Millions of animals have walked this planet since the dawn of time. There are so many different types of species of animals from mammals, to reptiles, to amphibians, and countless more. They come in all different shapes and sizes. Some are meat eaters, while some only eat greens such as plants. Some of these animals evolve throughout time to adapt to the changes in the world to make it suitable for them to be able to survive in the wild, just like humans have.
Not all animal species are lucky enough to be able to continue on and evolve though. Sometimes things like climate change, disease, loss of environment, and poaching can cause certain animal species to dwindle until they ultimately disappear and become extinct. Everyone learns in kindergarten about the dinosaurs and what happened to them, so if they disappeared why wouldn’t anything else? When it comes to extinction, there are occasionally two things that can make something a target for extinction, either being at the bottom of the food chain or having something that is worth a lot of money to someone else.
Dead or alive: have these animals gone extinct?
Have leatherback turtles gone extinct? Are they dead or alive?
Leatherback turtles can weigh up to 2,000 pounds and are the largest of all the sea turtles. They mainly came from the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian Oceans. Some humans developed a taste for the eggs of the leatherback turtle eggs and would steal them to eat, also known as poaching them. As of 1980, the population of female leatherback turtles was estimated to be around 115,000, and their population continued to lower, but are they still around today, or have they gone extinct?
Has the Golden Toad gone extinct? Are they dead or alive?
The golden toads are very small, only about 1.6-2.2 inches long. The males are a beautiful golden, orange color while the females have a distinct olive, black color with scarlet spots that have yellow edges. They originate from Costa Rica and could be found in the Monteverde Cloud Forest Preserve. The golden toad has a diet that consists of small insects, like with almost every other reptile. Their primary breeding season is during the rainy season. The last major sighting of the golden toad was said to be in 1989, but has this species gone extinct or are we not looking hard enough?
Have the Zanzibar Leopards gone extinct? Are they dead or alive?
Zanzibar leopards made a home for themselves in Tanzania. The Tanzanians have a superstitious belief surrounding these furry felines stating that the leopards are being kept by witches. They believe that these witches send the Zanzibar leopards to cause harm to the locals so, in turn, the locals tend to hunt down the leopards in hopes that they will be able to protect themselves and their loved ones against the felines. Are the Zanzibar leopards still alive today, or have they all been exterminated in hopes of saving the locals?
Has the Pied Tamarin Monkey gone extinct? Are they dead or alive?
Pied tamarin monkeys are also known as bare faced monkeys, due to the lack of hair on their face and ears. They originate in a Brazilian rainforest in South America. The pied tamarin monkey is generally 7 to 12 inches tall, and weighs between 0.5 to 2 pounds. They live in small groups of 3 to 15 and are very protective of their areas. These monkeys can live up to 8 to 15 years on average. Their predators tend to be felines, hawks, and big snakes. Are pied tamarin monkeys still around today, or have they gone extinct?
Is the Black Rhinoceros extinct? Are they dead or alive?
The black rhinoceros are gray in color, and like with almost any rhinoceros, their horn has a high price tag. Poachers hunt them for the value of their horns. It is said that their horns have medicinal properties in traditional Chinese medicine. However, in this day and age, the black rhinoceros horn is poached, more so, to show a person’s status and wealth. Although poaching has become illegal in most places around the world, it still happens and black rhinoceros horns are still being traded. With all this poaching, are black rhinoceroses still around today, or have they become extinct?
Have the Po’ouli Birds gone extinct? Are they dead or alive?
The po’ouli is a Hawaiian native bird that was discovered in 1973 by students of the island. This bird is also known as a Hawaiian honeycreeper, due to its main characteristic on its face which is its black mask-like feature that makes it look like a bandit. The po’ouli mainly feeds on snails and other insects. Po'ouli was the first species of Hawaiian honeycreepers to be discovered since 1923. Information on its DNA suggests that the po’ouli outlived all of their closest relatives. By 1985, the population had dropped drastically. Are the po’ouli extinct as of today, or have they continued to outlive their relatives?
Have the Tecopa Pupfish gone extinct? Are they dead or alive?
The Tecopa pupfish is a subspecies to the Amargosa pupfish. This small fish, only 1-1.5 inches long, is native to the hot springs in the Mojave Desert in California. It gets its name from the Tecopa Hot Springs. The male Tecopa pupfish is bright blue in color, while the females are striped. In the 1950’s, bathhouses became popular in the hot springs. As the springs became more popular they were widened, causing less room for the Tecopa pupfish. Were the Tecopa pupfish forced out of their environment causing them to go extinct, or was there enough room for everyone?
