Andrewsarchus

Andrewsarchus is the largest terrestrial mammalian carnivore to have ever lived.

A Anteosaurus

Although the Anteosaurus looked like a crocodile, it is more related to mammals than reptiles.

A Arambourgiania

The Arambourgiania was not a dinosaur but instead a pterosaur!

A Archaeoindris

Archaeoindris was the largest primate to evolve in Madagascar

A Archaeotherium

The family Entelodontidae is commonly referred to as "hell pigs."

A Archelon Turtle
Archelon Turtle

Archelons are the largest turtles to have ever lived in the world

A Arctodus

The South American spectacled bear is its closest relative living today.

A Arctotherium

The first fossil from the genus Arctotherium was discovered back in 1852.

A Argentavis Magnificens
Argentavis Magnificens

The Argentavis Magnificens was the heaviest flight bird to ever exist

A Argentinosaurus

The Argentinosaurus weighed as much as 10 elephants!

A Arsinoitherium

Arsinoitherium was a twin-horned mammal that looked like a rhino but is more closely related to present-day elephants.

A Arthropleura

Arthropleura was the largest terrestrial invertebrate to have ever lived

A Aurochs

Extinct ancestor of all domesticated cattle!

A Barinasuchus

Largest terrestrial predator of the Cenozoic era

A Barosaurus

If a barosaurus were alive today, it could stand on its hind legs and look in a 5th floor apartment window.

A Barylambda

Barylambda was one of the largest animals that lived during the Paleocene

A Brachiosaurus

Palentologists originally believed that brachiosaurus lived in the water, but they lived on land.

A Bull and Terrier
Bull and Terrier

Bull and Terriers were explicitly bred for bull-baiting, a savage blood sport where certain dog breeds would attack an angered bull tied to a pole.

A Cape Lion
Cape Lion

Despite its large, muscular body, the Cape lion actually rests more than 20 hours a day

A Carolina Parakeet
Carolina Parakeet

The Carolina parakeet is one of the few parrots that lived as far north as the United States

A Cave Bear
Cave Bear

Cave bears may have been worshiped by primitive humans.

A Cave Lion
Cave Lion

Unlike modern lions, cave lions didn't have a significant mane.

A Cervalces latifrons (Broad-Fronted Moose)
Cervalces latifrons (Broad-Fronted Moose)

Cervalces latifrons are the largest species of deer that ever existed.

A Coryphodon

The Coryphodono looked like a fancy rhinocerous, but it was more related to elephants

A Crocodylomorph

Crocodylomorphs include extinct ancient species as well as 26 living species today.

A Cryolophosaurus

This dinosaur was known as the elvissaur due to its pompadour-like crest.

A Daeodon

Scientists don't know whether daedon had scales, feathers, fur, or something else.

A Deinocheirus

Despite being bipedal, Deinocheirus had a large forearm

A Deinosuchus

Deinosuchus was probably the biggest crocodilian that ever lived

A Desmostylus

Desmostylus has no living descendant.

A Dilophosaurus

Dilophosaurus was the largest predatory dinosaur in North America during the Early Jurassic Epoch of the Jurassic Period.

A Dimetrodon

Dimetrodon was among the largest predators of the Early Permian Period.

A Dinocrocuta

Dinocrucuta had very strong jaws capable of crushing bones.

A Dinopithecus

The only species currently recognized of this ancient baboon is Dinopithecus ingens.

A Diplodocus

Their long tales could have been used as a whip!

A Diprotodon

Diprotodon was the largest marsupial that ever lived.

A Dodo

Native to the island of Mauritius!

A Doedicurus

Deodicurus was one of the largest glyptodonts to have ever lived.

A Dunkleosteus

Dunkleosteus had a bite force strong enough to cut through pirey.

A Elasmosaurus

Elasmosaurus is an extinct reptile species.

A Elasmotherium

Elasmotherium might have had a monstrous horn, giving it the name "The Siberian Unicorn."

A Embolotherium

Embolotherium had a ram on its snout like a rhino but they never used it as a weapon.

A Epicyon haydeni
Epicyon haydeni

Bone crushing dogs

A Epidexipteryx

Epidexipteryx was one of the smallest non-avian dinosaurs to ever exist.

A Equus giganteus
Equus giganteus

Equus giganteus is the largest species of horse that has ever lived.

A Eryops

Unlike modern amphibians, Eryops had a well-developed rib cage

A Euoplocephalus

Euplocephalus are the only Ankylosaurid dinosaurs with a bone plated head.

A Eurypterus

Eurypterus has a long tail that looks like a scorpion's stinger

A Finch

Finches have strong, conical bills that help them break open tough seeds that many other birds cannot.

A Gastornis

Gastornis had a massive beak, but they probably ate plants instead of flesh.

A Gigantopithecus

Some cryptozoologists think that Gigantopithecus survives to this day as "The Bigfoot."

A Gorgosaurus

Gorgosaurus probably lived and hunted in packs.

