Top 10 Most Beautiful Living Species that are now Extinct
We have been gifted with wonderful reserves of flora and fauna. Our forests, the wildlife and their habitat together are the natural biodiversity reserves which have declined over the time causing huge environmental, economic as well as aesthetic loss to our nature. The inhumane activities such as poaching, hunting, industrialization and urbanization have not only eaten away the forest spaces to make way for agricultural and residential and commercial lands, but have also lead to the rapid decline, endangering and finally extinction of many of the species that lived on this earth. We as humans need to realize the gravity of the situation as many species are quickly vanishing from the face of the earth. Here are the 10 most Beautiful Species That Are Now Extinct.
10. TASMANIAN TIGER
It looks like a wolf and has a striped back like a tiger, so it got its name Tasmanian Wolf or Tasmanian tiger. It was the native species of Australia but it got wiped out from there in the twentieth century but the Tasmanian Tiger also called Tazzy somehow survived on the Tasmanian lands. The most wonderful thing about this animal was that it could open its jaws as wide as hundred and twenty degrees! The major cause of its extinction is stated to be poaching, hunting and killing on a large scale. Other reasons are the complete destruction of its habitat due to which this species was declared extinct in 1936.
This is another beautiful species which half resembles the horse and the front half looks like a zebra. For many years it kept zoologists and other natural scientists in confusion over whether it was at all a separate species or just a variant. By that time in South Africa, they were being hunted down in large numbers for their meat and skin. Zebra were also being found and thought to be a different species who had their whole body covered with black and white stripes. But, before anything could be concluded, poor quagga was killed to the extent that it became extinct in 1883 where the last quagga died in Amsterdam zoo. Later DNA studies revealed that quagga was indeed just a variant of the zebra and not a different species.
8. BLACK-FACED HONEY-CREEPER
The black-faced honey-creeper is an extinct bird species popularly called po’ouli that flew in the skies of Hawaii. They have a black mask that extends to the back of their heads covering their eyes. The last surviving black-faced honey-creeper was a male who was the last surviving of its kind and died in November, 2004. It ate tree snails and since they declined, po’ouli’s diet got affected. Besides, loss of habitat, diseases that were spread through mosquitoes and increase in number of other animals like pigs and mongoose all caused its extinction.
7. WESTERN BLACK RHINOCEROS
The Western Black Rhinoceros was basically a sub- species of the Black Rhinoceros in South Africa. But, recently in 2011 even it was declared to be extinct. This rhinoceros was heavily hunted down for its horns which were believed to have medicinal value, while no such claim was proved true later. It depended on leafs and shoots in its habitat and differed from other rhino species because it had two horns. First and larger one could grow up to 4 feet while the smaller one up to 22 inches. These rhinos were nearsighted and depended on other birds for warning signals.
6. JAVAN TIGER
The Javan Tiger got its name from Java in Indonesia where it was basically found. It was smaller in size when compared to the other variant species of tigers. But, as fate would have it, due to human encroachment on its habitat, which were the lush green forests, it lost it home to the human needs of agricultural expansion. Many of these tigers were gunned down during the civil war in 1965. Many others were poisoned at the hands of people and the rest few died of diseases and finally became extinct in 1970’s.
Aurochs were magnificently large wild species of cattle that walked this earth till 1627 and were last seen in Poland. They are actually the ancestors to all the species of cattle that existed and are extinct or those species that are alive today. The aurochs were pushed to extinction by human hunting and killing for meat. There were many attempts in the twentieth century to revive the aurochs from their grave but what came out was by result a cattle species similar to aurochs but not exactly the same.
4. IRISH DEER
The Irish Deer was one of the most beautiful species that ever walked on this earth. It was almost seven feet tall and its antlers were above twelve feet from one end to the other. It walked in Ireland where it was extensively hunted down. This is stated to be a leading cause of its extinction but apart from this, perhaps the Irish Deer could not survive because its antlers stopped its free movement in the forests and caused it to fall prey to hunting animals which could also be a reason for its quick fall into the endangered and then extinction list.
3. CANARIAN OYSTERCATCHER
Canary Islands Oyster catcher or the Canarian Oyster catcher was a bird species found in Spain’s Canary Islands and Lanzarote. Its second and third toes were joined together by a web. By 1913, this bird almost disappeared from the Spanish islands as well as from Lanzarote. By 1994 it was officially declared extinct. The cause of its extinction has been stated as falling prey to cats and rats. Moreover, it is said that its eggs were very delicious and were extensively taken away for consumption.
2. STELLAR’S SEA COW
The Stellar’s sea cow gets its name from its discoverer who first introduced its existence to the world called Georg Stellar in the waters of Arctic and Pacific Ocean. It looked like a very large seal and had no teeth except two bones in its very small mouth one above and one below. Its face was very small as a proportion to its size. It was the herbivorous marine distant relative of the whales. It is said that they grew up to 30 feet in length and 10 tons in weight. Perhaps this made them easily targeted by the settlers. The strangest thing about this special marine species was that within 27 years of its discovery, it was over-hunted into extinction by 1768.
Baiji or the Yangzte River Dolphin was the Chinese white dolphin. Due to heavy industrialization in China by building of industries, hydroelectricity projects etc. this species got extinct due to human activities. Besides, the dolphin was lead to extinction due to over fishing and also poaching. Its skin was very valuable and was used to make bags and gloves. Although it was functionally declared extinct in 2006 but the last known living baiji was Qi Qi who died in 2002.
The above mentioned species are just the tip of the iceberg since there are many others that have gone extinct and no longer breathe on our lands. We humans need to realize that due to our greed we have lost our wildlife reserves and shall continue to do so unless we take our conservation projects seriously. Moreover we as citizens of our country and denizens of this earth share equal responsibility in the conservation of the beautiful flora and fauna. Let us not forget that we live in an interdependent world where none can survive without the other. So, let us pledge to join hands and conserve our wildlife.