What extinct animal would you most like to see alive and kicking in modern times?
Over the years the world has lost some glorious creatures and some scary ones as well. Here are some of the best ones we´ll never get to see.
Most of us immediately think of the flightless bird known as the Dodo when we think about extinct creatures. They lived on the island of Mauritius and while we know little about them, they appear to have been about a meter tall. European sailors first saw Dodos in 1598 and just over 60 years later there were none left. They were used by islanders as pets and who wouldn´t one of these cheerful birds wandering about their yard?
The Saber Toothed Cat
There are a few different animals that have been known as Saber Toothed Cats, with the impressive Smilodon the most well known. You wouldn´t want to bump into this toothy predator in the wild but taking a selfie with him from a safe distance would have been cool. He lived in North and South America and killed all sorts of different types of prey.
There are a few different types of Mammoth that once made the Earth tremble under their giant frames. The Woolly Mammoth and the American Mastodon are good examples of these elephant type beasts, while some weren´t as big as you might think. The end of the ice age is given as one reason why they probably died out although there is still hope that we´ll find some more frozen ones in Siberia we can clone or bring back to life just like Walt Disney. Isn´t there?
The Tasmanian Tiger
All of the tales of extinct animals around the world are sad but some hit home harder than others. That is definitely the case with the Tasmanian Tiger. The arrival of Europeans led to its downfall, with the final creatures dying out in the 1930s. Some people still cling on to the hope that some Tasmanian Tigers exist in remote areas, with fabulous rewards being offered in the past for capturing one. Scientists also plan to produce new animals using the DNA of dead specimens.
This big fellow isn´t as well known as some of the other extinct animals we have looked at but he was a beauty. This was a giant ape who lived in Asia. The race died out about 100,000 years ago and they were the biggest apes ever to live on our planet. They measured up to 3 meters (almost 10 ft) tall. The lack of a full skeleton ever being found means that we don´t even know how the Gigantopithecus got around; on all fours or walking upright.
The Atlas Bear
Africa´s only native bear in recent times is believed to be extinct. Yes, there is a small, flickering hope that some Atlas Bears moved from the Atlas Mountains across to Eastern Africa. However, the general consensus is that man killed off this large beast. The expansion of the Roman Empire into North Africa and the introduction of modern firearms are said to have contributed to their downfall. The Romans were especially damaging to the Atlas Bear, hunting it to use in their Gladiator shows. It eventually died out completely towards the end of the 19th century.