A Haast’s Eagle
Haast’s Eagle

The Haast's eagle was the largest eagle to have ever existed.

A Haikouichthys

Haikouichthys was the first animal to develop a well-defined head

A Hainosaurus

The hainosaurus was named after the Hainaut province of Belgium where the first specimen was discovered.

A Hallucigenia

The position of the Hallucigenia's head puzzled scientists for several years

A Hatzegopteryx

Hatzegopteryx was one of the largest flying animals to have ever lived.

A Helicoprion

Helicoprion was one of the largest cartilaginous fish of all time.

A Herrerasaurus

Herrerasuarus was one of the earliest dinosaurs in fossil records

A Hippopotamus gorgops
Hippopotamus gorgops

The eyes of Hippopotamus gorgops were positioned on eyestalks which allowed it to see above the water surface when submerged.

A Icadyptes

Unlike present-day pengiuns, Icadyptes lived in a warm habitat near the equator.

A Ichthyosaurus

Gave birth to live young instead of laying eggs like other reptiles

A Ichthyostega

Ichthyostega was one of the first aquatic animals to venture on land

A Irish Elk
Irish Elk

The Irish elk had the biggest antlers of any known deer species.

A Josephoartigasia monesi
Josephoartigasia monesi

Josephoartigasia monesi the largest known rodent

A Kaua’i ‘Ō‘ō
Kaua’i ‘Ō‘ō

Calls could be heard up to a quarter mile away

A Leedsichthys

Leedsichthys is one of the largest fish ever discovered

A Liopleurodon

Liopleurodon were fast swimmers that lived entirely under water, but they had no gills

A Livyatan

The Livyatan had 1 to 1.2 foot long, interlocking teeth

A Lystrosaurus

Lystrosaurus was one of the few terrestial species that survived the permian extinction

A Machaeroides

Machaeroides had large saber-teeth, much like the saber-toothed tiger.

A Macrauchenia

The Macrauchenia was a large mammal, at nearly ten feet in length, weighing about 2,299 pounds.

A Magyarosaurus

Magyarosaurus is the smallest sauropod dinosaur to have ever lived

A Maiasaura

Maiasaura dinosaurs can grow to 31 feet long.

A Masiakasaurus

Masiakasaurus had dentition adapted to catching fast-moving prey.

A Megalania

Some people believe that Megalania still exists in remote areas, although those beliefs have never been validated with evidence. 

A Meganeura

Mageneura was the largest insect that has ever lived. However, it wasn't the heaviest

A Megatherium

Megatherium probably used its lips more than its tongue when feeling for choice leaves in the treetops.

A Meiolania

The Meiolania had a massive head that it was unable to put fully inside its shell.

A Mosasaurus

The Mosasaurus was much longer than the fearsome Tyrannosaur rex.

A Muttaburrasaurus

Muttaburrasaurus is named after the town of Muttaburra in central Queensland.

A Neanderthal

Roamed Asia and Europe for around 100,000 years!

A Nuralagus

the Nuralagus is the biggest rabbit on record

A Opabinia

Opabinia had five stalked eyes on its head.

A Ornithocheirus

Scientists once considered the Ornithocheirus an ancestor to modern birds

A Ornithomimus

Ornithomimus translates from Greek to mean “bird mimic.”

A Oviraptor

Oviraptor means "egg thief" or "egg seizer," though they were quite protective of their own eggs.

A Pachycephalosaurus

The Pachycephalosaurus' head was up to 30 times thicker and stronger than a human skull.

A Palaeoloxodon namadicus
Palaeoloxodon namadicus

Palaeloxodon namadicus was the largest land mammal ever found

A Palaeophis

This snake was as long as a school bus!

A Paleoparadoxia

Scientists were able to determine that Paleoparadoxia was exclusively aquatic by comparing the rib cages of fossils to modern species of mammals like dugongs and polar bears.

A Panthera atrox (American Lion)
Panthera atrox (American Lion)

Panthera atrox was about 25 percent larger than modern lions

A Parasaurolophus

The Parasaurolophus ran on its hindlegs at speeds of up to 30mph!

A Patagotitan

The patagotitan's bones were hollow and air-filled.

A Pelagornithidae

The biggest members of the Pelagornithidae family were the largest flying birds known.

A Phorusrhacos

It's a genus of terror birds

A Plesiosaur

Plesiosaur had a short tail and an extremely long neck

A Pliosaur

Pliosaurs were the short-necked version of plesiosaurs.

A Polacanthus

Spiky Herbavore that looks like "bowser"

A Procoptodon

The largest variety of kangaroo to have ever been discovered.

A Psittacosaurus

These parrot-headed dinosaurs had beaks and feather-like quills on their tails!

A Psittacosaurus

The Psittacosaurus dinosaurs had four limbs but were mostly bipedal.

A Pterodactyl

Pterodactyl is not technically a dinosaur. Although they lived during the same time as dinosaurs, they are classified as winged reptiles.

