The aurochs or urus (Bos primigenius), the ancestor of domestic cattle, was a type of huge wild cattle which inhabited Europe, Asia and North Africa, but is now extinct; it survived in Europe until 1627. The aurochs was far larger than most modern domestic cattle with a shoulder height of 2 metres (6.6 ft) and weighing 1,000 kilograms (2,200 lb). Domestication occurred in several parts of the world at roughly the same time, about 8,000 years ago.
The Carolina Parakeet (Conuropsis carolinensis) was the only parrot species native to the eastern United States. It was found from the Ohio Valley to the Gulf of Mexico, and lived in old forests along rivers. It was the only species at the time classified in the genus Conuropsis. It was called puzzi la née ("head of yellow") or pot pot chee by the Seminole and kelinky in Chikasha (Snyder & Russell, 2002).
The dodo (Raphus cucullatus) was a flightless bird endemic to the Indian Ocean island of Mauritius. Related to pigeons and doves, it stood about a meter (3 feet) tall, weighing about 20 kilograms (44 lb), living on fruit and nesting on the ground. The dodo has been extinct since the mid-to-late 17th century. It is commonly used as the archetype of an extinct species because its extinction occurred during recorded human history, and was directly attributable to human activity.
The Great Auk, Pinguinus impennis, formerly of the genus Alca, is a bird that became extinct in the mid-19th century. It was the only species in the genus Pinguinus - a group of birds that included several flightless giant auks from the Atlantic Ocean region - to survive until modern times. The Great Auk was also known as a garefowl (from the Old Norse geirfugl, meaning "spear-bird", referring to the shape of its beak) and penguin before the birds known by that name today were so called.
The Labrador Duck, Camptorhynchus labradorius, was a striking black and white eider-like sea duck that was never common, and is believed to be the first bird to become extinct in North America after 1500. The last Labrador Duck is believed to have been seen at Elmira, New York on December 12, 1878; the last preserved specimen was shot in 1875 on Long Island.
The passenger pigeon or wild pigeon was a species of bird, Ectopistes migratorius, that was once common in North America. It lived in enormous migratory flocks — sometimes containing more than two billion birds — that could stretch one mile wide and 300 miles (500 km) long across the sky, sometimes taking several hours to pass. Some estimate that there were three billion to five billion passenger pigeons in the United States when Europeans arrived in North America.
The quagga (Equus quagga quagga) is an extinct subspecies of the Plains zebra, which was once found in great numbers in South Africa's Cape Province and the southern part of the Orange Free State. It was distinguished from other zebras by having the usual vivid marks on the front part of the body only. In the mid-section, the stripes faded and the dark, inter-stripe spaces became wider, and the rear parts were a plain brown.
The thylacine was the largest known carnivorous marsupial of modern times. It is commonly known as the Tasmanian tiger (because of its striped back), the Tasmanian wolf, and colloquially the Tassie (or Tazzy) tiger or simply the tiger. Native to continental Australia, Tasmania and New Guinea, it is thought to have become extinct in the 20th century.
Steller's sea cow (Hydrodamalis gigas) is a large extinct sirenian mammal. Formerly abundant throughout the North Pacific, its range was limited to a single, isolated population on the uninhabited Commander Islands by 1741 when it was first described by Georg Wilhelm Steller, chief naturalist on an expedition led by explorer Vitus Bering. Within 27 years of discovery by Europeans, the slow moving and easily captured Steller's sea cow was hunted to extinction.
The moa were ten species (in six genera) of flightless birds endemic to New Zealand. The two largest species, Dinornis robustus and Dinornis novaezelandiae, reached about 3.7 m (12 ft) in height with neck outstretched, and weighed about 230 kg (510 lb). Moa are members of the order Struthioniformes. The ten species of moa are the only wingless birds, lacking even the vestigial wings which all other ratites have.
The Paradise Parrot (Psephotus pulcherrimus) was an unusually colourful medium-sized parrot native to the grassy woodlands of the Queensland - New South Wales border area of northeastern Australia. Once moderately common within its fairly restricted range, the last live bird was seen in 1927. Extensive and sustained searches in the years since then have failed to produce any reliable evidence of it, and it is unknown if it is extinct or not.
The Israel painted frog, Palestinian painted frog or Hula Painted Frog (Discoglossus nigriventer) is an extinct amphibian, whose range was limited to the Lake Huleh marshes in Israel. Due to Israeli drainage of the marshes in the 1950s, this rare species disappeared. This species had a dark belly with small white spots. It is colored ochre above and rusty colour grading into dark olive-grey to greyish-black on the sides.