Have the Chinese Alligators gone extinct? Are they dead or alive?
Chinese alligators are one of the smallest of their species, even compared to their American relatives. They can grow to be about 6.5 feet long, and weigh around 100 pounds. Chinese alligators spend a lot of time burrowing tunnels near slow moving rivers in swamp-like areas and ditches. They used to be found all over in rivers, ponds, and lakes. Chinese alligators are located in Yangtze River basin near the Pacific Ocean. Since they are not found as commonly as they used to be, are they going extinct or are they already extinct?
Have the Pyrenean Ibex gone extinct? Are they dead or alive?
The Pyrenean ibex is commonly found in southern France, Northern Pyrenean, and the Cantabrian Mountains. They like to live in places that are rocky with lots of trees and bushes. The males are brown with black marks on different parts of their body, while the females could easily be mistaken for deer. The Pyrenean ibex like to travel in large numbers grazing on grass just like sheep do. However, the Pyrenean ibex were hunted just like any other animal. Were they hunted enough to go extinct, or were they able to survive?
Has the Seychelles Sheath-Tailed Bat gone extinct? Are they dead or alive?
The Seychelles sheath-tailed bat is a rare type of Seychelles bat. It is believed that the group of bats that stick together consists of females and their young, with one single male bat to lead them. This species of bats feed solely on insects. The Seychelles sheath-tailed bats are primarily located near the Indian Ocean, northeast of Madagascar. This species has severely declined over the last 30 years, possibly due to the insects they eat being sprayed with pesticides. Are their limited food options causing them to become nearly extinct, or have they already disappeared?
Have Dama Gazelles become extinct? Are they dead or alive?
The Dama gazelle grows to be about 42 inches tall and weighs up to 190 pounds. They generally live to be about 12-years-old in the wild. They travel in herds of 6 to 30 and are usually white with brown spots and are very beautiful looking. The Dama gazelle’s habitat is the Sahara Desert. They eat vegetation such as grass, leaves, and twigs. The greatest predators of the Dama gazelle are poachers. With that being said, have dama gazelles been able to survive or have they been wiped out to extinction?
Has the Javan Tiger gone extinct? Are they dead or alive?
The Javan tiger can get up to 8 feet long and weigh up to 300 pounds. Its habitat is from the Indonesian Island of Java, and they are strictly carnivores like all other wild felines. The Javan tigers usually have long and thin stripes. It also has a long and narrow nose. When the tiger first inhabited the Java Island, the human population was much smaller. As the population grew on this island, there was less and less room for humans and the Javan tiger. Were humans and the Javan tiger able to co-mingle, or was the Javan tiger doomed to extinction?
Have the Spix Macaw gone extinct? Are they dead or alive?
The Spix Macaw is also known as the little blue bird because of its beautiful blue feathers. They originate from North Bahia and Brazil. They tend to make their habitat in the tallest and densest trees with the most leaf coverage. The Spix Macaw is one of the rarest birds. However, its population is dwindling due to habitat loss. Humans would also trap the birds and sell and trade them for monetary gain. Due to the increased habitat loss and interference from humans, has the Spix Macaw been able to survive or have they become something that will only be known in history books due to extinction?
Has the Gastric Brooding Frog gone extinct? Are they dead or alive?
The Gastric Brooding Frogs have a unique way of gestating their young. The females would swallow their fertilized eggs, allowing them to turn into tadpoles inside of their stomachs. The female Gastric Brooding Frogs would then become so bloated that their lungs would collapse under the pressure forcing her to rely only on the gas exchange through her skin. These frogs were discovered in 1972. For unknown reasons, this species population started to decline. Were they able to continue to uniquely gestate their young, or did they reach extinction?
Have the Huia Birds gone extinct? Are they dead or alive?
The Huia Birds are about 18 inches long and weigh up to 14 ounces. They are natives of New Zealand and are large, black songbirds. Huia Birds were more common in New Zealand before human settlement. When humans started to take up residency, they started logging and cutting down the trees which meant also cutting down the Huia Birds’ habitat. The bird’s feathers also became worn as a show of fashion or status. Due to human interference, were the Huia Birds able to survive, or were they faced with certain extinction?
Have the Amur Leopards gone extinct? Are they dead or alive?
The Amur leopards are only found in the Russian Far East and in Northeast China. They can adapt to cooler climate regions by growing thicker fur than their subspecies relatives, and their coat will also grow paler to blend in better with the snow. The Amur leopard’s tongues also have unique hooks to better clean meat off of their prey’s bones. But even with its unique and adaptive capabilities, its population is dwindling with much thanks to human poachers. Were Amur leopards able to keep surviving, or have the poachers gotten the best of them?