A Puertasaurus

"The ribcage of a Puertosaurus was as large as a school classroom!"

A Purussaurus

Purussaurus had a bite force that is higher than that of any creature that has ever lived

A Quagga

The quagga is a subspecies of plains zebra.

A Quetzalcoatlus northropi
Quetzalcoatlus northropi

Quetzalcoatlus northropi was one of the largest flying animals ever found

A Repenomamus

One of the biggest mammals of the dinosaur age that used to eat other dinosaurs

A Rhamphosuchus

Rhamphosuchus had a narrow snout with a beak-like appearance.

A Saber-Toothed Tiger
Saber-Toothed Tiger

Canines up to 7 inches long!

A Sandpiper

Some sandpipers can migrate more than 8,000 miles without stopping!

A Sarcosuchus

Sarcosuchus is a relative of present-day crocodiles.

A Sarkastodon

Sarkastadon was one of the largest land mammal carnivores of all time!

A Scutosaurus

Unlike most reptiles, Scutosaurus' legs were positioned underneath its body to support its great weigh

A Seymouria

Although Seymouria had so many reptilian features, it was an amphibian

A Shantungosaurus

Shantungosaurus was one of the largest duck-billed dinosaurs to have ever lived.

A Shastasaurus

Despite the massive size of the Shastasaurus, it only ate soft-bodied prey.

A Short-Faced Bear
Short-Faced Bear

The modern Spectacled Bear, which lives in South America, is related to the Short-Faced Bear!

A Simbakubwa

Simbakubwa kutokaafrika was as big as a polar bear.

A Sinosauropteryx

Sinosauropteryx were prominent in the Cretaceous and Jurassic periods.

A Sivatherium

Sivatherium was a large giraffid and also one of the largest ruminants of all-time.

A Smilosuchus

The biggest species in the Smilosuchus genus, S. gregorii, was the largest known reptile of its time, reaching a length of up to 39 feet.

A Spinosaurus

The Spinosaurus is the biggest carnivorous dinosaur ever discovered!

A Steller’s Sea Cow
Steller’s Sea Cow

Hunted to extinction in 17 years!

A Stupendemys

The largest freshwater turtle known to have ever lived!

A Suchomimus

It walked on two legs and leaned forward

A Tarbosaurus

Tarbosaurus‘ name “bataar” is a mispelling of the Mongolian word “baatar,” which means “hero.”

A Tasmanian Tiger
Tasmanian Tiger

The Tasmanian tiger could open its mouth almost 90 degrees.

A Thalassomedon

The length of the Thalassomedon's neck was up to half its body length

A Thanatosdrakon

Thanatosdrakon was one of the largest pterosaurs that lived in South America.

A Theropod

Some theropods had feathers and may have been ancestors of modern birds.

A Thylacoleo

Scientists have speculated that its bite force was equivalent to that of a 551 pound lion!

A Thylacoleo carnifex
Thylacoleo carnifex

Thylacoleo carnifex was the largest carnivorous mammal in Australia

A Thylacosmilus

Thylacosmilus resembled saber-toothed cats, but they’re not related

A Titanoboa

The Titanoboa was a massive, 42-foot-long boa constrictor that lives 58-60 million years ago.

A Troodon

Troodon formosus means "wounding tooth" in Greek, a name that describes its serrated teeth.

A Tully Monster
Tully Monster

Tully Monsters can neither be classified as vertebrates nor invertebrates due to their ambiguous body structure.

A Tusoteuthis

Tusoteuthis was one of the largest cephalopods ever

A Tylosaurus

Tylosaurus was a marine reptile that is closely related to modern-day snakes and monitor lizards.

A Tyrannosaurus Rex
Tyrannosaurus Rex

They had many air pockets in their skeleton which kept them light despite their tremendous size.

A Uintatherium

The Uintatherium was an exceptionally large and exceptionally ugly ungulate that lived during the Eocene epoch

A Vegavis

Vegavis was one of the earliest birds to have a sound-producing organ

A Waimanu

The albatross is related to the waimanu!

A Wiwaxia

The body of Wiwaxia was covered by rows of sclerites and spines

A Woolly Mammoth
Woolly Mammoth

Tusks grew to 16ft long!

A Woolly Rhinoceros
Woolly Rhinoceros

The woolly rhinoceros roamed the earth between three and a half million and 14,000 years ago.

A Xenacanthus

Smal eel-like ancient shark

A Xenoceratops

The Xenoceratops is the oldest known horned dinosaur ever discovered in Canada.

A Xenoposeidon

They may have acted as 'gardeners' to clear vegetation and disperse seeds through their feces.

A Xenotarsosaurus

Xenotarsosaurus was one of the first fossils discovered in South America's Bajo Barreal formation.

A Xiaosaurus

Xiaosaurus was a small and lightweight dinosaur

A Xiaotingia

Xiaotingia used its feathery hindlimbs for short-distance flights

List of Extinct Animals

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