Things That Are Extinct

Welcome to our list of things that are extinct.

Extinction refers to a species that has completely died out, whether it’s an insect, animal or plant. There are multiple factors that contribute to the extinction of a species – inability to compete with other species for resources, hunting and changing ecological conditions to name a few. There are attempts to conserve species through reservations, granting of protected status and helping along the breeding process (like with pandas). Species can also be considered functionally extinct when only a few individuals are left that cannot reproduce. Considering that more than 99% of all species (so over 5 billion!) that ever lived on Earth are extinct, we’ve only included a small portion of extinct species in this list, but we hope we’ve covered enough to have what you’re looking for.

(Note: With the exception of the T-Rex, we didn’t include any dinosaurs on this list as dinosaurs seemed too obvious).

There are less images than we usually put in our lists, as it was difficult to find images of things that don’t exist today. Here’s a visual list of things that are extinct:

Hopefully that visual list of extinct things was useful! Here’s a longer and more descriptive list of things that are extinct:

  • Dodo: A flightless bird that was native to Mauritius. Is commonly featured in pop culture in advertising and movies, and became extinct in 1662.
  • Sabre-Toothed Tiger: Also known as the Smilodon. A famous prehistoric mammal with long fangs. Features in pop culture and movies (such as in the movie series Ice Age).
  • Passenger Pigeon: Also known as the wild pigeon. Native to North America and was named for its migratory habits. Became extinct in 1914.
  • Golden Toad: Also known as the Monte Verde toad, Alajuela toad and the orange toad. The last sighting was in 1989 and it was announced extinct in the same year.
  • Carolina Parakeet: Also known as the Carolina conure. A poisonous, neotropical parrot with a yellow neck, red head and bright green body. The last sighting was in 1910 and the bird was announced extinct in 1939.
  • Heath Hen: A subspecies of greater prairie chicken that was declared extinct in 1932. They were hunted by settlers for food.
  • Tasmanian Tiger: Also known as the Thylacine. A carnivorous marsupial that resembled a large, striped dog. Declared extinct in 1936 due to hunting and possibly disease and competition for habitat.
  • Caspian Tiger: Also known as the Balkhash tiger, Turanian tiger and Hyrcanian tiger. Was hunted for its fur, which was brighter than a Siberian tiger’s and thicker than any other tiger species.
  • Pyrenean Ibex: Also known as the bucardo (Spanish), herc (Catalan), or bouquetin (French). Declared extinct in January 2000 due to hunting.
  • Caribbean Monk Seal: Also known as the West Indian seal or the sea wolf. Was predated on by sharks and humans, and faced hunting and overfishing of their food sources. Declared extinct in 1952.
  • Western Black Rhinoceros: Also known as the West African black rhinoceros. Declared extinct in 2011 due to poaching.
  • Pinta Island Tortoise: Also known as the Pinta giant tortoise, Abingdon Island tortoise or Abingdon Island Giant tortoise. A type of Galapagos tortoise considered to have been extinct since 2012 after being hunted.
  • O’ahu Tree Snail: A land snail native to Hawaii. Had a cone-shaped shell that was used for ornamental purposes.
  • Madeiran Large White: A large butterfly with white wings with black tips. Uncertain status – could be critically endangered or extinct.
  • Barbary Lion: Also known as the North African lion, the Berber lion, Atlas lion and Egyptian lion. Was thought to be the largest type of lion and was of cultural significance in Egyptian literature and art.
  • Schomburgk’s Deer: Thought to be extinct in 1938. They lost much of their habitat due to being hunted and from loss of habitat.
  • Alagoas Foliage-Gleaner: A small bird that became extinct in 2019 due to habitat destruction.
  • Catarina Pupfish: A small fish that was declared extinct in 2014. Notable for their lack of pelvic fins.