Have the Bornean Orangutans gone extinct? Are they dead or alive?
Bornean orangutans are about 3.5-4.5 feet tall, and can weigh up to 200 pounds. Orangutans can share up to 97% of the same DNA as humans. They have some of the same mannerisms as humans as well. Due to deforestation and poaching, Bornean orangutans have been secluded to generally one spot and their species is declining. Some humans have even resorted to consuming the orangutans. Have they Bornean orangutans been able to survive, or have they become extinct?
Has the Caribbean Monk Seal gone extinct? Are they dead or alive?
The Caribbean monk seal is anywhere from 7 to 9 feet long, and can weigh anywhere from 115 to 440 pounds. They mainly eat fish and even octopus. The main predators to this seal are humans and sharks. Caribbean monk seals were first discovered as far back as the 1400’s. The reason humans are one of the main predators is that they kill the seals for their blubber, turning it into oils. Has the Caribbean monk seal been able to continue living, or have they succumbed to extinction?
Have Pikas gone extinct? Are they dead or alive?
Pikas are small, little animals that live under rock formations in the mountains of Western North America. Pikas are close relatives to rabbits. They survive by eating vegetation year round, and in the winter they eat what they have stored during the summer months. Pikas are adapted to colder regions. With the changes that have been happening to their climate throughout the years, the Pikas have been decreasing in population. Due to this change in climate, have the Pikas been able to adapt or have they become extinct?
Have the Steller’s Sea Cow gone extinct? Are the dead or alive?
The Steller’s sea cows can grow up to 10 feet long, and weigh 8 to 10 tons. Its closest relatives are the manatees. They were more commonly located around the North Pacific area. The Steller’s sea cow is named after George Steller, who discovered and studied this species. They are also herbivores, and their diet mainly contains kelp, seaweed, and other plant life. Due to their food supply starting to decline in their preferred area, this species also started to decline. Were the Steller’s sea cows able to survive without their normal food sources, or did they become extinct?
Has the Giant Otter gone extinct? Are they dead or alive?
The giant otter can grow up be up to 6 feet long, and weigh up to 75 pounds. They are only located in South America in the creeks and rivers leading to the Amazon, Orinoco, and La Plata. The giant otters are members of the weasel family. One of the main predators for the giant otter happens to be humans. Humans hunt them for their luxurious fur due to the monetary gain and wealth it can bring them. Have the giant otters been able to escape humans, or have they been brought to extinction over their plush fur?
Has the Tasmanian Tiger gone extinct? Are they dead or alive?
The Tasmanian tiger is also known as a thylacine. They are generally 39 to 51 inches long, and weigh 33 to 66 pounds. Tasmanian tigers look a lot like dogs, but with a rat-like tail. As the name suggests, this tiger is from Tasmania. These tigers are actually very fearful, making them easy targets to capture without much effort. At times, the Tasmanian tigers just die suddenly, without a known cause. Even with all that, they are still seen as a threat so they are still hunted. Were they able to get away from humans, or have they become extinct?
Has the Baiji Dolphin gone extinct? Are they dead or alive?
The Baiji dolphin is also known as the Goddess of Yangtze. They can be as long as 8 feet and weigh up to 500 pounds. They are natives of the China Yangtze River, which is the only place that they can be found. The river has had an issue with pollution causing issues for the Baiji dolphin in its habitat. The Baiji dolphins travel in small groups of 2 to 10. Due to fishing and pollution, the Baiji dolphin’s numbers are decreasing. Were they able to survive, or have they become extinct?
Have the Black-footed Ferrets gone extinct? Are they dead or alive?
The Black-footed ferret is part of the weasel family, and is the only ferret native in North America. They have a black mask around their face like a bandit would have. The black-footed ferrets are nocturnal animals, and they sometimes eat squirrels, mice, insects, and birds. Farmers tried to wipe out prairie dogs and almost eliminated the black-footed ferret in the process since they live in the prairie dog burrows. Were the black-footed ferrets able to get back to normal and survive, or were they eventually eliminated in the process?
Have the Passenger Pigeons gone extinct? Are they dead or alive?
The passenger pigeons’ home is in North America, East of the Rocky Mountains. They are similar to, but smaller than, the mourning dove. It has a blue head and rump, with a gray back, and a red breast. Males, however, are much more vibrant in color than the females. The passenger pigeons could reach speeds of 60 to 70 miles per hour. Due to hunting and clearing of forests, the population of the passenger pigeons has begun to decrease. Were the passenger pigeons able to survive all the huntings, or were they made to become extinct?
