Monday, 24 March 2014

Top 10 Extinct Animals That May Still Exist

1) Tasmanian Tiger (Thylacine) : Reported extinct around 1936.

Based on fossil records, its immediate family members are known to have existed as early as 23 million to 5 million years ago.

In late 2013, a team of british naturalists from the Centre for Fortean Zoology traveled into the wild terrains of Tasmania where the human population is near non-existent. Even though they haven’t been able to capture any live footage of the animal with their camera traps, the researches are optimistic that some specimens still exists.

The group claims that they’ve interviewed some fairly credible witnesses and gathered sources of what could be the animal’s feces for DNA analysis.

“[One witness] was a government licensed shooter who controls wallaby numbers. He saw the animal twice, he also knew a forestry worker who saw one. All these were in the north-east. The owner of a team rooms and garden saw one in central Tasmania. Many more sightings uncovered by Tony Healy [one of the expedition members] ranging from 1982 to 2012,” reads a post on Fortean Zoology by one of the expedition team members.

2) Wooly Mammoth : Reported extinct around 2,000 B.C.

Due to a combination of hunting and climate change, the last known mainland Mammoths died in Siberia nearly 10,000 years ago.

in 1920, a Frenchman told a fantastic story of seeing what certainly sounds like a mammoth in Siberia:

“It was a huge elephant with big white tusks that were very curved. Its hair was a dark chestnut color as far as I could see. It had fairly long hair on the hindquarters, but it seemed shorter in the front. I must say, I had no idea there were such big elephants! A second beast was around . . . it seemed to be at least as big as the first.”

As late as 1948, frozen mammoths were discovered with meat still fresh. That’s not exactly solid evidence, but given the vast wilderness of Siberia, it isn’t out of the question. Every once in a while, unconfirmed reports will trickle out of the area, mentioning “elephant-like” creatures.

3) Mokele-mbembe : Extinct roughly 65 million years ago.

Mokele-mbembe meaning “one who stops the flow of rivers,” is a large, long-necked, long-tailed reptile. The legendary creature is said to live deep in the Congo River basin of Central Africa and is thought by some cryptozoologists to be a Sauropod dinosaur.

William Gibbons, an explorer, has conducted expeditions deep into the Congo. Gibbons met Pastor Eugene P. Thomas who recounted that the pygmies, a local tribe situated near Lake Tele ended up killing one of the Mokele-Mbembes in 1959.

The story was that the tribe fished daily in the lake channels where the Mokele-Mbembes used to roam around in search of vegetation. The pygmies decided to erect a barrier across the river so their fishing activities wouldn’t be disrupted. However, seeing that the creatures were attempting to break through the barrier, the pygmies speared one of them to death and later cut it into pieces which took several days.

According to Gibbon’s blog on, the tribe described the creature to Thomas as “being bigger than a forest elephant with a long neck, a small lizard-like head, which was decorated with a comb-like frill. It had a long, flexible tail, a smooth, reddish-brown skin and four stubby, but powerful legs with clawed toes.”

4) Baiji (Yangtze River Dophin) : Reported extinct in 2006

The baiji were dolphins found exclusively in the Yangtze River. These dolphins were once plentiful, but have been doomed by the construction of the Three Gorges Dam and the increased boat traffic. The baiji were declared extinct in 2006. 

But then one was spotted a mere year later. A team of scholars, led by scientist Wang Ding, confirmed the sighting. That’s positive news for the survival of the species. 

Unfortunately, there’s only been that single sighting. A massive expedition of over 3,540 kilometers (2,200 mi) did not yield any further sightings. However, the Yangtze is rather long, so there’s always a chance that a few baiji can still be found.

5) Passenger Pigeon : Reported extinct in 1914.

Seven years after the passenger pigeon officially became extinct in the wild, a few were reportedly spotted by a fairly reputable person: US President Theodore Roosevelt. While in Albemarle County, the first environmental President, who certainly knew his animal species ,claimed he saw a small flock.

Nowadays, someone occasionally sees a bird that looks a lot like a passenger pigeon. Like this rather short video. Small flocks of passenger pigeons are sometimes seen in their old nesting areas, mostly around the Ozark Mountains.

It’s entirely possible that these smaller flocks survived. Too many people who know what they look like have seen passenger pigeons after their extinction date

6) Honshu Wolf : Reported extinct around 1905.

The Japanese wolf, once occupied the islands of Honshu, Shikoku and Kyushu in Japan, was the world’s smallest known wolf, measuring 35 inches in length and 12 inches in height.

Its population began to decrease in 1732 when rabies was first reported in Kyushu and Shikoku. The virus might have been transferred by domestic dogs and according to a post on by zoologist and biologist Anne-Marie Hodge. Hodge writes it’s possible this was deliberately introduced by humans to create an excuse to eliminate the wolf population from the area.   

Though declared extinct in 1905, a photograph shows a specimen surviving until 1910.

Brent Swancer an American cryptozoologist raises the possibility that the Japanese wolf may still exist—given the number of cases of sightings, photos, and reports of carcasses from time to time.

7) Javan Tiger : Reported extinct around 1976

The Javan tiger was found on the Indonesian island of Java, fittingly enough. Hunting is the main reason why Javan tigers died off. When you’re on an island and you’re being hunted, there’s only so far you can go.

The last official citing of the animal occurred in 1976. However, they were allegedly captured throughout the 1980s. An exhaustive search in the mid-1990s lead to a 1994 declaration that the Javan tigers were extinct .  In 1995, a Javan forester accidentally discovered a group of Javan tigers.

Sightings continued throughout the first decade of the 2000s. The Meru Betiri National Park. The site of the last confirmed sighting seems to be the most likely spot for their survival. 

8) Japanese River Otter : Reported extinct in 2012

The Japanese river otters became less common in the 1930s. By the time the 1970s rolled around, they were flat-out rare.They were declared extinct in 2012,

Sightings are surprisingly common. In the first year since its “extinct” status, there have been 15 sightings. Most of these sightings are “unofficial.” However, getting a sighting recognized as “official” isn’t a simple thing; actual capture of the animal is usually required. 

Scientists like to point out that most of the recently seen otters were spotted in areas they wouldn’t typically be at the polluted rivers. 

9) Ivory-Billed Woodpecker : Reported extinct in 1920

The ivory-billed woodpecker is a bit special .It never officially went extinct. It was declared extinct in the 1920s, only to be spotted throughout the 1940s. In the 1950s, it was again presumed extinct, so, naturally, it’s still seen today. In 2005, there have been some documented sightings in Arkansas, by a group of ornithologists. They recorded no fewer than 15 sightings of the ivory-billed woodpecker.

10) Mexican Grizzly Bear : Reported extinct in 1964

The Mexican grizzly bear ranged from Mexico to as far north as Colorado. It was widely believed that the last was killed in Mexico in 1960. They were officially declared extinct in 1964. Yet Mexican grizzlies continue to be spotted.

The North American grizzly is found much further north, but southern Colorado has a few credible sightings. There is an uptick in sightings of grizzlies in the former Mexican grizzly range.

There are definitely grizzlies in those parts. The only question is whether they’re Mexican grizzlies. A 1979 study showed evidence of grizzlies (claw marks and footprints) in Mexico. The study also established that remote Mexico was a suitable habitat for grizzly bears.

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