  • Chinese Paddlefish: Also known as the Chinese Swordfish. One of the largest freshwater fish at an average of 3 metres long. Considered functionally extinct since 1993 due to overfishing.
  • Cryptic Treehunter: A species of bird that was native to Brazil. Considered extinct in 2007.
  • Fissidens Microstictus: Also known as pocket moss.
  • Lost Shark: Also known as the false smalltail shark. A type of requiem shark that hasn’t been sighted for over 80 years and is considered to likely be extinct.
  • Po-ouli: Also known as the black-faced honeycreeper. A Hawaiian honeycreeper with a black head, pale grey belly and brown wings and back. Declared extinct in 2004.
  • Sierra de Omoa Streamside Frog: A frog that was native to Honduras and lived in forests and rivers.
  • Sumatran Rhinoceros: Also known as the hairy rhinoceros or Asian two-horned rhinoceros.
  • Vachellia Bolei: A type of flowering plant that is commonly known as a thorn tree or acacia.
  • Villa Lopez Pupfish: Also known as the violet pupfish. Declared extinct in 1990 due to loss of habitat.
  • Yangtze Giant Softshell Turtle: Also known as the Red River giant softshell turtle, the Shanghai softshell turtle, speckled softshell turtle and Swinhoe’s softshell turle. Considered functionally extinct as only three individuals are alive, none of them female.
  • Spix Macaw: Also known as the little blue macaw. Native to Brazil and considered extinct in the wild. Has blue plumage and no living individuals outside of captivity (that we know of).
  • Quagga: A subspecies of zebra named for its call, which sounded like “kwa-ha-ha”. Declared extinct in 1883 after being hunted for food and for skin.
  • Zanzibar Leopard: A carnivore and apex predator considered extinct in 2002.
  • Tecopa Pupfish: A small, heat-tolerant fish native to California. Habitat loss and the introduction of non-native species led to it being declared in 1970.
  • Falkland Islands Wolf: Also known as the warrah, the Falklands Islands dog, Antarctic wolf and Falklands Island fox. The only native mammal of the Falkland Islands which was declared extinct in 1876.
  • Javan Tiger: A tiger that was hunted to extinction and died out in 1938.
  • Round Island Burrowing Boa: A snake that was native to Mauritius. Was last seen in 1975, and was declared extinct in 1974.
  • Dutch Alcon Blue Butterfly: A blue butterfly native to the Netherlands. Declared extinct in 1979.
  • Baiji White Dolphin: A species of freshwater dolphin which is thought to be extinct. Also known as the Chinese river dolphin, Yangtze river dolphin and the whitefin dolphin.
  • Steller’s Sea Cow: A sea cow that was only found in the Bering Sea and could grow up to 9 metres. Was hunted for meat, fat and hide, and was declared extinct in 1768.
  • Great Auk: A flightless bird that was declared extinct in 1852. Looked like a penguin with a very large beak.
  • Woolly Mammoth: A type of mammoth known for their large tusks. Features in pop culture, such as in the movie Ice Age.
  • Nullarbor Dwarf Bettong: A type of marsupial that was native to Australia and lived in caves in the Nullarbor Plain.  
  • Capricorn Rabbit-Rat: A type of rabbit rat that lived during the Pleistocene and Holocene. Named for the location their dental remains were found (the Capricorn Caves in Australia).
  • Dusicyon Avus: A medium-large, doglike carnivore that became extinct somewhere around 1000 BCE.
  • Lesser Stick-nest Rat: Also known as the white-tipped stick-nest rat. A large rodent that built nests out of sticks and was declared extinct in 2016.
  • Bramble Cay Melomys: Also known as the Bramble Cay mosaid-tailed rat. A rodent that was native to the Great Barrier Reef in Australia. Was last seen in 2009 and became extinct in 2015 due to climate change.
  • Broad-Cheeked Hopping Mouse: Also known as the great hopping mouse. A fairly large mouse that preferred to live in clay.
  • Christmas Island Pipistrelle: A type of vesper bat that lived on Christmas Island. The bat was last seen in 2009, and was declared extinct in the same year.
  • Pseudomys Auritus: A long-eared mouse that was considered extinct in the early 1800s.