Has Darwin’s Fox gone extinct? Are they dead or alive?
Darwin’s fox can only be found in Chile, and only in two places; The Nahuelbuta National Park and the Island of Chiloe, and is named after Charles Darwin. Their diet consists of a multitude of things from small mammals, to reptiles, insects, fruits, berries, seeds, and birds. The main threat to the Darwin Fox is unleashed dogs from visitors at the Nahuelbuta Park, and the dogs often attack the foxes. Were the foxes able to survive, or have they gone extinct?
Have the Sumatran Rhinoceroses gone extinct? Are they dead or alive?
The Sumatran rhinoceroses are the smallest in size compared to others in their subspecies. They generally weigh about 1,760 pounds and are roughly 8 to 10 feet in length. They have two horns, which is what make them have the most monetary gain for human beings. The horns are said to have a medicinal purpose in China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Singapore. The Sumatran Rhinoceros’ horns can also show status and wealth. Have the Sumatran Rhinoceroses been able to survive against greedy humans, or have they become extinct for their horns?
Have the Imperial Woodpeckers gone extinct? Are they dead or alive?
The imperial woodpecker is a native bird from Mexico. They prefer open pine and oak forests. The imperial woodpecker is the largest known woodpecker species in the world. The species saw a rapid decline due to loss of habitat, over hunting, and humans disturbing their nests. The over hunting was because the imperial woodpecker was used a lot in folk medicine, and the disturbing of the nests was because the Tarahumaras saw the eggs as a delicacy. Were the imperial woodpeckers able to survive, or did humans help cause them to become extinct?
Have the Quagga gone extinct? Are they dead or alive?
The quagga have zebra-like stripes on the front half of its body but none on the back. They are from South Africa’s Cape Province. They are a cross between a zebra and a wild horse. The quagga species started to decrease vastly when poachers with too much money began to hunt them down for sport. Were they able to survive out in the wild, or have the quagga been led to their demise and been forced to extinction by humans?
Has the White-Rumped Vulture gone extinct? Are they dead or alive?
The white-rumped vulture is native to South and South East Asia. Its population started to slowly to decline more and more as veterinaries started to prescribe more animals a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug called diclofenac for treatment, due to the fact that the vultures would eat the carcasses of the animals that had this drug in their system. The vultures would then die of kidney failure because it did not agree with their system. Were the white-rumped vultures able to survive, or has this medicine caused them to become extinct?
Have Sea Minks gone extinct? Are they dead or alive?
Sea Minks live around the coasts of New England and Atlantic Canada. Sea minks have a bigger body than their American relatives, which is why humans in that region tend to consume them more as a type of food. Sea minks also have another reason to fear humans, and that is because humans use them for their luxurious fur as trade, for warmth, and as fashion. Were sea minks able to fend off humans long enough to survive, or have they met their match and succumbed to extinction?
Has the Pangolin gone extinct? Are they dead or alive?
Pangolins are like anteaters that are very scaly, and their preferred diet consists of ants. They are mainly in Asia and Africa, and when the Pangolins feel that they are in danger, they can roll up into a ball. Their population is decreasing in size due to the high trafficking rate of these animals. Their meat is considered a delicacy to some individuals, which causes them to be hunted. Were the Pangolins able to survive, or have they become extinct?
Has the Saola gone extinct? Are they dead or Alive?
The Saola is a recently discovered animal as of 1992. They reside in the forests of north-central Vietnam and Laos. Saolas' predators also happen to co-exists with them, which are crocodiles and tigers. The Saolas' main predators happen to be human beings because humans use them for trafficking and trade, and they are also poached and killed to be used for traditional Chinese medicines. Were the Saolas able to survive humans, or have they become extinct?
Has the Great Auk gone extinct? Are they dead or alive?
The great auk’s closest relative is the penguin, and they are from the North Atlantic region. They are a flightless bird. A main predator to the great auk is humans because they will kill them for they feathers, also called down, to turn into pillows. When they became rare, people started collecting the great auk and their eggs as prizes, or collector’s items, giving them monetary value. This has caused their species to dwindle. Were the great auks able to survive, or have they become extinct?
Has the Peruvian Black Spider Monkey gone extinct? Are they dead or alive?
The Peruvian black spider monkey resides in eastern South America north of the Amazon River. It can be up to 24 inches tall and weigh up to 20 pounds. They can live to be up to 20-years-old. Their specific species is decreasing in population due to the exploration and loss of their primary habitat. Humans are also hunting them and selling or trading them for monetary gain or to be eaten. Were the Peruvian black spider monkeys able to survive, or have they been threatened to extinction?