The Pig-footed Bandicoot (Chaeropus ecaudatus) is a small, mostly herbivorous marsupial of the arid and semi-arid plains of inland Australia. It is currently believed to be extinct, but a 2007 field study has turned up some evidence that it may still be extant. About the size of a kitten, in form, it was almost bilby-like on first sight, having long, slender limbs, large, pointed ears, and a long tail.
Japanese Sea Lion (Zalophus japonicus) is thought to have become extinct in the 1950s. Prior to 2003 it was considered to be a subspecies of California Sea Lion as Zalophus californianus japonicus. However, it was subsequently reclassified as a separate species. Some taxonomists still consider it as a subspecies of the California Sea Lion. It has been argued that japonicus, californianus, and wollenbaeki are distinct species because of their distant habitation areas and behavioral differences.
The White-winged Sandpiper, Prosobonia ellisi, is an extinct member of the large wader family Scolopacidae that was endemic to the Moorea in French Polynesia, where the locals called it te-te in the Tahitian language. Two specimens were collected by William Anderson between September 30 and October 11, 1777, during Captain Cook’s third voyage, but both have since disappeared and the bird became extinct in the nineteenth century.
The extinct Broad-faced Potoroo (Potorous platyops) was first collected in 1839 and described by John Gould in 1844, but even then it was rare and only a handful of specimens were ever collected, the last in 1875. Subfossil remains indicate that it originally had an extensive distribution from the semi-arid coastal districts of South Australia to the Western Australian coast, and possibly as far north as North West Cape. The habits of the Broad-faced Potoroo are almost entirely unknown.
Rodrigues giant day gecko (Phelsuma gigas) is an extinct diurnal species of geckos. It lived on the island of Rodrigues and surrounding islands and typically dwelled on trees. The Rodrigues giant day gecko fed on insects and nectar.
The Xerces Blue butterfly (Glaucopsyche xerces) is an extinct species of butterfly. The species lived in coastal sand dunes of the Sunset District of San Francisco. The Xerces butterfly is believed to be the first American butterfly species to become extinct as a result of loss of habitat caused by urban development. The last Xerces Blue was seen in either 1941 (Garth, J.S. and J.W. Tilden, California Butterflies, UC Press 1986) or 1943 (Powell, J.A. and C.L.
Macroscincus coctei, also called the Cape Verde Giant Skink, Lagarto, or Cocteau's Skink, is a reptile that was at one time known to inhabit the islands of Branco and Raso in the Cape Verde islands of the Atlantic Ocean, rendered deserts by human caused habitat destruction. No Macroscincus coctei has been observed since early in the 20th century. Causes cited for their decline include overhunting for food and use for 'skink oil' by natives of neighboring islands and prolonged drought.
The Huia, (Heteralocha acutirostris) was a species of New Zealand Wattlebird endemic to the North Island of New Zealand. It became extinct in the early 20 century, primarily as a result of overhunting and widespread habitat destruction. The last confirmed sighting was on 28 December 1907 when W.W. Smith saw three birds in the Tararua Ranges. Further credible sightings were reported as late as 1922. The Huia was notable for a remarkable degree of sexual dimorphism in bill shape.
The Spectacled Cormorant or Pallas's Cormorant is an extinct marine bird of the cormorant family of seabirds that inhabited Bering Island and possibly other places in the Komandorski Islands. A presumed prehistoric record from Amchitka Island, Alaska (Siegel-Causey et al. , 1991), is based on misidentification of Double-crested Cormorant remains (Olson, 2005). The species was first identified by Georg Steller in 1741 on Vitus Bering's disastrous second Kamchatka expedition.
The Newton's Parakeet (Psittacula exsul) was a parrot endemic to the forests of the island of Rodrigues, a dependency of Mauritius, in the Indian Ocean. It was about 40 cm (16 in) long and mostly a slate grey colour, which is unusual for a Psittacula, generally a genus of mostly green parrots. The species epithet exsul, "exiled", refers to the refugee François Leguat, who gave the first testimony of the bird. The last living bird was seen in 1875.
The Rodrigues Solitaire (Pezophaps solitaria) was a flightless member of the pigeon order endemic to Rodrigues, Mauritius. It was a close relative of the Dodo. It was first recorded by François Leguat, the leader of a group of French Huguenot refugees who colonised the island from 1691 to 1693. He described the bird in some detail, including its solitary nesting behaviour. The Huguenots praised the birds for their flavour, especially the young ones.