  • Sus Bucculentus (Heude’s pig): Also known as the Indochinese warty pig or the Vietnam warty pig.
  • Guam Reed-Warbler: Also known as the Nightingale reed warbler. A small bird that became extinct due to introduced species, predators and habitat destruction.
  • Aguiguan Reed-Warbler: A subspecies of the nightingale reed warbler. Hasn’t been sighted since 1995.
  • Pagan Reed-Warbler: A subspecies of the nightingale reed warbler that was native to Pagan Island and was considered extinct around the late 1970s.
  • Bermuda Saw-Whet Owl: An owl species that was native to Bermuda. Was declared extinct in 2014 even though the actual extinction happened during the 17th century.
  • Oahu ‘akialoa: A Hawaiian honeycreeper that was native to the O’ahu island. Considered extinct in the 1860s due to loss of habitat and disease.
  • Rodrigues Blue-Pigeon: A blue pigeon that was native to Rodrigues. It’s unknown specifically when it became extinct.
  • Raiatea Starling: Also known as the bay thrush, bay starling, or mysterious bird of Ulieta. A small brown bird that was considered extinct by 1850.
  • Bermuda Hawk: Thought to have been driven to extincting by hunting and the introduction of other species.
  • Finsch’s Duck: A type of duck native to New Zealand. A larger duck with longer legs and smaller wings – it is assumed it was a flightless bird. Thought to be driven to extinction from hunting and predation from introduced species.
  • North Island Snipe: Also known as the little barrier snipe or tutukiwi. A type of sandpiper that was native to New Zealand and looks fairly similar to a kiwi but with longer, thinner legs.
  • South Island Snipe: Also known as the Steward Island snipe or tutukiwi. A type of sandpiper native to New Zealand that looked like a small kiwi.
  • Bermuda Flicker: A type of woodpecker native to Bermuda. Laid nests in palm trees and in old hardwood stumps.
  • Mauritius Wood Pigeon: A type of pigeon that was native to Mauritius.
  • Reunion Rail: Also known as Dubois’ wood-rail. Closely related to the white-throated rail and the Aldabra rail. Thought to have become extinct in the late 1700s.
  • Oceanic Parrot: Also known as the oceanic eclectus parrot or the exlectus infectus. Lived in Vanuatu and possibly Fiji and had larger wings than parrots today.
  • Reunion Fody: A type of weaver (small bird) native to Reunion. Was about the size of a house sparrow with brown and bright red colouring that varied in placement depending on the birds’ sex.
  • Oahu Nukupu’u: A small bird with a long, curved beak and yellow/brown colouring. Mainly fed on insects and is believed to have become extinct due to disease.
  • Laysan Honeycreeper: Also known as the Laysan ‘apapane. A small bird with bright feathers that ranged from brown, yellow, black and red.
  • Mauritius Turtle-Dove: A type of pigeon that went extinct in the 1730s.
  • Bermuda Night Heron: A type of heron native to Bermuda. Related to the yellow-crowned night heron and had a heavier bill, larger head and thicker legs.
  • Bermuda Towhee: A large passerine (bird with feet adapted for perching) that only lived in Bermuda.
  • Marquesas Swamphen: Presumed to be extinct. A flightless swamphen native to the Marquesas Islands.
  • Christmas Sandpiper: A small shorebird native to Kiribati.
  • Alaotra Grebe: Also known as Delacour’s little grebe or the rusty grebe. Was about 25cm long on average, and wasn’t able to fly long distances due to its small wings.
  • Hodgen’s Waterhen: Also known as Hodgen’s rail. A small, flightless bird with tiny wings. Lived in open forest and on riverbanks.
  • Marianne White-Eye: A small bird that had a ring of white around the eye. Greenish yellow in color otherwise.
  • Gunther’s Dwarf Burrowing Skink: A species of skink native to South Africa. Had no forelimbs and only two “toes” on the back limbs.  
  • Redonda Skink: A type of skink that was found in Barbados.
  • Iznik Shemaya: A freshwater fish native to Lake Iznik in Turkey. Has not been seen since the late 20th century and is assumed to be extinct.
  • Barbados Racer: Also known as the tan ground snake. No sightings of this snake since 1961 and is believed to have been driven to extinction due to habitat loss.
