We all know about the dinosaurs, but here are some more extinct animals which would make the world a lot more exciting if they were still around!
1 The Dodo
One of the most well-known extinctions, this large flightless bird lived on the island of Mauritius and met its demise after the arrival of Dutch settlers who brought with them monkeys, pigs, and cats. The last specimen was killed in 1681, only 80 years after the arrival of the new predators.
2 Tasmanian Tiger
The thylacine had a striped lower back and resembled a medium-to-large-size dog, except for its stiff tail and abdominal pouch. It became extinct on the Australian mainland not less than 2000 years ago. Its extinction in Tasmania was mainly due to direct human persecution as an alleged pest.
Also known as a giant wombat, this remarkable example of Australia’s ancient megafauna stood about two metres high and was about the size of a rhinoceros. This vegetarian marsupial became extinct about 46,000 years ago, possibly due to climate change and human hunting.
This giant shark prowled the warmer oceans millions of years ago and grew to at least 16 metres long, making today’s great whites look tiny in comparison. Feasting on whales and giant sea turtles as it swam, this formidable apex predator became extinct about 2.6 million years ago.
5 Woolly Rhinoceros
This hairy beast was common throughout Europe and northern Asia during the Pleistocene epoch, and may have survived until as recently as 10,000 years ago. The fur of this two-metre-tall herbivorous mammal kept it warm on the steppe-tundra where it dwelt.
6 Moeritherium or Tiny Elephant
These petite prehistoric mammals are related to the elephant and, more distantly, the sea cow. These creatures stood about 70cm high and dined on soft-water vegetation. They did not have a trunk, but had a broad flexible upper lip like a tapir’s used for grasping aquatic vegetation.
Known as a “dawn horse” this small animal appeared about 52 million years ago and was roughly the size of a fox. The precursor to the modern horse, its forelimbs had developed five toes, four of which were equipped with small proto-hooves; the large fifth “toe-thumb” was off the ground.
8 Giant Ground Sloth
These elephant-sized sloths lived in South America and were herbivores that could stand on their hind legs to reach leaves in the trees. They lived from the Middle Pliocene through the end of the Pleistocene period, flourishing up until about 10,000 years ago.
This giant, flightless predatory bird grew up to 2.5 metres tall and weighed about 130kg. They had enormous skulls up to 60cm long that were armed with powerful, hook-tipped beaks. The structure of the beak and the large claws on the toes show these birds were carnivorous.
This huge marine mammal was a genus of early whales that lived 40 to 34 million years ago. Measuring about 15-20 metres, this sea creature fed exclusively on fish and sharks and had small hind legs about 35cm long with three digits that were unlikely to have been used for locomotion.