  • Santa Cruz Pupfish: Was native to Arizona and was declared extinct in 2011.
  • Christmas Island Forest Skink: Also known as the Christmas Island whiptail skink. Declared extinct in 2017. The last known forest skin was named Gump and died in 2014. 
  • Scioto Madtom: A fish species that has been functionally extinct since 1957 and extinct since 2013. 
  • Siamese Flat-Barbelled Catfish: Native to Thailand and mostly lived in mainstreams, marshlands and tributaries. Was declared extinct in 2011.
  • Long Jaw Tristramella: Also known as tristramella sacra. A fish that was native to the Sea of Galilee in Israel. Was listed as extinct in 1990.
  • Egirdir Minnow: A type of freshwater fish native to Turkey. Was critically endangered due to predation by introduced species and hasn’t been sighted since the 1980s. Was declared extinct in 2013.
  • Ovate Clubshell: A freshwater mussel that lived in the Mobile River Basin. Has not been sighted since the early 20th century.
  • Gardiner’s Giant Mite: A species of mite that hasn’t been seen since 1909. Became extinct due to habitat loss.
  • Islamia Ateni: A species of extinct mollusc.
  • Sandhills Crayfish: A type of crayfish that was discovered in 1856. It lived in Georgia before becoming extinct.
  • St. Helena Giant Earwig: A type of large earwig that lived in Saint Helena. Could grow up to 84mm long and was measured to be the world’s largest earwig.
  • Rocky Mountain Locust: A locust that lived in the United States and part of Canada. The last recorded sighting was in 1902 in Canada.
  • Little Flat-Top Snail: A North American snail that became extinct during the holocene.
  • Sooty Crayfish: Lived in the creeks around San Francisco Bay.
  • Amaranthus Brownii: An herb that was found only in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands.
  • St. Helena Heliotrope: A small shrub with hairy leaves that could grow up to 1m tall. Hasn’t been sighted since 1808.
  • Logania Depressa: A plant that was listed as extinct in 2016.
  • Sigillaria: A pore-bearing, tree-like plant that is now extinct.
  • Adams Mistletoe: A plant that was listed as extinct in 2016.
  • Lepidodendron: A primitive, tree-like plant that was also known as a scale tree. They could grow to over 30 metres tall with trunks commonly over a metre in diameter.
  • Viola Cryana: Also known as the Cry Violet or the Cry Pansy. A small herb that was discovered in 1860, had light green leaves and large, pale purple flowers.  
  • Saint Helena Olive: A type of flowering plant that is unrelated to actual olives.
  • Araucaria Mirabilis: A type of coniferous tree from Argentina.
  • Cooksonia: A primitive land plant that looked like a multi-stemmed mushroom.
  • Silphium: Also known as silphion or laserwort. It was used as perfume, aphrodisiac, seasoning and even as contraeptive.
  • Glossopteris: A plant with tongue-shaped leaves.
  • Strychnos Electri: A type of poisonous flowering plant that tended to live in tropic areas.
  • Toromiro Tree: Also known as sophora toromiro. A type of flowering tree native to Easter Island.
  • Japanese River Otter: An otter that was widespread in Japan. Officially declared extinct in 2012.
  • Aurochs: Also known as urus or ure. A species of wild cattle that lived in Asia, North Africa and Europe. Survived until 1627.
  • Haast’s Eagle: An eagle that lived in New Zealand and is accepted to be the pouakai that exists in Maori legend. The largest eagle ever to have existed. Was hunted to extintion.
  • Tyrannosaurus Rex: Arguably the most famous and well-known dinosaur. Commonly called the king of the dinosaurs, and is frequently referenced in pop culture.
  • Laughing Owl: Also known as the white-faced owl. Native to New Zealand and was extinct by 1914.
  • Giant Ground Sloth: An elephant-sized sloth native to South America and North America.
  • Neanderthal: A subspecies of human who lived in Eurasia. Thought to be extinct due to competition, climate change, and/or disease.
  • Moa: Nine species of flightless birds that were native to New Zealand. Could reach 3.6 metres in height and weighed 230kg on average.
  • Atlas Bear: Also known as the African bear. Africa’s only native bear. Used to live in the Atlas mountains and the surrounds. Declared extinct in 1890.
  • Irish Elk: Also known as the giant deer or Irish deer. One of the largest deer that ever existed.
  • Koala Lemur: Once lived in Madagascar. Could grow up to 1.5 metres in length.
  • Caucasian Wisent: Also known as dombay. A subspecies of European bison that lived in the Caucasus Mountains.
  • Syrian Wild Ass: Also known as hemippe, achdari or Syrian onager. A subspecies that was native to the Arabian peninsula. The smallest donkey and one that was considered untameable.
  • Deinotherium: A prehistoric relative to elephants. Looked very similar to a modern elephant, except with downward-curving tusks that were attached to the lower jaw.
  • Elephant Bird: A large, flightless bird that lived in Madagascar. Became extinct around 1100 CE. Closely related to the New Zealand kiwi.  
  • Toolache Wallaby: A species of wallaby that was native to South Australia and Victoria. Declared extinct in 1939.
  • Blue Buck: Also known as bloubok or the blue antelope. Lived in South Africa until the 1800s. Had long, pointed horns and a bluish-grey coat.
  • Russian Tracker: Also known as the Russian Retriever. A domestic dog that was used to protect and herd flocks in the Caucasus Mountains.
  • Sivatherium: Also known as Shiva’s beast. A species of giraffe that lived in Africa and India.
  • Delcourts Giant Gecko: Also known as Delcourt’s sticky-toed gecko. The largest of all known geckos with an overall length of at least 60cm. Listed as extinct in 1870.
  • Japanese Honshu Wolf: Listed as extinct in 1905. A subspecies of grey wolf that lived in Shikoku, Honshu and Kyushu.
  • Camelops: A genus of camel that lived in North America.
  • Lesser Bilby: Also known as the yallara, the lesser rabbit-eared bandicoot or the white-tailed bandicoot. A marsupial with rabbit-like ears that has been listed as extinct since the 1950s.  
  • Opabinia: An arthopod that lived 505 million years ago.
  • Huia: A species of New Zealand wattlebird that lived in the North Island of New Zealand. Was driven to extinction by hunting and deforestation. Listed as extinct in 1907.
  • Bulldog Rat: A type of rat that lived in Christmas Island. Grew to around 25cm long and had a 2cm layer of fat. Declared extinct in 1903.
  • Pentecopterus: A group of aquatic arthropod.
  • Woolly Rhinoceros: A species of rhinoceros that lived through Europe and Asia. A species of megafauna that had a thick, long fur coat and mainly ate plants.
  • Sea Mink: A type of mink that lived in North America. Closely related to the American Mink and was listed as extinct in 1894.
  • Vespucci’s Rodent: A species of rat that lived in northeastern Brazil.
  • Sardinian Pika: A pika (mountain-dwelling mammal) that was native to Corsica. Looked like a rabbit with mouselike ears. Declared extinct in 1774.
  • Dark Flying Fox: Also known as the small Mauritian flying fox. A type of megabat that was nocturnal and was thought to feed on nectar and soft fruit.
  • Giant Vampire Bat: Also known as Desmodus draculae. About 30% larger than today’s vampire bats.
  • Tecopa Pupfish: A subspecies of Amargosa pupfish that lived in the Mojave Desert in California. Loss of habitat and introduction of non-native species led to its extinction in 1970.
  • Large Sloth Lemur: Thought to have lived an arboreal lifestyle that involved hanging upside-down frequently.
  • Short-Faced Kangaroo: Named meaning “strong-tailed”. A type of marsupial with a short, sturdy skull.
  • Puerto Rican Hutia: A type of rodent that lived in the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico and Haiti. The species suffered after the European colonisation of the West Indies.

We hope this list of extinct things was useful and that you found what you needed!

We did our best to cover all of the varied meanings of “extinct” with our visual gallery of extinct things and descriptive list. But if you feel there’s something we missed, please feel free to let us know and leave a comment.

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